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The doghouse

Leonberger madness??

35 replies

SinclairSpectrum · 30/10/2014 07:59

We have been searching for a Spinone for forever and dh wants me to consider his first choice of pooch, a Leonberger.
We live in a big enough house etc, would I be mad to consider it?
Slightly concerned it may eat my young.....

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VetNurse · 30/10/2014 08:17

Leonbergers are lovely! Gentle giants. Less slobbery than spinones too.

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SinclairSpectrum · 30/10/2014 08:23

Will I be spending next decade gathering bags of fur from my floor?

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mrslaughan · 30/10/2014 09:11

they are lovely - real gentle giants....I have a friend who has one, will ask about grooming....

I refused to have a long haired dog, so got a greater swiss mountain dog...have you looked at those? (we new them from spending lots of time with them in switzerland), he is the most amazing family dog.

If your interested in them PM me...there are some undisclosed health issues with some of the breeders in the UK however

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SinclairSpectrum · 30/10/2014 09:34

The Swiss look beautiful - are they tricky to get hold of though? Don't want to end up in same situation as Spinone hunt where I can't find one.

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mrslaughan · 30/10/2014 12:48

I think A swissy would about the same difficulty as a leonburger - I have responded to your PM

I asked my friend about grooming a leonburger - she said they do need a regular brush, or else they end up matted. She said the amount of hair they drop, depends on how much you groom them......not very helpful!

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SinclairSpectrum · 30/10/2014 13:17

Got your message, thank you. Will get in touch with them. Have yours lived long? Know its a problem with all large breeds but some only last 6 years.

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Lonecatwithkitten · 30/10/2014 13:18

Leonbergers are lovely I am lucky enough to work with a lot of them.
Things I would consider
Physical logistics of moving that size of dog.
Volume of food.
Vets bills will be considerably more expensive as most drugs are dosed by weight.
They do love water so can bring in a lot of dirt.
It is very likely that unless you go out of the UK for a pup you are going to wait a fair while. I delivered a litter recently every single person who will be buying a pup had been waiting for over two years and as the litter was small there were several disappointed people.

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Lonecatwithkitten · 30/10/2014 13:21

Oh in answer to your question about longevity it s trick there is DCM in the breed and sadly those dogs that have it do very poorly.
Then there is the relatively high risk of GDVs.
If they get neither of those 8 to 10 is about average.
As we have several in my practice we have some specialist equipment to make handling them easier.

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SinclairSpectrum · 30/10/2014 13:40

Thank you for that, good to hear from someone who deals with them. There are puppies available from a very local breeder which is oh so tempting but I don't want to rush into things.

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mrslaughan · 30/10/2014 17:20

My husband wanted a big dog, I said no to long hair.......the thing with a big dog is the amount of dirt they track in, and I notice this with a short haired one. I wouldn't swap our dog for anything though....

I know a couple of leonburger's , I think compared to swissy' they are a little more laid back, not as energetic, though I would describe swishes as a low energy dog

In terms of longevity for swisses, I think they say 8-10years, however I know a number that are 9, and in no way seem elderly dogs....

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mrslaughan · 30/10/2014 17:28

Oh and cars.....we had to get a bigger car, and I know of a couple with two leonburger's, and a large station wagon, they only fit themselves ( front seats) and the two dogs in the back, no room for anyone else.

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SinclairSpectrum · 30/10/2014 17:44

Blimey. Got a big car already, but fits us and the 3 kids plus all their stuff in.
Think the deal breaker may be the hair!

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mrslaughan · 30/10/2014 17:58

The leonburger's I have meet, make mine look small, he is 60kg, so quite big enough!

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Lonecatwithkitten · 30/10/2014 18:00

I have two clients with specially equipped vans for their Leonberger, though you can only get to in at a timeGrin.

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enviousllama · 30/10/2014 18:23

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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MiddletonPink · 30/10/2014 19:59

I thought you had your heart set on a spin?

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Booboostoo · 30/10/2014 21:24

There are three Leonbergers in my dog training classes and they are gorgeous dogs. However they are absolutely massive. Because of their size they need to be impeccably trained, e.g. if they decide to pull on the lead no one can hold them. They belong to two different owners and they both keep them in outside kennels partly because they get too hot indoors and partly because they are so large they are walking disasters around fragile ornaments, etc.

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lampygirl · 30/10/2014 22:10

We walk out Bernese with two leonbergers. The youngest isn't drastically larger than our 9month old pup, just more filled out. They are so gentle when they want to be but also enjoy a wrestle around in the mud. Apparently they shed properly twice a year but need regular maintenance brushing.

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SinclairSpectrum · 31/10/2014 06:42

I would love a Spin but the longer we go with no luck in finding one the more my dh mentions Leonbergers.
They do look absolutely gorgeous and their temperaments seem perfect but the talk of specially adapted vehicles / equipment has got me worried. The dc are still young and I wonder if accidental injury is much more likely just with the sheer weight of the dog.

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MiddletonPink · 31/10/2014 07:24

Wait for a spinone. They are worth it. Smile

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mrslaughan · 31/10/2014 07:47

I don't think you need to worry about accidental injury. Our small giant is amazingly aware of his size, and I am sure leonburger's would be the same.

I don't think specially adapted cars are compulsoryGrin, but we didn't consider the car thing, we now have a discovery -lots of headroom, that is divided in the boot, our dog has a little over half, and we have the rest for stuff.

I don't really know spinones, but my understanding is they are quite big dogs ( a giant breed also? But on the smaller end of the spectrum) so this would be a consideration for them too? With any dog you look at, you should look at the "lines" they are breeding from, and what they are breeding for. There will be smaller and bigger lines....

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Booboostoo · 31/10/2014 08:31

Why don't you visit a Leonberger breeder and see what you think? Any decent breeder should be happy to show you her dogs and chat about them.

I don't think you will have serious accident but any large/giant breed puppy is likely to bawl over young children while in the excitable puppy phase.

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MiddletonPink · 31/10/2014 08:58

Spinone are big dogs but not a giant breed. They aren't a breed for everyone either. Extremely stubborn ( almost hound like ) only does something if they want to, if they are off lead and catch a scent they are off and will only come back when they want to. They are very hairy and shed all the time.

They are destructive, even into their middle years. Ripping, shredding things in their reach. They are terrible at stealing any kind of food and because of their size this is very easy for them.

They need a huge amount of company and stimulation, walks that enables them to hunt and explore and the owner needs an abundance of patience.

But they are devoted to their owners, extremely funny and will make you laugh everyday, very gentle with children and non aggressive with all other dogs.

Perfect dogs for certain people.

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AlpacaLypse · 31/10/2014 09:05

I second the lovely temperament, but dear god they are so big and heavy! Getting them in and out of vehicles if they are not fit to jump in or walk up a ramp requires specialist equipment, or two strong men and a blanket. I'm physically fairly strong but DP and I couldn't do it together the one time we had to try and shift one to the vet, we had to find a workman on a nearby building site and get him to help.

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Booboostoo · 31/10/2014 09:47

If you want a large as opposed to giant breed have you considered GSDs? Provided you chose the right breeder GSDs are friendly, good with children and easy to train.

I love giant breeds but the shorter life expectancy has always put me off.

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