Today I massaged a Leonberger, who unfortunately has had to have cruciate ligament surgeries in both legs over the years and as a consequence she is starting to have lots of aches and pains. What a beauty! She was the epitome of the ‘Gentle Giant’ and, despite her size, amongst the easier dogs I have handled in my dog massage career.
I’ve done some research on the breed and so I thought I’d share it with you. Leonbergers originated in Germany in the town of Leonberg. The mayor there wanted a dog that resembled the lion image of the town’s crest. The breed is a combination of Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, and Pyrenean Mountain Dog.
If you are interested in owning one of these giant dogs, I recommend that you do your own research on the breed and then contact your local breed club for information on breeders and upcoming litters.
In New Zealand, we have approximately 300 Leonbergers in the country. The Leonberger Club New Zealand has an excellent and easy to navigate website.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand