Is it a Leo?

The Leonberger is often confused with other dogs because they have features seen in mixed breeds. The Leonberger is a relatively new breed. The complete history of the breed can be found on the Leonberger Club of America website. Since these dogs first appeared in the late 1800's, people are still discovering them for the first time to this day.

We have provided a number of photos below to assist you in recognition . Please review them and notice the unique characteristics of the Leonberger. The fur can vary in color, but will always be a thick, double coat. And a Leo will always have webbed feet!

If you ever have any doubts when determining if you have found a Leonberger, one of our LeoRescue Regional Reps will be happy to make an identification for you! Just contact us.

[Points from the breed standard are below the photos.]

hdrtext BreedStandard
Size – Leonbergers are similar in size to a Newfoundland or Saint Bernard and they typically range in size as follows:


Males: 28-31” at shoulder and 110-170 lbs.
Females: 26-29” at shoulder and 90-140 lbs.

Color/Coat – Long to medium length hair, ranging from sand to dark red/brown to the uncommon black/tan/brown. Black mask.

Personality – (From the breed standard)

“As a family dog, the Leonberger is an agreeable partner for present day dwelling and living conditions, who can be taken anywhere without difficulty and is distinguished by his marked friendliness towards children. He is neither shy nor aggressive. As a companion, he is agreeable, obedient and fearless in all situations of life.”

Other characteristics

Dry mouth and tight flews.
Leos typically don’t drool.
They have webbed toes.

It’s not a Leo

Our Leos Need You

Mixed breeds are often mistaken for Leonbergers by the untrained eye, especially Golden Retriever, Chow, or Saint Bernard mixes. Look for characteristics of these breeds that are NOT Leonberger characteristics. While some Leos have dark spots on their tongues, they don’t have purple tongues found in Chows, or drool like Saints.