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How to train and activate a Leonberger!

Updated on January 15, 2016

Even if a Leonberger is a big dog, they not only can but they should, be activated. And you can activate a Leonberger in so many ways! Leonberger is regarded as a working dog in Germany, where this breed originates from, so if you thought that a Leonberger just want to plod slowly forward in life and spend a lot of time sleeping, you should think again! The Leonberger is easily learned, hardworking and resilient.

All dogs needs, besides daily exercise, to do a bit of work with their brain. What they do and to what extent vary between the breeds. But all dogs need to get some activity. To activate your dog is a great way to prevent misbehavior.

 

Leonberger puppy!
Leonberger puppy! | Source

During the dogs first year it is enough with everyday obedience. During this time you can also learn what motivates your dog and get to know this lovely breed and their lovely properties.

As the Leonberger also have a superior composure which means that the breed sometimes can get the idea to decide things for itself, a good everyday obedience is vital in order to continue with other activities. But in everything you do with your Leonberger, remember that even if they are big they are also delicate. And since they are so easily learned there is no need to be hard with them. Treating them hard will only result in them losing confident in you, and that will spoil the goal; to have fun with your best friend! The best way of training is to apply positive reinforcement, that's combined with unrestricted praise and treats.

Duvasgarden Prince Rosco!
Duvasgarden Prince Rosco! | Source

What activities can a Leonberger do?

According to the Swedish Leonberger breed club is the Leonberger used in most activity areas for dogs. They can be service dogs, and many are competing successfully in both tracks and search all the way up to elite level. And of course you can practice obedience with success too.

Personally I found my Leonberger to be very easy to learn new things, he understood almost instantly what I wanted him to do. The everyday obedience was never a problem; he loved the practice and the treats. I even did practice retrieving dummies with him, and it was no problem to get him to retrieve the dummy, the difficult part was to motivate him to fetch it over and over again. That is an example of their ability to learn quickly, but since they sometimes have a mind of their own, they see no point in repeating something that easy. They need to be motivated in those cases.

Many Leonberger have a lot of energy, and despite their size they are a very agile dog which easily forces the most difficult obstacles. They are strong and durable and can therefore be used for towing, provided that they are perfectly healthy in their joints. But make sure your Leonberger is over a year before trying to get the dog to pull heavier things.

After training!
After training! | Source

There are even those who practice agility with Leonberger despite their size! Agility means that you should take the dog around an obstacle track as quickly as possible, with as few errors as possible. The obstacle consists of jumping obstacles, long jumps, tunnels, balance barrier, table and slalom. Note that a dog should be over a two years before you start training agility. And of course it must be perfectly healthy. A dog that is not fully grown can not stand the strain of many jumps and climbing over balance obstacles. The legs and the back can be damaged.

But the one thing almost every Leonberger love is Water work! The Leonberger just loves water! It is a legacy they have from the Newfoundlanddog. They have webbed feet, making them excellent swimmers. And swimming is a suitable exercise for all ages. Water trial fits the Leonberger perfectly; they can both swim and work at the same time!

If you notice that your dog loves to swim, likes people and to drag both people and tings up on land, then you should really try water work. The only negative would be to prevent them from rescue everybody who swims along the beach, when they are not supposed to work! I had some difficulty with my dog, as he wanted to rescue our family all the time. I could tell him not to, but I noticed that he was a bit stressed by the fact that we where in the water. He became especially stressed when our daughter and her friends played in the water. Water work is an odd, but ever so funny and I highly recommend it. It is a wet sport to get involved with as a handler, but the dogs have fun. Make sure you can cope with big wet dogs!

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    • carrie450 profile image

      carrie450 6 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      Nice hub thougtforce, such beautiful dogs. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Thanks carrie for taking the time to read and leave a supportive comment! Leonberger is one of my favorite dogs, I just love everything about them! I wish a good and happy New Year to you and your family!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you thougtforce for all this good information about this very beautiful dog, some i did not know.

      Wishing you all the best for this New Year!!! Great hub!!!

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Hi Tom, the Leonberger is still a pretty unknown breed, and since they are big and heavy many people think they can´t do so much activities. Thanks for the "great hub" and for yours much appreciated comment!I wish you the best year ever!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 years ago from South Africa

      The Leonberger is a beautiful dog! They say a person chooses a dog that suits his/her own personality - it seems to me that the Leonberger’s suits yours perfectly. I cannot imagine you as the owner of a bull-terrier. PS: That puppy has a human-like face, hasn’t she?

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Martie, Yes,the Leonberger is my kind of breed! I love dogs in general, but my heart belongs most to the Leonberger. They have such wonderful qualities and they are genuine nice dogs! A Bull-terrier is probably more suited for others than me:))It seems you are getting to know me quite well!

      If I am not going to buy a dog I try to stay away from Leonberger puppies. They are irresistible with there well balanced faces and kind eyes, and I can´t be trusted near them!Just now, I do not have a dog, and I miss it badly. But as it is now both me and my husband work too much of the day to be able to have a dog. A dog neds to be taken ood car of.

      It is said that man looks for symmetry in faces, we believe that symmetry is beautiful. And that puppy has a symmetrical face and is so cute, just like humans! Thank you for your as always thoughtful comment! Take care!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I enjoyed reading your hub about Leonberger training and I loved the photos. Prince Rosco was a beautiful dog. I agree with you, thougtforce, Leonberger puppies are very hard to resist!

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      AliciaC, It is so nice to see you here! Yes, Rosco was a very special dog for me, but that is how it is with dogs you get to know! I bet all owners feel the same about their dog:)Thanks for your kind comment and I am glad you enjoyed this hub, as an owner of a Leonberger you have special knowledge of this breed! Give your lovely dogs; the Leonberger and the Labrador Retriever a big hug and a treat from me!

    • meteoboy profile image

      meteoboy 6 years ago from GREECE

      Very beautiful and useful article , and so nice writing.Leonberger is a cute dog.I would like to have one , but it is difficult to keep this in our apartment . Thank you for it.Greetings from Greece.

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Hi meteoboy, The Leonberger is a wonderful breed, but as you say, they would be difficult to have in an apartment:) Maybe if the apartment was big, and most important, that the dog wasn´t left alone! But it is a big responsibility to have a dog, and that should be carefully thought!It is always great to see you, and thanks for your great comment!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Tina Just wanted to share with you where I used to work. The woman breeds and shows Leonbergers and thought you may want to have a look. Gail is also the president for The Leonberger Club of Ontario and she is very commited to Leo Rescue here in Ontario. Here are the sites http://www.orovale.com/orovale_dogs.htm

      http://leonbergerclubofontario.com/index.htm

      Just thought you may want to have a peek. Take Care

      Sue

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Sue, I so enjoyed those great links! I admire the people who put their time and effort into dogs and dog breeding.

      Thanks for adding such value to this hub!

      Take care

      Tina

    • howcurecancer profile image

      Elena@LessIsHealthy 6 years ago

      I hit the awesome button.

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Thanks for your visit here, howcurecancer, and for the "awesome":)

      Tina

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      hi Thoughtforce...

      What a beautiful breed! I have a Great Pyrenees and so I am familiar with 'big' ...these guys are just wonderful! Thanks for sharing them!

      ThoughtSandwiches

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

      Hi ThoughtSandwiches, what a great name you have! We must be on the same level:) It is difficult not to love big breeds since they are special in their own way. Pyrenees are fantastic dogs, so majestic and beautiful. I am very glad you liked this hub since you are a dog owner with special feelings for big breeds. It is nice meeting you and thanks for your comment

      Tina

    • profile image

      vieve 2 years ago

      I love my leonberger he does protect are family loads and I love him.

      he is great in the water and try's to save us too.

    • thougtforce profile image
      Author

      Christina Lornemark 2 years ago from Sweden

      Hi sieve, A Leonberger is easy to love:) I will always miss my Leonberger, they are special dogs with big hearts! Thanks for reading and for the comment,

      Tina

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