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  1. #1
    Road Dawg

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    Default Any Leonberger Owners? - New Puppy

    Hello!

    My husband and I were just approved to adopt a 10 week-old Leonberger mix rescue pup this weekend. This site and it's members were so incredibly helpful while we raised our first puppy, a Great Pyrenees mix, Bennie over the past year. He just turned 14 months and has mellowed quite a bit compared to the wild child he was during his terrible teens and we are now lifelong big fluffy dog addicts.

    We were searching rescues for another Pyr puppy when I stumbled across "Leon" (think we're going to call him "Frankie") and fell in love. We'd looked at Leonbergers before, but I didn't hold much hope that we'd be able to find one in rescue as a puppy. I've done a bit of research on the breed but I wondered if anyone here had any personal experience with Leos? One thing in particular that confuses me is that they are referred to as highly-active in some descriptions and low-energy on others. I've never heard of a highly-active giant breed so I wondered if this was subjective. Highly-active for a giant breed? We're not talking about a breed that needs Flyball to burn off all of his energy, are we?

    Nothing against those breeds or Flyball. We just move at a slower pace!

    If anyone has any advice to share, we would be very grateful! I've included some pictures of our new guy as well.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Let me apologize up front as I am going to sound a bit like a party pooper, but are you sure you want to have males? There is always a certain amount of risk taking in two same gender dogs. It doesn't matter that the two dogs may grow up together from puppyhood or if they are both fixed. Same gender aggression pops up usually when the dogs are young adults, often 16-24 months. It doesn't always happen but when it does it's pretty bad, usually requiring one to be rehomed. Not trying to change your mind, just thought I throw it out there.

    There was a leon mix at our dog park years ago. That dog didn't seem overly high energy but then he was at the dog park a lot so he had a good energy outlet. The only other leon I've seen was on a Cesar Millan episode. That dog was over the top hyper . She had a problem jumping on people and she was I think 2 yrs old. So I guess some leons are hyper . It's like I know of a certain pyr who is very hyper even though the breed is generally low energy

  3. #3
    Road Dawg

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    Hi, Jewel!

    We asked our vet about adding another male and he said the same thing. That there can be problems sometimes, but also that there can be problems with male and female combinations and it really comes down to the personalities. Bennie is neutered and the Leonberger pup will be as well. I think that lessens the likelihood but does not eliminate the possibility. Bennie is usually the one showing classic signs of being "submissive" in his interaction with dogs of both ***es. But I understand that he's still a puppy and and maturing.

    I hope that we've made the right decision. I can't imagine having to rehome a pet. They are members of our family.

    Are there any preventative measures that we could take with the two of them? Things that we can do to lessen the likelihood of future problems?

    Any advice would be most appreciated!

    Thanks,

  4. #4
    Road Dawg

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    Bennie was a hyper puppy as well, outside the house. Inside, he was a couch potato (unless he was chasing our kitties). He's definitely mellowed lately. Where he used to play until he dropped at the dog park, we're finding more and more that he plays for a bit and wanders back over to us.

    We can also walk him past dogs or children without causing a scene now. The other week, a little girl stopped us downtown and asked if she could pet him. I made her wait until he was sitting calmly before she approached and, without my asking him, he dropped down and laid calmly while she petted him. He did give her a HUGE kiss across the face that made her squeal, but no one's perfect. We were pleased.

    We're really hoping that the hiking, dog park, walks, backyard play that we do with Bennie is similar to what a Leonberger will need. My husband just started playing rugby again so I suppose that he can always take the Leo on his runs if he needs to. We were just surprised to read the bit about their energy level.

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Davey Benson's Avatar

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    with my female pyr and my female GSD I just have to be on top of them all the time... (not literally) watching them like a hawk, and watching their body language.

    The first (and so far their last) tussel.... I took the GSD in to the vet to get her ear stitched up, the female pyr really handed it to her. However, I watch them if they are ever together... and it 's always the GSD to try to stir S*** (stuff) up! She's the one standing close, leaning in, holding her tail up, and then bristling her hair on her back, staring directly into the eyes of the female pyr, etc. It's all body language, and I literally have to not only tell her no, but distract her away, (to be honest sometimes it's a flat palm bop on the nose to the gsd and then she turns around and trots off)

    I've found that the easiest way to keep them from scrapping, is to just never let them be together. If this sort of situation should arise with your new dogs, that might be the only answer.
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    I have to say that I can absolutely see why you fell in love with Frankie. He is beyond cute!
    I have only had one experience with a Leonberger, and that was the first time I went up to Sebastian's rescue (and the first day that I met Sebastian). The Leon I met was a fully mature male, and seemed to be pretty mellow.
    That being said, I was also witness to a brawl between the Leon and a male Newfie/Pyr mix, which exploded from what seemed to be out of nowhere. The owner of the rescue said that she had never seen either dog show any signs of aggression before this particular fight. Luckily, she was able to diffuse the situation before either dog was injured.
    With my own experience with male on male aggression, the "fights" (as they were one-sided, a mature Saint Bernard vs. Four-Month-Old Sebastian) would also seem to come from out of nowhere. The boys could be playing nicely one morning, and an hour later, a terrified Sebastian and I would have to leave. Both boys were neutered.
    My advice to you would be 1) Never trust them at home alone outside of their crates. 2) Learn where your closest emergency vet is located in case you ever need it (I hope you don't) 3) Contact a behaviorist in your area to learn how to avoid any aggression, and how to address it appropriately in case a problem should ever arise (again, I hope one never does). Sebastian and I worked with a behaviorist with the Saint Bernard and his dad when the aggression got to the point that I demanded it, and I am so glad that we did. Naturally, I hope never to have to break up a dog fight again in my life, but should I have to, I know how to do so while keeping myself (and Sebastian) as safe as possible.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
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  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    While there can be aggression issue between dogs of different genders, those appear to be a lot less common. Same gender aggression is usually very intense and usually leads to bloodshed.

    But having given the parade of horribles, I will say I grew up with two male dogs, a Norwegian Elkhound and an Akita and we had no issues. The Akita was significantly larger than the elkhound but the elkhound was ten times smarter, thus that combination worked fine. But I was also very hands on with the dogs and had their full respect.

    If you stay with your decision, you want to make sure that you implement structure and stick with it. Exercise NILF from the beginning (thus no free feeding) would be a good idea. Dog park is fine but watch that the boys don't gain up on other dogs as the pup gets older. Take the pup on outings without Benny so that it learns to bond with the humans and not just with his big brother. Lots of exercise will leave much less energy to fight with each other. But leadership overall is the key.

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Topper's Avatar

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    I have a gang of dogs.
    Male Malamute--5 year
    Female Malamute-4 Years
    Male mutt-----10 year
    Female---small mutt--6 year
    Female--Border Collie X--10 months
    Male--Pyrenees---6 years
    Male---Pyrenees---11 year past away in Dec.12

    All my dog are either spayed or neutered.

    My pyrenees have never had a problem with the other males but what they do have a big problem with is a very active dog or puppy. Our females malamute we had to keep away from the 11 year or he would have killed her and now the 10 month working on it. He doesnt have a problem with the female malamute for she has calmed down. All of our pyrenees came in as older dogs. I don't know if they just know the male malamute is the boss or what.

  9. #9

    Flock Guardian (Moderator) Chicag0_Red's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    All of our pyrenees came in as older dogs. I don't know if they just know the male malamute is the boss or what.
    From my experience it falls into the "or what" category. The proper temperament for an adult Pyr ... especially males ... is one of "Zen Master", unless the Malamute challenges his decisions or threatens something the Pyr has decided is his to protect or otherwise does something to present a danger to the flock the Pyr will likely continue to see him as "just a dog" and treat him as such. Pyrs in particular and LGD breeds in general truly do not see themselves and other breeds of LGD the same as they see dogs. They rarely interact with them the same or even on the same level. It is much more likely that your male Pyr(s) view the Malamute more as a protectee and tolerate his behaviors much the same as they would the Alpha Ram in the flock of sheep.
    _Red

    --Tutores Cavere --

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Topper's Avatar

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    Chicago red thanks I never looked at it that way.

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