Leonberger Puppies Grow More Than 100 Pounds Before Their First Birthdays

Have you ever heard of Leonberger dogs? This giant dog breed isn’t exactly rare, but only serious dog lovers know about the gentle and lovable Leonberger! Whether you’ve only recently been initiated into the wonderful world of Leonbergers or are a lifelong lover of the breed, this guide is the perfect place to look at all the ins and outs of raising a Leo puppy. 

How much do Leonberger puppies grow? What is a Leonberger puppy’s temperament like? Should you be concerned about any behaviors in particular? How much does a Leonberger puppy cost, anyway? 

Leonberger Origins

Unlike any other giant dog breed, the Leonberger was originally bred to be a companion! Developed in the 19th century in the town of Leonberg, Germany, the Leonberger was bred to look like a lion—which adorns Leonberg’s coat of arms—and to be a friendly, calm, yet watchful and physically impressive pet for Europe’s elite. 

Because of their enormous size, incredible strength, agility, and intelligence, Leonbergers are also working dogs classified in the same breed group as the Anatolian Shepherd, the Bernese Mountain Dog, and the Great Pyrenees. Today, dog lovers worldwide enjoy the majesty of this gentle giant, and even “tiny” Leonberger puppies show the same even and friendly temperament the breed was bred to have. 

Leonberger Puppies

Discover answers to these questions plus much, much more about Leonberger puppies in our comprehensive guide to this giant working breed. 

Meet 5 Leonberger Puppies from Instagram

Leonberger puppies are so fluffy, so goofy, and so much fun! Little bundles of cuteness, Leonberger puppies are never exactly small, but they grow a lot between the time you bring them home and their first, second, and third birthdays. Let’s meet a handful of Leonberger puppies whose humans have documented their growth on Instagram so you can see exactly what you can expect. 

1. Bruin

Leonberger Puppies
Source: @Milo_Plus_One

Bruin (front left) is growing up as his papa’s shadow, and loving every minute of it. Taco (rear right) is Bruin’s biological dad, and they’re practically clones! Taco is showing Bruin the ropes of life as a Leonberger, and their human “mom” takes them on amazing adventures all over England.

2. Gus

Leonberger Puppies
Source: @BigMac_Berger_Bun

It’s amazing to see puppies grow into adult dogs, and little Gus here became such a handsome big boy! Gus was born in 2021 and is two years old, but you can see what he looked like at four months old in the photo on the left and on his first birthday in the photo on the right!

3. Kovu

Leonberger Puppies
Source: @Berger_Leonberger

Kovu has done a lot of growing since she was a tiny puppy (left), and at two years old (right) she’s living up to the giant breed name! Like most Leonbergers, Kovu is always happy to go outside, and will brave rain and snow for the sake of a walk in nature. 

4. Evie

Leonberger Puppies
Source: @MinnieTattooArt

When Evie was a puppy (left) she was such an adorable little fuzzy baby! Now, Evie is around two years old and towers over almost every other dog she meets (right). Evie’s mama is a very talented tattoo artist with a serious love for dogs, so Evie has other doggie siblings and plenty of canine friends. 

5. Lamont

Leonberger Puppies
Source: @Lamontstagram

It’s pretty incredible what a few years and a whole lotta love will do for a giant breed like the Leonberger! Lamont was a little puffball of a puppy (left) a few years ago, and now at seven years old (right), he’s enormous! Lamont is super kid-friendly, and the young ones in his family lay on him, give him hugs, and get lots of snuggles from this good boy. 

Leonberger Puppy Temperament

So, what is life like with a Leonberger puppy? What will change as they grow up, and what can you expect to encounter as you raise your Leonberger into a 100+ pound adult?

Leonberger Puppies

To learn more about life with a Leonberger puppy and into adulthood, we chatted with long-time Leonberger owner and junior dog handler Amalya Salamo. Her Leonberger Lylah is a service dog and a super loving companion and has been with Amalya since she was just a puppy. 

“She was like a bear cup, so incredibly fluffy and sweet—she was a bit mouthy when she was teething, but other than that she was really well-behaved,” says Amalya about Lylah in her puppyhood. “She was extremely playful and would bounce around our yard with our foster dog. She was also relatively calm and easy to train.” 

Amalya Salamo

Leonbergers hold onto most of these traits as they grow up and are generally friendly, social, even-tempered, and easy-going. Some may be watchful or even a little shy around strangers, but once they warm up to new people and dogs they can be very affectionate and loyal. Despite their gentle temperament, remember that full-grown Leonbergers are also exceptionally physically strong

“I think everyone should get a Leonberger, but understand what you are signing up for,” Amalya continued in our interview. “Leonbergers are big dogs, and it’s important to train them when they are young so that when they almost outweigh you there isn’t a safety concern.” 

Amalya Salamo

Leonberger Puppy Size

Leonberger Puppies

Leonbergers are really big dogs, and they’re even big as puppies! Adult Leonbergers stand between 25–32 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 90–170 pounds. Leonberger puppies reach full size around two years old but will keep packing on the pounds until around three. 

But how much is a Leonberger puppy going to grow within the first year? The average three-month-old Leonberger puppy weighs between 36–50 pounds and will reach between 98–145 pounds by one year old. 

Leonberger Puppy Health

Most Leonbergers are healthy during puppyhood and signs of health issues often don’t appear until they reach adulthood. Some Leonberger puppies may develop panosteitis, which is basically growing pains for puppies. Leonberger puppies with panosteitis may suddenly appear to limp or be in pain in their legs, but this condition is not permanent and puppies usually grow out of it by around 15 months old. 

As adults, Leonbergers are unfortunately prone to several serious and life-limiting health issues, like: 

  • Bloat
  • Joint issues (e.g. hip and elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans)
  • Heart disease (e.g cardiomyopathy)
  • Polyneuropathy (nerve damage)
  • Cancer (e.g. hemangiosarcoma, bone cancers)

According to surveys conducted by the Leonberger Health Foundation International, the leading cause of death for Leonbergers is cancer

Where To Find Leonberger Puppies for Sale

If you are looking for a Leonberger puppy for sale, the best place to start is with the Leonberger Club of America’s recent breedings and litters page or the American Kennel Club’s breeder marketplace. Both of these resources can connect you with ethical Leonberger breeders in your area and more information about buying and raising one of these pups. 

But, how much do Leonberger puppies cost? Keep reading to find out!

Leonberger Puppy FAQ

Leonberger puppy

Impress your friends, family, and other dog lovers with your knowledge of the little-known Leonberger! We’re answering some common questions about this fascinating giant breed, and giving you the information you need to decide whether a Leo might be the right dog for your lifestyle. 

What is the average cost of a Leonberger puppy?

How much are Leonberger puppies from ethical breeders? Great question—expect to shell out a handsome fee for a well-bred Leonberger pup, usually around $1,500–$4,000

How long does it take Leonbergier puppies to reach full size? 

Leonberger puppies usually reach their full size around 18–24 months but will continue to gain bulk, muscle, and fur until they are three or more. Big breeds take more time to reach full maturity, and the Leonberger may not truly be an adult until age three. 

Do Leonberger puppies shed a lot? 

Yes! Leonbergers are year-round shedders with thick double coats that need regular brushing and bathing. Leonbergers also “blow” their coats twice a year, meaning they have a heavy shedding period that Amalya describes as the most challenging part of owning a Leonberger. 

“No matter how much you brush, there will always be more!” says Amalya, a long-time Leonberger owner. 

Do Leonberger puppies like to swim? 

Yes! Surprisingly, and despite their size, Leonbergers are excellent and often enthusiastic swimmers. Leos will happily take a dip and are strong enough swimmers to tackle swimming in lakes, at beaches, and in other safe bodies of water. Leonbergers also possess impressive physical strength, which helps add to their aquatic prowess. 

Is a Leonberger a good family dog? 

Yes! The Leonberger was originally bred as a companion, and despite their large size are incredibly gentle and friendly with children and smaller animals. Highly affectionate and open to new people, Leonbergers are known for happily spending time with even the youngest and most active kiddos. As with all dog breeds, Leonbergers.

“Lylah—my Leonberger—is impeccable around other dogs, kids, and strangers,” says Amalya. “She is a service dog so she has been trained to adapt to a variety of situations, but overall, Leonbergers have a wonderful temperament.” 

Keep in mind that Leonberger puppies may not be the calm, gentle giants that Leonberger adults usually are. Puppyhood and adolescence can be a chaotic time, even for dogs, so don’t expect a perfectly tolerant pup right away. Some Leonbergers may never enjoy children or meeting new people, despite this being a common breed trait. 

Do Leonberger puppies bark a lot? 

No. Leonberger puppies and adult Leonbergers tend to bark less than other common dog breeds, but may still be vocal now and then. In general, barking is not an issue with the Leonberger, but remember that every dog is an individual with a unique personality, regardless of breed. 

What is the life expectancy of a Leonberger? 

One of the most difficult parts of owning a giant breed is coming to terms with life expectancy. “Unfortunately, Leos—like most other big dog breeds—aren’t long-lived,” said Amalya during our interview about the best and most challenging parts of owning a Leonberger. The average lifespan for a Leonberger is only around 8–9 years.

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