The Leonberger is a dog breed named for the town of Leonberg in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Said town has a number of claims to fame. For example, Leonberg has a very nice-looking market square. Similarly, Leonberg has a terraced garden that can trace its roots to the late Renaissance. However, said town has never been the most prominent. In fact, the Leonberger might be the best-known thing about Leonberg for a lot of people out there. In any case, the Leonberger has a legitimate connection to Leonberg. There are indications that something similar to the Leonberger existed in the region in the early modern era. However, the more interesting version of their creation story involves a dog breeder named Heinrich Essig who doubled as the mayor of Leonberg as well. Supposedly, said individual created the dog breed in the 1830s using a Newfoundland as well as a member of the dog breed that would go on to become Saint Bernards. On top of those, a Pyrenese Mountain Dog contributed as well. Whatever the truth of things, the Leonberger was a large, strong, good-natured dog with a long, white coat that was fashionable in those times. As a result, these animals became very popular with a number of well-known individuals, though to be fair, Essig’s enthusiastic marketing played an important role in that. The existence of the Leonberger wasn’t always smooth-sailing, as shown by how the dog breed came close to extinction during both the First World War and the Second World War. Fortunately, eight of these dogs managed to survive the second conflict, thus becoming the ancestors of the dogs that exist in modern times.
Role-wise, the Leonberger was a working dog. Primarily, they were farm dogs, meaning that they saw use as watchdogs, drafting dogs, and other roles. However, the Leonberger was versatile enough to be taught non-farm-related work as well, with examples including both lifesavers and livestock guardians. Indeed, these dogs being used to pull carts filled with ammunition was one of the major factors that contributed to their two near-extinctions. Still, these examples should provide interested individuals with more than enough information to guess that Leonbergers get along very well with humans, so much so that they might get a bit too attached. As such, if people want a giant-sized canine companion, there aren’t a lot of dog breeds that can compete with these dogs.
What Can You Expect to Pay For a Leonberger?
Purebred dogs are always expensive. Generally speaking, they are seen as being more prestigious than their mixed-breed counterparts, as shown by the very terms used for these two kinds of animals. However, it is important to note that some purebred dogs are more expensive than others for a wide range of reasons. Unfortunately, Leonbergers are on the more expensive end of things, seeing as one of these dogs can go for $2,000 to $4,000. There are a couple of ways that interested individuals might be able to get a Leonberger at a lower price. Both have their fair share of issues. Even so, their reduced price can make them more than worthwhile for people who want one of these dogs.
First, there is the option of looking for a Leonberger to either adopt or rescue. These dogs get sent to animal shelters and animal rescues for much the same reasons as other dogs. Sometimes, their owners become incapable of taking care of them, with the result that said individuals are forced to give them up. Other times, their owners become unwilling to take care of them, thus leading to much the same result in the end. Whatever the case, animal shelters and animal rescues want their charges to find new homes, which is why they tend to charge very low prices. At the most, interested individuals can expect the fees to hit the low hundreds. Even then, that price isn’t as high as it seems because chances are good that much of it will go towards medical procedures as well as other costs that they are going to need to pay for a new dog anyways. Besides this, the other major upside would be the fact that interested individuals will be either adopting or rescuing a dog. That is enough for them to make a very positive impact on said animal’s life. Moreover, chances are very good that they will be making a very positive impact on other animals’ lives as well because when an animal shelter or animal rescue stops needing to care for one animal, they can use their freed-up resources to care for others. Unfortunately, interested individuals should expect some potential downsides as well. To name an example, there is no guarantee that there will be a Leonberger available when interested individuals go looking for one. There are websites and other resources that can help connect them with those animals that can be found elsewhere. Even so, they might have to wait for some time because Leonbergers just aren’t the most common dogs that can be found out there. Similarly, it is possible that an adopted or rescued dog will have issues of various sorts. As mentioned earlier, some of these animals wind up being sent to animal shelters and animal rescues because their owners are no longer willing to care for them, which might be because they have developed an unforeseen problem. If so, interested individuals are the ones who will have to spend extra time, effort, and money on their new Leonberger, though they will at least be forewarned about this. Animal shelters and animal rescues have strong incentive to avoid their charges being sent back to them, meaning that they tend to be very good in this regard.
Second, there is the option of seeing if anyone is willing to just give away a Leonberger. Unsurprisingly, there isn’t a very reliable method either. However, Leonberger owners will sometimes run into a scenario in which they are forced to give away one of these dogs. The classic example would be someone whose dog has had an unexpected pregnancy, meaning that they need to find homes for the resulting puppies because the costs become too much for them to bear. This option has much the same upsides and downsides as the aforementioned option. Still, there is one more thing that interested individuals need to keep in mind. In short, if people are just giving away a Leonberger, they may or may not have had much control over the circumstances of how that Leonberger came into existence. Thanks to that, it is very much possible for the dog to have some kind of issue that won’t be immediately clear to interested individuals. That can be rather expensive in the long run, though to be fair, there is no guarantee that the dog will have some kind of issue either.
In any case, if people don’t want to pursue either one of these two options, there is always the option of just buying a Leonberger. As mentioned earlier, these dogs are expensive even by the standards of other purebred dogs. Due to that, they shouldn’t be surprised if they will be expected to pay more than $2000 for a puppy. It is possible that interested individuals will come upon much cheaper opportunities. However, if they do so, they need to be very careful about accepting such offers. Ultimately, dog breeders are running businesses, meaning that they are selling their dogs at a profit. This means that if a dog breeder can sell dogs at a strangely low price, chances are very good that said dog breeder has been very sparing when it comes to the food, the healthcare, and other forms of care provided to the dog. Interested individuals should have no problem guessing that this kind of thing can have a very negative effect on an animal’s well-being, which increases the chances of them developing either physical issues or behavioral issues at some point down the road. In fact, it should be mentioned that people interested in Leonbergers should be extra careful in this regard. In the past, there were very strict rules on the breeding of these dogs, which were meant to reduce their chances of getting hip dysplasia. Those rules were successful, as shown by how the rates of said issue had fallen to about 10 percent before they were loosened. Since then, the rates of Leonbergers getting hip dysplasia has risen somewhat, meaning that interested individuals need to be very careful about buying puppies from dog breeders who can’t be bothered to run their businesses in a way that will avoid such complications. This is particularly true because hip dysplasia is by no means the only issue in Leonbergers that can be affected by good and not so good dog breeding practices.
What Are Some Factors that Can Influence the Price of a Leonberger?
Fundamentally, there are factors behind the price of Leonbergers that people can’t do much about that. For example, these are big dogs, meaning that they just cost more to raise than their smaller counterparts. Something that gets passed on to the people who buy them in the end. Similarly, while Leonbergers aren’t the rarest dog breed that can be found out there, they are definitely not one of the more common ones either. Thanks to that, interested individuals are always going to be presented with a somewhat limited range of options. Still, there are some things that might prove useful if they are looking to get a better price. To name an example, they should still spend some time looking into various Leonberger breeders because more sellers mean a better chance of them finding exactly what they want rather than being forced to settle for something that is close enough. Besides that, interested individuals might also want to look into Leonbergers that are just happy and healthy rather than Leonbergers that come from either champion or otherwise prestigious parents. On top of that, it might be worth looking into dogs that aren’t quite perfect Leonbergers because they fail to meet the relevant standards but are nonetheless in excellent condition. There are certain coat colors such as brown, black, white, silver, and black and tan that are considered to be faulty coat colors, which might be able to get interested individuals a good deal if they don’t care about this kind of thing. It is also worth mentioning that most people prefer puppies to older dogs, so getting an older dog is also a good way to get a reduced price.
What Other Costs of Dog Ownership Do You Need to Keep in Mind For Your Leonberger?
Please note that Leonbergers are not cheap dogs to own. Just the expenses for the first year can hit something like $4,930. After which, annual expenses can hit $2,105, which translate into monthly expenses of about $175. A good-sized chunk of those first-year expenses will come in the form of the costs of supplies, which can add up to about $495 because these dogs are big dogs. However, it is the medical costs can go into the hundreds of dollars for a single medical procedure. The veterinary costs for the first year can go from $440 to $885, but something like gastropexy can cost $200 to $400. Still, this is relatively inexpensive when compared with the cost of treatment, which can go into the thousands of dollars for more serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and hip dysplasia. As such, interested individuals might want to get pet insurance even if that means an average of $565. A figure that can be either higher or lower depending on a dog’s exact circumstances. In this as in other insurance matters, risk has a huge effect on the premiums that people pay.