Leonberger v. Bernsteinmeer

Raising Our Puppies

We are in the process of beginning a limited breeding program with at most one litter per year. Please ask us about our current plans. Early contact for prospective puppy buyers is preferred.


If you are interested in owning one of our future leos then please answer the following questions to see if you are ready, willing and able to take a leonberger puppy as a new member into your family.

1. Am I prepared to spend a great amount of time and patience to train a dog? (That does not happen itself!).

2. Are you willing to integrate your leonberger completely into your family? (This includes living with you and your family in your home. A leonberger is not intended to live in a kennel or on the end of a chain.)

3. Am I willing to take full responsibility for the life of the dog? (This is not a task for children!)

4. Do you have enough time to give the dog the attention it requires? This includes grooming, feeding, walking and playing with. Do you have the time and desire to read a book on how to raise your new puppy?

5. Am I prepared to live with hair in the butter, with mud in the house, with sofa pillows getting dragged around the house and regular close body contact with the dog?

6.  It must be understood that the initial cost in purchasing a puppy will only be a fraction of the total cost to you as its owner. (Further costs are for example, feeding, deworming, vaccinations, x-rays, yearly check-ups).

7. Will you have a plan to care for the dog in times of family illness or vacation time? Leonbergers do much better when they can stay with you. Would you be willing to change the way you take vacations so that your leonberger could travel with you?

8. Our daily lives are constantly changing to include babies, job change, divorce, change of residence. Are you committed in keeping and caring for your leo during these times?

9. Our puppies will become extended members of our own family. We would greatly appreciate all news on each of our puppies. Are you willing to keep us informed of the progress of your dog?

If all the questions were answered with a "YES", please keep on reading....

As you read on you will learn how we raise our puppies and what we expect of our prospective puppy buyers.

Our dogs go through several health checks and also in choosing our breeding males we look for health, temperament and combinations to avoid inbreeding.

The puppies will be born in our house and will be raised with full family contact. During the time the puppies live with us they will be introduced to usual household noises and surfaces. They will meet our other dogs and also our cats, they will be regularly groomed and most of all receive a lot of human contact. In today’s world it is very important to socialize a dog with people. Our puppies will receive around the clock attention until they leave our home. In the puppy room and the run there will be tunnels, toys and multiple floor surfaces.

When you get your puppy it will be 4 times dewormed and have all the required immunization. You will get a folder containing feeding recommendations, articles about further upbringing and book recommendations. We will always have an open ear for your questions and will be ready to help you in any way possible. Our caring for the puppy does not end when the puppy is given away. We would be happy to stay in contact with our future puppy buyers. We will organize puppy get togethers once in a while where owners can exchange information and where we will get the possibility to see the puppies again.

You will get a well-socialized puppy from us, which will have the potential to grow into a wonderful adult. Everything else is up to you! It is vital that you use the next weeks and months to socialize your puppy and young dog. Take it into the city, to markets, play grounds, train stations etc. Look for a responsible dog school and give your young leo the possibility to meet other dogs!

What are the criteria we use to pick our new puppy buyers?

We are looking for people who have the time and patience to raise and socialize a puppy. Socialization for a large breed as the leonberger is extremely important. We would like to meet our prospective puppy buyers at least one time to get to know each other. It is important for us to get to know the people where our puppies will live. We will not sell over the phone and we will look for the best possible homes for our puppies!

Ideally our new puppy owner should have large dog experience or better yet have owned a leo. As mentioned above the leonberger is a giant breed and will easily reach a weight of 50 Kg to 70 Kg. You do not buy a cute little puppy you buy a dog that can weighs over 50 Kg when it is 12 months old. These dogs need a consistent, consequent and loving upbringing. Harsh training methods do not work well with the leonberger. They are not the teddy bears that people think they are. Each dog will have its own personality. Some of them are extremely watchful, some have hunting instinct and they are not born child friendly. Forget the fantasy image in many books written on the leonberger portraying them as an easy to train, always loyal and quiet companion. With consistency, consequence, patience and love you can have a gentle giant that will fit into your family and return your love.

If everyone in your family is not excited and happy to take a leo as a new family member then the family is not ready to have a puppy. Furthermore, we do not sell puppies to families that are expecting a baby or to families with children under the age of 5 (at least not if they have never lived with big dogs and young children). These dogs are big and capable of knocking a small child to the ground during play. We have heard of cases where dogs were brought back to the breeder because of these reasons.

With these criteria we will try to select qualified future puppy owners. We want to prevent our puppies from being re-homed due to owners underestimating the time required to properly raise a puppy.

Our goal as a breeder is for healthy, good natured and long living leonberger.

To achieve this goal we need your help. To assess if we are moving into the right direction with our breeding program we will need some information from you. Hip Dysplasia (HD) with all large breed dogs is an issue. Therefore, we will require our puppy owners to have there dog x-rayed for HD. There will be a deposit along with the cost of the puppy that will be refunded to you after we have received a copy of the HD results, which are normally performed between the ages of 18 and 22 months.

Furthermore, we ask all of our puppy buyers to participate in a dog show that will include the judging of the young dogs. On this day you will meet the littermates of your dog and other leos around the same age. Your young dog (age 6 – 12 months) will be looked at by a judge who will give an opinion about the physical and psychological characteristics of your leo. You will receive an official description of your young dog and important tips for
your dog’s future development. For breeders this event is very important since it is the one opportunity to present the entire litter and therefore be able to determine the success of the breeding program. Use this event to get to know other leo
owners and to exchange experiences you have had with your dog. Even if you do not wish to breed your dog it is important for
the future of the leonberger breed that you attend this show!

We hope you will support us on these important points! In doing so you can help to protect and better this wonderful breed.

If you are interested in a puppy and wish to get further information about the breed or just want to take a look at a leonberger
then please call us! We will look forward to your visit!