Recently, the AKC accepted the Leonberger into the Foundation Stock
Service, which is a way for the AKC to grant recognition to a breed
regardless of any benefits to the breed. The reason the Leonberger
faced sudden acceptance by the AKC was due to a small group of
Leonberger breeders who sought this recognition. Regardless of the
whys, the fact remains that Leonbergers are now being bred in puppy
mills, will soon be an AKC breed and are beginning to show up in animal
shelters throughout the country--the result of increasing popularity.
Because the Leonberger is still a rare breed, those Leonbergers that
enter shelters are more often than not, listed as mixes of some sort.
Golden retriever cross, Irish setter cross, Collie mix--rarely are they
labeled as Leonbergers. This lack of visual recognition of Leonbergers
can often lead to their deaths since the rescue is never notified.
For that reason, the following photo gallery shows Leonbergers in their
various stages of ungainly growth.
If you see a Leo-like dog in an animal shelter, please notify the
people at Leos in Need Rescue. They will do whatever is necessary
to save the dog's life and are most qualified to decide if it is a Leo.