Thanks to its good-naturedness and relaxed nature, the Leonberger is an ideal family dog that can’t be ruffled by anything. However, if you think that the cozy-looking giants hardly need exercise, you are wrong. Before acquiring a Leonberger, you should be clear in advance about how much exercise a Leonberger needs.
A Leonberger needs about 1.5 hours of exercise and activity on average. Daily long walks in nature should form the basis. In addition to physical exercise, it is equally important to keep a Leonberger mentally stimulated.
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Does a Leonberger need a lot of exercise?
Compared to other dog breeds, such as the Border Collie, a Leonberger doesn’t need a lot of exercise.
But you should not underestimate it.
Even though the Leonberger seems leisurely, it needs long walks in nature every day to burn off excess energy.
Extensive walks are also important to keep the Leonberger agile and to exercise his muscles.
How much exercise does an adult Leonberger need?
An adult Leonberger needs about 1 – 1.5 hours of exercise in the form of long walks per day. Even if the Leonberger seems leisurely, you can do a lot with him.
So daily walks are a must if you want to get a Leonberger.
It is definitely not enough to send the dog to the garden and hope that he can satisfy his urge to move there.
Since the Leonberger loves to be outside in nature, a large garden is a huge advantage but does not replace a walk.
How much exercise does a Leonberger puppy need?
The Leonberger is a huge dog. With up to 80 cm and165 lbs ( 75 kg) for males and 65 – 70 cm and 135 lbs (60 kg) for females, the Leonberger reaches an imposing size.
For this reason, it is important not to overstress them during puppyhood. The bones and joints develop more slowly than they grow in size and weight.
So introduce him slowly to the walks and do not go directly with him when he is 5 months on a long hike. Even if he looks like he would be able to do it.
The general rule is 5 minutes of walking per month of life at a time.
This means that you can walk a 3 month old Leonberger for about 15 minutes and a 5 month old Leonberger for about 25 minutes.
The “5-minute” rule does not refer exclusively to physical activity. Rather, it indicates the amount of time a puppy can concentrate and process the new experience.
When you take your Leonberger puppy for a walk, everything is new at first.
Cars, noises, bicycles, other dogs … Your puppy has to process all these things and situations.
This takes strength and energy. And after the said 5 minutes you will notice that your Leo is tired and exhausted.
How often does a Leonberger need to be walked?
You should take your Leonberger for at least 1 long walk a day through nature. It is important that your Leo has time to sniff and explore the surroundings.
If he additional gets then 1 to 2 smaller “pee rounds”, you have a good foundation to keep your Leonberger physically busy. Even better are of course 2 longer walks.
After the walk, you should get leaves and branches out of the leonberger’s coat, which can quickly get caught in the fur. The Leonberger sheds a lot due to its a large dog with a lot of fur.
Ways to exercise a Leonberger
The Leonberger is actually suitable for a variety of occupations and to have. It is important to challenge a Leonberger physically, but also mentally. So just walking the dog is not enough in the long run.
If you have introduced your Leonberger bit by bit to the duration and load you can take him also on longer hikes.
The Leonberger is always up for a swim in a lake or river. If you look at the breeds from which the Leonberger originates this is not surprising.
This is among others the Newfoundland.
Running / Cycling
Even if it doesn’t look like it, you can take a Leonberger for a run or let it run alongside you on a bike at ease.
Of course you have to adapt your speed and also the distance to your Leonberger. They remain huge dogs that are not athletes.
But a run at a relaxed pace, a little more demanding than a walk, is quite possible. At the same time the muscles are trained and strengthened.
It’s important that you don’t take your Leonberger for a run or bike ride until he’s fully grown, and then start slowly.
Increase from time to time and run a little further and do not start directly with a 5km distance.
The load on the bones and joints is otherwise too high due to the weight and can later lead to damage.
You can also do agility with your Leonberger. Of course you should not expect great results, but if you have fun together it is a good way to keep your Leonberger physically and mentally busy.
Before you start doing sports with your Leonberger, you should talk to your veterinarian.
Nose / Search games
Every dog loves to sniff. You don’t even have to be creative. Take a few treats with you on a walk, throw them in the leaves or tall grass and let your Leonberger sniff for them in between.
Sniffing is very exhausting for dogs and keeps them mentally extremely busy.
Simple training of commands is a good way to challenge your Leonberger mentally. Sit, down, heel, … are the standards in obedience training.
In frustration tolerance training you create an expectation in your dog which is not fulfilled.
The purpose is to “confuse” and frustrate your Leonberger.
If you have well-rehearsed situations, where your dog knows directly what will happen and is then happy, it is about NOT fulfilling this expectation in between.
- Your Leonberger loves to go for a walk and is insanely happy when you get dressed and take the leash. In this case, you get undressed again, put the leash away and go for a walk with him an hour later.
- You get the food ready, your Leo is “drooling” next to you because he is hungry, but you forget to give him the food and give it to him 30-60 minutes later.
Your Leonberger has an expectation in these situations, which is not fulfilled and is frustrated. He must now process this feeling.
On the one hand this is exhausting and on the other hand your dog learns to handle frustration better.
It strengthens your dog’s ability to control himself. This is a good way to train your dog, especially with leash barkers.
How much does a Leonberger sleep during the day?
A Leonberger sleeps between 17 and 20 hours a day. So he needs a quiet place where he can retire and also not be disturbed.
If you know how much Leonberger or dogs in general sleep, you will see that they do not need 4, 5 or 6 hours of action. No matter what breed.
Conclusion: How much exercise does a Leonberger need?
A Leonberger needs about 1.5 hours of exercise and activity per day. The basis should be long walks in nature. A longer walk should take place at least once a day. In addition to physical exercise, it is also important to train the Leonberger mentally. Obedience training or even nose work are best suited for this.