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amandaleigh October 12th, 2010 05:16 PM

Newfoundland or Leonberger?
Newfoundland or Leonberger? which would you pick for a family with small children and other pets and why? we cant decide between the two and would appreciate your thoughts

Masha October 12th, 2010 06:09 PM

Can you please tell us more about yourself and your family. Do you live on a property, what kind of lifestyle do you have (are you home a lot, do you do a lot of outdoor activities, are you an active type), what other pets do you have, how young are your kids, what experience do you have with such large dogs, etc. all these would help provide feedback as its relevant :) thanks.

mastifflover October 12th, 2010 06:42 PM

Good questions. Do you mind dog hair and drool? I am sure we can help you out or at least try

amandaleigh October 12th, 2010 06:46 PM

thanks for responding Mascha, well we have 4 kids two 14 yr old boys a 3 1/2 year old girl and an 18 mth old boy. Our house is a good size and the yard is pretty decent size for a city yard. We have property on a lake up north that we spend alot of time at between april and october. During the winter months we're not as active but the dog would be coming with me as I drop off my daughter to school and pick her up so that would be 2 20 min walks a day. We dont have much experience with big dogs other then our friends who have a bernese.

mastifflover October 12th, 2010 07:08 PM

I was being serious Newfs and Leonbergers shed a lot and Newfs require a lot of grooming Newfs drool a lot. Both of these dogs get pretty big and no meaning to they will knock down kids. I have seen more than a few end up in rescue for this reason. Newfs do not require a lot of exercise but they do love to play and Leonbergers are more active. Both are great dogs but I tell you these things to be realistic you should have all the facts good and bad. Big dogs double the food bill and double the vet bill for one reason they require double the meds, and they do have more medical issues than medium sized dogs. But with that said they are big love bugs.

Flicka October 12th, 2010 08:38 PM

We went through the same situation, and chose a Leonberger. Harley is now 9 months old, and the most wonderful dog you could ever wish for.
We have 3 children, 7, 9 and 15, but all our neighbours have little ones and we get daily comments on how wonderful Harley is. He is gentle, more gentle than any other dog I've met.
He is apx.90 lbs now, his dad was 160, and mom 130, so he's still growing, food and vet bills are high, but worth every penny to us. Also, Leonbergers are expensive to buy from a good breeder, just another thought. They DO shed, but we groom him weekly, and "furminate" frequently. They do require alot of love. THey are constatnly by your side, even in the bathroom. They lean on you, often called "lean on bergers". THey talk, wookie talk, which is sooooo funny to get a full conversation out of him. And they do not like being alone, Harley has ever only been left for a couple hours in the crate.
It was difficult to find a vet familier with the breed, so our vet relies on advice from our breeder.
To give you an idea of their rareity, there are 18000 Labradoodles in Ontario and 300 Leonbergers. You will be asked everyday what kind of dog he is, and everyone loves them!
I love Newfs, and may consider one if we ever add to the family, but had to come to the realistic decision, that I hate drool!
Leo's have similar personalities, and in fact there is a Newf pup in our neighbourhood who is more energetic than Harley! He gets walked 2 20 min walks daily, with a few trips to the dog park during the week.
The biggest problem we have at the dog park is that some dogs are intiminated by his size and go at him, and he's so sweet that he gets terrified of them, it's pretty funny actually, lol...

My vote is Leonberger!

amandaleigh October 12th, 2010 09:47 PM

sorry @mastifflover I must have been answering mascha while you posted, i'm defintey ok with the dog hair, Koko my sheltie/shepherd sheds and the cat is long hair so im used to sweeping everyday, we have leather furniture and very little carpet so I feel I'll be able to handle the dog hair. The drool is one thing i'm not sure about yet.. I have never interacted with a newfie before. Is the drooling constant? and as far as knocking down the kids I guess I just thought with good training they could learn to be careful and aware of the little kids I know my friends Bernese is pretty careful around kids.

amandaleigh October 12th, 2010 09:51 PM

wow Flicka Harley sounds amazing, when you say you groom him weekly what does that mean? just a good brushing? I read that Leonbergers are very gentle just like newfies its good to hear someone who has one reinforce that, with the little kids thats our first priority in looking for a puppy.

Masha October 12th, 2010 10:44 PM

Hi, 2 20 min walks a day for such a dog is way too little. You will end up with an under exercised dog that can lead to destructive behaviour and other problems. The reason i asked all these questins is that these are two large dogs that require a lot of commitment. they both require regular brushing and exercise. if you could increase the walks to a min of two 45min-1 hr it would be way better.

if you are ready for the work and commitment of owning such a large dog, i would recommend a newfoundland although they are both good family dogs, givenproper care. Newfies are supposed to be great with kids and animals. but both are described as great with kids. may come down to personal preference. grooming and exercise needs are similar.

Flicka October 12th, 2010 10:56 PM

[QUOTE=amandaleigh;958466]wow Flicka Harley sounds amazing, when you say you groom him weekly what does that mean? just a good brushing? I read that Leonbergers are very gentle just like newfies its good to hear someone who has one reinforce that, with the little kids thats our first priority in looking for a puppy.[/QUOTE]

He get's brushed a couple times a week.
Not only is he gentle with kids, he is so calm! All the neighbourhood kids have street hockey games and he watches and plays, never disruptive.
When we were looking for a pup, we stressed to the breeder that the temperment was the priority for us. Our breeder picked our pup for us. He isn't a "show dog" we were told, but he IS the sweetest pup ever. He has a crooked tooth, and a couple other small flaws that make him a " companion dog", but we didn't care, as showing him was not our plan. I spoke with many breeders, and we brought the kids to meet the adult dogs before commiting to a pup. Our kids loved the adult Leo's.

As for the 20 min. walks, alot of the time it's longer, but our vet and breeder have recommended to not over exercise when he's not fully mature as it can cause great damage to his hips as he grows. So we keep him exercise so that he's happy, he lets us know.

Good luck with your decision. If you pick a good breeder, you can expect quite a wait for your pup, but worth the wait!

shirley1011 October 13th, 2010 01:29 AM

My vote is for Leonberger....I don't have one but a friend in Georgia has one and he is the most gentle giant. I agree they do not like to be left alone...he is at university in Arizona right now as he was so upset when she went away to school last year that she took him with her this year. There is a breeder out in Whitby (Ashburn) area who is a raw retail outlet. She is president of the leonberger assoc. and has multiple dogs that "hang out" in her store and she always welcomes visitors to see her dogs and her Alpacas...probably a good days outing for your family.

mastifflover October 13th, 2010 06:19 AM

[QUOTE]As for the 20 min. walks, alot of the time it's longer, but our vet and breeder have recommended to not over exercise when he's not fully mature as it can cause great damage to his hips as he growing up. So we keep him exercised so that he's happy, he lets us know[/QUOTE]
Very good point also. You will need to do a lot of research on giant breeds. They do not eat puppy food there exercise as stated must monitored as they can do severe damage to joints and bones. Giant breeds take about 3 years to fully mature.
Yes Newfs do drool and it is a normal thing, staring at food will cause them to drool or just sitting staring out the window will make them drool. Drool can be a deal breaker for a lot of people. Slingers as they are commonly referred to will get flung on walls, hair, floors and of course the clean clothes you just changed into. I have lived with a Neo and an English Mastiff and have become an authority on drool if you go with a Newf (which are the sweetest big babies and are great with kids you will want to buy stock in Mr Clean erasers they remove dried drool off surfaces without removing the paint. If you think your dog and cat shed I know when a Newf blows his coat it is like sweeping up a small dog on a daily basis. I am not sure about the Leonberger I have only known a couple but we have someone here who does so lets leave Leons to Flicka. They do not as high maintenance as the Newf. I do know a lot of people who have Mastiffs and kids and they do get knocked over but if the kids are growing up with the dog from a pup it will not be as much of an issue since they will feel comfortable with the dog and it will learn to be more careful. But the will at some point get knocked down and as my friend says it just makes the kids a little more resiliant he has 3 Mastiffs, who have decided it their job to watch over the kids, which they take very seriously. If the kids are in the back nobody gets near that backyard. They are sweet and loving dogs just do not go near there skin kids. Giant breeds are big lap dogs who do not have a clue how big they are especially when they are standing on your feet or leaning against you.

amandaleigh October 13th, 2010 12:48 PM

It is definitely a big decision and I know that we will have to do alot more research, its really great to hear everyones thoughts. We have appointments this weekend to meet with a newfie breeder in lakefield and a leonberger breeder in Havelock, It must be the same breeder flicka got Harley from as I read in her thread about getting a leonberger that she went to a breeder in Havelock, its a lucky coincidence that havelock is where our home away from home is.

shirley1011 October 13th, 2010 01:42 PM

If you are going to Havelock why not pass by Heronview and have a look at their wonderful store...all the raw foods and the alpaca's as well as their great dogs....
They are just a little north of Hwy 7 on Ashburn Road just west of the town of Brooklin. I always enjoy my visits there. She is so knowlegable on leonbergers and will be able to give you info on any of the breeders.
She actually weaves the wool of the alpacas and the leonberger fur.

breeze October 13th, 2010 02:20 PM

Hi amandaleigh
I have a leo and a Bernese :lovestruck::cloud9:

I agree with everyone that research is very important, talk to as many different breeders as possible, get to know them and their pups both leonbergers and newfs. before you make your choice

ask as many questions as you can think of.

also it's important to ask yourself a lot of questions write them down good and bad :thumbs up do you have time for training, pooper scooping, grooming, exercising etc etc that kind of thing. talk to vets also, about vaccines cost, nurturing and spaying cost, reg check ups.:thumbs up
everyone has to be on the same page as you kids, hubby :thumbs up

find out what you need "tools" to train, house train.. like create,toys toys for teething, poop bags food etc etc etc..
and are you ready to take the dog out in the dead of winter /rain/sleat when he/she needs to play or walk??

these might be hard questions but they will be worth your while in the long run

:):thumbs up

breeze October 13th, 2010 06:48 PM

[QUOTE=amandaleigh;958452] During the winter months we're not as active [/QUOTE]

I would just like to add that all the dogs you mentioned Newf, Leo, Bernese
love the cooler weather, fall, cool springs [B][I]especially[/I][/B] winter.

they love water but can get lazy through the summer months as the heat does bother them somewhat, and you have to be careful with heat exhaustion


amandaleigh October 13th, 2010 07:37 PM

Hi breeze
You have definitely given me alot to think about I read that leonbergers and Newfoundlands aren't the most active dogs and the leonberger breeder I spoke to said they don't need as Much exercise as other breeds. During the winter the dod would be going to the school twice a day and we do have a pretty big backyard that the kids are always playing in. As far as walking the dog in the rain or sleet I can honestly say would probably not happen, I'm pretty sure I couldn't even convince the big kids to do that. If I tried to get koko my sheltie/shepherd out in the rain she'd give me her "not gonna happen look" lol.

breeze October 13th, 2010 08:07 PM

hi amanda

not sure about newfs,
as for leo's maybe as they get older around 5/6 years of age (they mature around 4 years of age, so I'm told) Bree who is my 4 year old bernese has not grown up and always ready to play lol lol
they may not need as much exercise, but a puppy/adolescence (4 and under) always wants to play and needs adiquite (sp?) exercise, and leash training, to keep their joints muscles and heath heathly and to learn what is acceptable in public.
In cooler weather they go out more often, that's their weather.

Archer (who is 2 now) will go out in whatever weather, as the rain or snow does not penetrate his coat, he does not notice that part of it.

as a pup I had to take him out regardless of the weather to potty train him. and to give him the exercise that he needed.

a bored dog is a very unhappy dog lol lol lol.
socializing with other dogs and people are VERY important and also obedience training on these large dogs.


Flicka October 13th, 2010 10:16 PM

I agree with Breeze about the cooler weather. , We got Harley in March, so missed most of the really cold weather, but he is completly unfazed by rain, even violent storms, he could not care at all.
We are lucky with Harley while he is walked a couple times a day, he can go without as well. There have been the odd day when it gets skipped, and he's quite happy to lounge around and snuggle and watch movies too! I had the stomach flu, and he lay beside me for 2 days, so sweet.
He really does love the off leash dog park, we get there at least a couple times a week, and he loves to have a good romp and play.
And yes, we did get him from A in Havelock. She gave us a few names to contact as references, we contacted all of them, and they all had good things to say. We had a great experience. You will LOVE her gang. We would have taken Konan home if she'd let us!

amandaleigh October 14th, 2010 10:41 AM

It's good to hear that Harley is easygoing that was what the breeder told me, that they love going for walks but are also happy hanging out inside. I'm sure we wouldn't have a problem giivng him the exercise he needs, but stuff happens sometimes where he couldnt get out for a walk so its good that they're ok with that. Afterall he would still have the backyard. As far as being bored I dont think that would be a concern. We have 4 kids!!! after a visit to my aunt & uncles who have a 7 mth old austrailian/Lab the puppy is pooped and passes out under the table. The puppy is worn out before the kids are lol. I'm really do feel that we could handle his exercise needs. I'm so excited to meet with the breeders this weekend. It's good to hear Flicka had a positive experience in Havelock. Right now I think we're leaning more towards leonbergers but who knows after this weekend. I am a bit concerened about obiedence training, Like Breeze said I know it's so important because of their size. I have never trained a puppy our current dog and previous were from the humane society.

amandaleigh October 14th, 2010 10:52 AM

Thanks Shirley for recommending Heronview, Their leonbergers are beautiful, I'm going to look their address up on google maps and see if we could stop in our on way home. We're really busy this weekend though, with winterizing, taking the boat out etc, but hopefullty we can stop in because she sounds like a great person to talk to about the breed.

breeze October 14th, 2010 01:56 PM

[QUOTE=amandaleigh;958961] I am a bit concerened about obiedence training, [/QUOTE]

When you find the right trainer, it is fun and rewarding and the bond you get from your pup is irreplaceable.
Call around for trainers and see what they have to say, it's important to feel comfy with the trainer.
most pups just want to please and will try their bestest to provide this..
(it's not hard)..

goldengal October 17th, 2010 09:53 AM

Another one here who would highly recommend Heronview Kennels, and as Shirley has said, Lori is so knowledgeable about Leos and knows all the breeders. We have a 5 year old Leo. Savannah did not come from Heronview as they did not have enough puppies when my daughter and SIL were on Lori's list.

Savannah weighs 110 lbs., and is a gorgeous girl. While there are no children in the home, lots of friends visit with their kids, and she loves them all. It did take her a while to mature, and in the early days she was a tad destructive, but that is all behind us now.

Leos, much the same as Newfs, love the water, and one time at the lake Savannah swam so far out my SIL and neighbour had to go out in the boat to bring her back in.

We have a wonderful off leash dog park in Mississauga (Totoredaca), and when we were there yesterday with our dogs, many people wanted to know what breed Savannah is and remarked on how beautiful she is.

Take care,

Mewhoelse November 5th, 2010 04:35 PM

Newf info
Hi all,
I just joined today and saw this very interesting thread!
I thought I would throw some information in, and clear up some mis-information.
Newfoundland Puppies definately, absolutely should be fed a puppy food, but it HAS to be Large Breed Puppy food. The dam should have been fed this as soon as she was bred and during her recovery time unless she is normally fed a raw diet.
Newfoundland dogs should be living well over the past acceptable 10 years old. Mine are averaging 14 years old. They mature (growth plates are closed and they are sexually mature) at 18 months old. The males should not be neutered until this time to reach full growth, not just size, but bone density and full skeletal muscles. Females can and should be spayed at 6 to 8 months old.
I spin my own Newf and Alpaca wool (that's where Laurie the Leonberger lady got the idea from!), so grooming isn't so much a chore as it is a welcome harvest. I knit dog sweaters for the local dog shelter and OSPCA with the Newf wool. It's so warm and "green".

shirley1011 November 5th, 2010 05:52 PM

Dumb question do you spin wool??? I get tons of fur from the Elkhounds and always wondered what I could do with it!

Longblades November 5th, 2010 09:11 PM

OP, I sent you a PM with a link to an Ontario breeder who has both Newfs and Leos. Just wondering if you got that?

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