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The Landseer is not only an impressive dog with stately dimensions, but also a particularly friendly and intelligent being. Canadian fishermen’s traditional working dogs have saved many shipwrecked lives. The top-notch swimmers work independently and start paddling as soon as they see someone in distress. Today, Landseers are not only trained to be rescue dogs, but also to be therapy dogs, because the philanthropists, with their enormously high stimulus threshold, remain calm in every situation. In addition, they are very popular as family dogs and can also be used as guard dogs and companion dogs. The Landseer is registered by the FCI under the standard no. 226 led. He belongs to FCI Group II of Pinscher, Schnauzer, Molossoid and Swiss Mountain Dogs and Section 2.2 of Mountain Dogs.

Landseer Dog Breed Information

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Size: Males: 72-80 cm, females: 67-73 cm
Weight: Males: 59-68 kg, females: 45-54 kg
FCI Group: 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molosser – Swiss Mountain Dogs and other breeds
Section: 2.2: Molossoids, mountain dogs
Country of origin: Germany
Colors: black and white
Life expectancy: 9-12 years
Suitable as: guard, rescue, companion, therapy, and family dog
Sports: agility, dog frisbee
Personality: Generous, Intelligent, Brave, Playful, Loving, Patient
Exercise requirements: rather high
Drooling Potential: –
The thickness of hair: –
Maintenance effort: rather high
Coat structure: long, plain, dense, and fine
Child friendly: yes
Family dog: yes

Origin and breed history

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Descended from the Newfoundland, the Landseer is a large, powerful working dog that excels in the water. Spanish and Portuguese sailors who landed on the coast of Canada brought their Great Pyrenees with them. These interbred with native dogs over the coming centuries. This is how the compact Newfoundland came into being, which was useful as a porter and rescue dog for the hard work of the fishermen. Even today there are Newfoundlands that can be black, red, brown, fawn, or black and white spotted. Sailors from England took the four-legged helpers home with them from overseas, where they found numerous enthusiasts as early as the 19th century. Aristocrats and upper bourgeoisie liked to keep such a magnificent specimen as a status symbol. However, since the black coat color is inherited dominantly over the white, the black and white dogs became increasingly rare. By the end of the 19th century, the spotted Newfoundland was almost extinct.

Some breeders in Germany, Holland and Switzerland took care of her rescue, brought a few of the remaining specimens from England and started breeding them. In order to get the white colour, they initially crossed them with Pyrenean mountain dogs and Kuvasz, in which white is the dominant inheritance. In 1960 the FCI recognized the Landseer as an independent breed. Today there are two breeding clubs in Germany under the supervision of the VDH, in which around 300 puppies are born every year. However, this dog is not very common in other parts of the world due to very few breeders.

Nature and temperament of the Landseer

The Landseer is a born swimmer who can act independently in dangerous situations. That is why he is still used today as a water rescue dog. But with the right training, he can also prove his skills as an avalanche dog in mountain rescue. Because of its good-natured and extremely friendly nature, the Landseer also makes an ideal family dog. Whether with children, other dogs or cats – after a short period of acclimatization, he gets along very well with all of the family’s roommates and takes everyone to his heart for the rest of his life. The Landseer is attentive and reserved towards strangers because he wants to protect his family from intruders. But as soon as the dogs realize that visitors are welcome, they quickly give up their reservations.

A Landseer may also bark when it deems it necessary to deter potential attackers. However, he never barks without a reason and is usually pleasantly quiet in the house. The peaceful big dog adapts to any situation and is also happy to be taken on trips, provided a suitable means of transport can be found for it. Constant contact with his human family is important for the affectionate companion. Even if the densely haired dog breed is largely insensitive to water and cold, it is not suitable for kennel keeping, but would like to have a place to sleep close to the family. From time to time he can also spend the night in the garden if he has a cozy kennel. The Landseer needs exercise regularly, but is not particularly demanding. Cozy, long walks through the city park are enough for the dog breed. The dogs are especially happy when they find a pond to swim in along the way. The Landseer is in his element in the water and ideally needs a chance to swim every day.

How much does a Landseer cost?

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A purebred puppy with a stud book entry costs an average of $1,100. Depending on the age and sex of the dog, its price can vary slightly up or down.

The appearance of the Landseer

A full-grown Landseer male reaches a shoulder height of 72 to 80 cm, bitches are 67 to 72 cm high. The dogs therefore belong to the large breeds of dogs. The stocky dogs weigh 60 to 75 kg (males) and 50 to 55 kg (females). Despite its imposing body, the Landseer does not come across as frightening or aggressive, but rather open-minded and peaceful. The dog still bears a close resemblance to the Newfoundland, resembling a massive teddy bear. However, it differs from its predecessor in that it has slightly longer legs, a less compact physique and a long snout that makes its face appear narrower and finer.

His strong, long and very straight legs are striking. The also strong tail of the breed is bushy and densely haired and reaches about the hock. The dog carries them hanging when resting and stretched backwards with an upward bend when active. The Landseer has triangular, pendulous ears and medium to dark brown eyes. Its fine, but dense and water-repellent fur consists of an upper and an undercoat. The basic color of a Landseer is always white with black patches on the body. The black head occasionally has a white blaze. The legs, neck, belly and tail of dogs are always white.

Upbringing and attitude – this is important to consider

The Landseer likes to spend a lot of time with his family and always seeks contact with them. The good-natured dog particularly likes to play and cuddle with children. It may not be quite as playful as a Newfoundland dog, but it is still a cuddly toy. Because of his size and character, he doesn’t lend himself to being kept in a small apartment, although he always carefully weaves past furniture and vases without knocking anything over. The large dog breed needs a garden in which the four-legged friend can move freely. He prefers to live in the country and has a cozy dog ​​house on his property as a retreat.

At least once a day, the breed wants to be walked and swim a lap. Despite its docility, the Landseer is not suitable as a beginner’s dog because of its stubbornness and body size. In order to develop all of his abilities as a rescue dog or therapy dog ​​in the right direction, he must enjoy consistent training from puppyhood onwards. If it is not trained to use a recall signal, it will act as a rescuer even when it is not wanted. The Landseer cannot distinguish between splashing children having fun in the water or if they want to be rescued. But not only in the learning phase, but also in later life, the friendly giant requires a lot of attention. He needs an owner who will take care of him on a daily basis and make him feel like a valued member of the family.

How old can a Landseer get?

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With good care, a healthy Landseer has a life expectancy of 9 to 11 years.

Nutrition of the Landseer

Landseers have an appetite that matches their body mass. They eat around 700 g of meat per day, plus 700 g of rice and vegetables. From time to time they are happy about fish or offal, but they are also satisfied with ready-made dry or wet food. This breed is also very suitable for feeding according to the BARF method. Puppies up to the age of 1.5 years need a diet that is particularly rich in vitamins and nutrients and have a daily requirement of around 30 to 40 g per kilogram of body weight.

Health – life expectancy and common diseases

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A Landseer has a life expectancy of 9 to 11 years and is not prone to breed-typical health problems. However, like all large dogs, they can develop hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia. In addition, the Landseer can suffer from heart diseases, cartilage diseases and gastric torsion. To reduce the risk of gastric torsion in dogs, the daily food ration should be divided and given in several small portions. In addition, the dog needs longer digestion breaks after meals.

The Landseer only tends to become overweight as they get older. Then his food intake needs to be adjusted to his lower activity level. If he is exercised enough and not overfed, he will always remain fit and strong in terms of health until he is about 10 years old. Its dense, double-layered fur effectively protects it from wet and cold, but the Nordic water dog does not tolerate heat very well. In summer temperatures, he needs a shady spot and has to take care of himself.

Is the Landseer a livestock guardian dog?

The Landseer is not intended for herding a flock of sheep, but its ancestors were used by fishermen on Newfoundland as work hands and rescue dogs. Today he is still being trained as a water rescue dog, but also as a mountain and avalanche dog as well as a therapy dog.

Care of the Landseer

The Landseer’s fine but dense coat needs to be brushed at least once a week and is otherwise maintenance-free. Its water-repellent coat does not tolerate shampoo or other cleaning agents because they can impair its natural protective properties. Visits to the dog groomer are also not necessary. If the dog has been swimming in salt water, it can handle a shower of plain water. Despite its dense wool, the Landseer normally only sheds moderately, but during periods of shedding shedding is noticeably severe.

Thorough dental care is particularly important for the Landseer, to which it should be accustomed when it is a puppy. Instead of toothpaste for humans, which can contain harmful ingredients, he needs a special dog toothpaste. It tastes like meat and is compatible with all four-legged friends.

Landseer – activities and training

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The Landseer is an outstanding water sportsman, but he is not overly active on land. He is a very persistent walker and loves mental challenges. As a born working dog, he always wants a job to do. Training as an avalanche dog or rescue dog is ideal for him, one that does justice to his talents. At home, he also likes to be trained to help with tidying up and picking up leftover items. Or he willingly offers to help with carrying the purchases. A Landseer is always happy when challenged and feeling needed. The attentive four-legged friend also acts as a watchdog. If the Landseer would like to have more work beyond the daily walks and swimming sessions, he can prove himself in dog sports such as disc dogging (dog frisbee) or retrieving.

Good to know: special features of the Landseer

The English name of this German-Swiss pedigree dog comes from one of his 19th-century suitors. The dog was named after the English animal painter Sir Edwin Landseer, who became fascinated with the black and white Newfoundland dogs and immortalized them in several of his drawings and oil paintings. In the painting “Saved” the rescue dog can even be seen in action, sitting on the shore next to a girl he has just pulled out of the water. The cynologist Dr. Gordon Stables. Today, the remaining black and white Newfoundlands are also referred to as the “Landseer type”.

Disadvantages of the Landseer

The clingy lifesaver is not good at being alone. He may be busy at home for a few hours, but he is only really happy when he knows his human family is nearby. In addition, the intelligent and spirited dog wants to be busy. In addition to a house with a garden, the water rat also needs a pond or stream in the immediate vicinity.

Due to its size, a Landseer is not particularly easy to take with you on trips, even if its open-minded nature means that it can easily get used to new people and circumstances. After all, these dogs need competent owners who will properly support them in the training of all his skills.

Is the Landseer right for me?

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A Landseer is only suitable for experienced dog owners who can dedicate a lot of time and provide the right environment. The dog is very affectionate with children and can also get used to other dogs if he gets to know them at an early age. The Landseer is therefore an excellent family dog. This massive animal is rather unsuitable for seniors alone, since advanced semesters can hardly keep up with its enormous strength. For this reason, even inexperienced owners should not buy a Landseer as their first dog. Male dogs in particular are considered to be stubborn and have to accept their limits at an early stage. Since only praise and recognition as a means of education show success, raising a puppy is tedious and challenging. The sensitive big dog also needs family contact and regular exercise. In between, he wants to splash around in the water at any time of the year.