Bronco's Adventures

Are Leonbergers like bears, lions or wolves? Ask the Boy Who Cried Wolf!

Canis Lupus left, Canis Lupus Familiaris right, the Leonberger kind. Both are very brave. Canis Lupus is brave hunter. This specimen of Canis Lupus Familiaris is a brave protector.
Leonbergers are big dogs and little boys may think they are wolves, but Leonbergers are very friendly.
Canis Lupus left, Canis Lupus Familiaris right, the mini-Australian Shepherd kind. Canis Lupus is brave hunter. However, this specimen of Canis Lupus Familiaris is not so brave  and wants to sit in a stroller if he hears scary sounds like quacking ducks.
Mini Australian Shepherds like our dog Rollo may look like wolves but are rarely mistaken for wolves. A quacking duck can be very scary to little mini–Australian Shepherds.

Bronco was a big dog. Once when I was walking Bronco around the neighborhood, a neighbor who always let his black Labs run loose saw us. He shouted to his wife, “Honey, get the dogs inside! Someone is walking a bear out here.” I guess letting your large dogs run loose isn’t a problem until someone walks a dog much bigger than yours.

On a number of occasions, we’ve met people who said to us that Bronco is the biggest dog they’ve ever seen. However, there are bigger dogs. We’ve met bigger English bullmastiffs and bigger Great Danes.

One day I took Bronco into PetSmart, and after I did my shopping, he and I were standing in the checkout line. Bronco was very quiet and well behaved, but a boy ahead of us in line became quite alarmed when he saw us. He shouted, “Look! A wolf, a wolf, a wolf!” He pointed his finger at Bronco. His mom tried to calm the boy, but he would not stop shouting. He didn’t seem to be afraid of Bronco, but he was really concerned that there was a big wolf in the pet store. I tried to explain to the boy that Bronco was not a wolf. He was just a big dog.

By thomasstigwikman

My name is Thomas Wikman. I am a software/robotics engineer with a background in physics, but I am currently retired. I took early retirement. I am a dog lover, and especially a Leonberger lover, a home brewer, craft beer enthusiast, an amateur astronomer, I’m learning French, and I am an avid reader. I live in Dallas, Texas, but I am originally from Sweden. I am married to Claudia, and we have three children Jacob, David and Rachel. My blog feature the crazy adventures of our Leonberger e Bronco von der Löwenhöhle as well as information on Leonbergers

4 replies on “Are Leonbergers like bears, lions or wolves? Ask the Boy Who Cried Wolf!”

I don’t like dog owners who let their pets run loose. In the Miami-area condominium where I lived with my mom for 37 years, this was an issue. The HOA had rules on its (literal) books regarding the size of dogs that unit owners could have (spoiler alert: Bronco would have been “verboten” in East Wind Lake Village). The biggest dog size allowed was a Lab or similar-sized breed), and dogs ALWAYS had to be walked on a leash.

Well, there were always people – mostly renters, but often owners, too – who were scofflaws and did as they pleased. And on several occasions, we had close encounters of the worst kind with at least two huge (and aggressive) male dogs that were either let out to walk unsupervised (a huge mutt that looked unkempt and always smelled funky) or a male pit bull that ran – leashless with his human, a male in his thirties who was also a bit antisocial and thought he owned the entire Village.

At least three times I had to turn around with MY dog, a yellow Labrador named Mary Joe, and go home till I felt like those dogs were back in their houses so I could walk my sweet, obedient Lab for exercise, and so she could do her business.

Liked by 1 person

Yes I agree with you. That’s crazy and must have made you all feel uncomfortable. People who don’t follow instructions and leash ordinances are a big nuisance. Me and my Labrador Baylor was once attacked by two dogs, well one of them stood down, but the Pitbull looking dog didn’t, and it was an ugly fight but we made it through. I didn’t know but my Labrador was such a fighter. There was a vicious dog fight in the middle of the street and the Pitbull had to back off, then the owner came and grabbed him.

On another occasion a young German Shepherd viciously attacked us and he went after our Pug Daisy. Luckily Bronco went in between and probably saved Daisy’s life. I cursed out the owner who let her aggressive dog run loose. I just couldn’t help myself.

Once when I was walking my German Shepherd Baby, Baylor the Labrador, and Bronco who was four or five months old at the time, two medium dogs attacked us. The two dogs were definitely, well underdogs, but they attacked anyway. One of the black medium sized dogs attacked Bronco, which was a gigantic mistake. Baby was super protective of Bronco and she exploded. Suddenly I see the black dog six feet up in the air. I should say he survived but it was dramatic. I apologized even though it was not my fault.

Our neighbor always let their Doberman run loose and he went around the neighborhood growling at people including my kids. We’ve also been attacked by loose dogs on other occasions. Basically, dogs running loose is definitely a threat to the rest of us, or to themselves. People who let their dogs off the leash thinking they have control are foolish. I should say our dogs also ran loose a few times but it was by accident and nothing really bad happened. Especially Leonbergers are escape artists and you have to learn to manage that. However, we never let any dog off the leash intentionally other than in our fenced in backyard.


With this comment I just wanted to make sure to tell you that on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble you can find my book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle” as an e-book as well as the printed edition. You can search for the book by searching for the title, or my name “Thomas Wikman”, or the ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954 or the ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR.


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