Purebred large dog breeds tend to have shorter life spans compared to most other dogs and they have more health issues. However, Leonbergers are fortunate compared to other large breeds, especially those bred in North America, primarily for three reasons:
- The Leonberger breed standard does not call for traits that can be detrimental to health.
- The precise and restrictive breeding regulations of the Leonberger Club of America (LCA) and other Leonberger clubs.
- The work of the Leonberger Health Foundation International or LHFI, have resulted in Leonbergers being relatively free of inherited illnesses compared to other large dog breeds in America.
Today I received my first payment for the sale of my book from Amazon (for the month of July) and I donated all proceeds to the Leonberger Health Foundation International like I said I would. Regardless of whether you get my book or not you can donate to LHFI. It is one of my favorite charities. LHFI “facilitate the solicitation and distribution of donations given to support health related breed-specific research.” The LHFI also administers a program that collects DNA samples from Leonbergers to share with universities and research institutions.
Among the organization’s achievements are the eradication of Addison’s disease among Leonbergers, the raising of nearly half a million dollars for research into conditions that affect canine health, including osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, glaucoma, cardiac diseases, thyroid diseases, and neurological disorders. Another notable achievement is the fact that since 2011, no Leonbergers with two copies of the LPN1 gene mutation, which causes Leonberger polyneuropathy, have been recorded in LHFI’s biobank (featuring 9,000 Leonbergers). Its research also supports healthful longevity and aging as well as population diversity.
One happy event for our family was when Bronco received his Grey Muzzle Award, which is an award given for longevity by LHFI. LHFI bestows the award on any Leonberger who has reached the age of twelve. To find out more about the Grey Muzzle Award click here. To see the 2019–2020 awardees video featuring Bronco click here.
I can add that when Bronco passed away, we sent his DNA to the University of Minnesota to be used in research. This was facilitated by the LHFI.
Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.
Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.
ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954
ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR