I think it is awful when people return dogs. Barring some very special circumstances, such as severe illness or death, this is not something that should happen. If it does happen a reputable breeder will take the dog back. A Leonberger, well any dog, should never be turned into a shelter. The Leonberger Club of America and the Leonberger community in general are very concerned about the wellbeing of all Leonbergers. Therefore, you often have to go through an interview before you can purchase or adopt a Leonberger. Are you fit to be a Leonberger owner? Would you pass the interview? Below is the interview we went through including our answers.
Kennel von der Löwenhöhle Questionnaire and our Answers
Why do you want a Leonberger?
We have a dog book, and while looking at dogs we came across the Leonberger, a gorgeous dog from Germany. We also had the opportunity to meet some Leonbergers, a mother and her puppies, which were wonderful. We have read that Leonbergers are great with children and good guard dogs, which is something we’d like. We have two dogs, but we have not raised them as puppies. We have never had a puppy and would like to have one.
What do you like about the Leonberger and what do you know about its characteristics? Do you prefer male or female? Why?
They are very beautiful and love to swim. We have a huge pool, and my children love to spend their summers swimming. Leonbergers also make wonderful pets and are good guard dogs, and best of all they don’t drool. We don’t prefer a male or a female dog.
Are you aware this is at least a ten-year commitment?
Yes. We have two other dogs, and of course we are aware that they live up to ten years—hopefully more.
Do you have any other pets? Have you had any experience raising a giant-breed puppy?
We have a Lab and a German shepherd. We have two dwarf hamsters, Moldova and Montenegro. My son also keeps a baby ball python in a cage in his room (UGGH). As I said before, we have never owned a puppy, but we met some Leonberger puppies from a breeder who resides in Houston.
Where will your dog be kept—indoors or outdoors? Backyard or kennel?
Our dog would be kept mostly indoors. (We live in Texas, and it would get too hot outside.) At night we take all our dogs for walks and for occasional swims during the year. When the dog is still a puppy, we would keep it in a puppy playpen and take it out every half hour to go to the bathroom (until obedience training). We do have a fenced backyard the puppy can play in, and we have a dog run with a dog door so the dogs can come and go as they please.
Is your yard fenced?
Yes. Our yard has a seven-foot-high solid wood fence all the way around
How many hours will you be out of the house? Where will your Leonberger be while you are gone?
I am a stay-at-home mom, and we would almost always have someone in the house, such as our housekeeper, children, and family. If we are gone for a long periods of time, we have a dog sitter who comes to our house to take care of our dogs.
Do you have children? If so, what are their ages?
We have three kids, ages thirteen, ten, and eight. Two boys and one girl (in that order).
Describe a typical day at your house now. How do you think it will change once the puppy arrives?
On a typical day, the kids go to school, and I like to take a long walk. I go through some paperwork, I prepare dinner, then everyone comes home. On weekends, my younger kids have sports, but my oldest kid stays home (he plays during the week).
I would be with the dog most of the day and would do my shopping while the housekeeper is there. I do not plan on leaving the puppy for any long period of time. I’m sure that having the puppy will be like having another child. We have been told that the puppy will be quite rambunctious for the first three years of its life.
Have you observed any obedience classes in your area? It is very important that Leonberger puppies start obedience classes by sixteen weeks of age. Would you attend such classes?
We have not observed any obedience classes yet. However, we are interested in the International K9 training facility in Dallas and would absolutely attend these classes.
Von der Löwenhöhle puppies start their crate training at our kennel. Will you continue this training? If not, why not?
Yes, we would continue crate training at our home. We will follow your advice and that of our veterinarians in regard to further training.
What plans do you have for your Leonberger—e.g., showing, breeding, obedience, family companion, therapy? If you plan to show or breed, what experience, if any, have you had?
Our major purpose for wanting a Leonberger is to have a family companion.
Please add any other information you feel will help us pick out a puppy for you.
We would like a dog that will fit in well with our family.
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