Categories
Book Reviews

Very Helpful Guide to Leonbergers, but DO NOT Neuter or Spay a Leonberger at Six Months Doing So Will Harm The Dog

On this blog I’ve previously reviewed six good Leonberger books:

I’ve also reviewed four Leonberger books that I don’t recommend:

With this post I am adding another Leonberger book that I recommend. It is a very good guide for new Leonberger owners with one caveat. It implies that you should neuter/spay your Leonberger at six months old, which would severely harm your dog if you did. The in general recommended six months does not apply to Leonbergers. Vannessa Richie did her research except regarding this. She has written many dog books, interviewed many Leonberger breeders, and she is a skilled author. However, it is obvious that she has never owned a Leonberger. Therefore, I am giving this otherwise great book four stars instead of five.

Photo of the front cover of the book the Complete Guide To Leonbergers by Vanessa Richie. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book.
Front cover of the book the Complete Guide To Leonbergers by Vanessa Richie. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book.

The book is The Complete Guide to Leonbergers: Selecting, Training, Feeding, Exercising, Socializing, and Loving Your New Leonberger Puppy Paperback – May 12, 2022 by Vanessa Richie. It is 195 pages, and the current price on Amazon for the paperback is $19.95, the hardback is $26.95, and the Kindle is $9.95. ISBN-13 978-1954288485, weight ‎12.5 ounces and the dimensions ‎are 6 x 0.44 x 9 inches.

This is my review for the book

Complete and Very Helpful Guide to Leonbergers, but DON’T Neuter/Spay a Leonberger at Six Months

As the title promises this book is indeed a complete guide to Leonbergers. It is focused on training and care. First the book examines whether a Leonberger is the right dog for you as well as the history of the breed. The rest of the book includes topics on how to find and prepare your home for a Leonberger, puppy training, socialization, exercise, grooming, nutrition, health, etc. The book has a lot of detail and a lot of useful information. The author clearly did her research. She interviewed ten breeders after all.

The content of the book is almost 100% correct as far as I can tell, and the information is very useful to Leonberger owners. I question the second page of the chapter on history where she claims that Essig bred his Leonbergers from two dogs, a white and black Newfoundland and a long-haired St. Bernard. Essig claimed a third dog was also involved, a Pyrenean Mountain Wolfhound or possibly a Pyrenean Mountain Dog (Great Pyrenees). However, Essig’s claims have been disputed, and this is not important.

The book design is very professionally done with various sorts of sidebars, highlighted headers, professional looking tables, dividers, little corner boxes with graphics for “helpful tips”, “fun facts”, “historical facts”, “Health Alerts”, pros-cons sidebars with graphics, and 62 black and white Leonberger photos. The author is not only a good writer, but she also knows a thing or two about book design.

I’ve read more than a dozen Leonberger books and this is among the best Leonberger books I’ve read. I wish this book had existed when we got our Leonberger. I should say that we did not do everything right, but we got a lot right, and he lived exceptionally long for a Leonberger, 13 years. If we have had this book, maybe he would have lived even longer. I should add that we donated his DNA to Leonberger health research (upon request).

The reason I am not giving this book five stars is because of a problematic blooper in the middle of page 30. It says “….the dog is spayed or neutered once it reaches maturity (typically six months)”. Leonbergers aren’t fully matured until the age of two and should not be neutered/spayed until then. If you spay/neuter a Leonberger much earlier (six months) you will harm the dog. Yes, they are different from most dogs. I should say that we did not wait two years, it was not practical, but we waited about one and half year, which is much better than six months. If the author removes the faulty parenthesis, I will change my rating to five stars and update this paragraph and the title of the review. Assuming the book is print on demand you can update so that future prints here on Amazon will be correct.

So, in conclusion, this is a great Leonberger book with a lot of useful information, and I highly recommend it to Leonberger owners and prospective owners, but the blooper on page 30 prevents me from giving a perfect rating at the moment.

Photo of the back cover of the book the Complete Guide To Leonbergers by Vanessa Richie
Back cover of the book the Complete Guide To Leonbergers by Vanessa Richie.

For more information on neutering and spaying a Leonberger click here

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Finally, if you would like to learn about more about my book and find out where to buy it, click here or here. You can also click the image below to buy it from Amazon.com.

Image showing front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Chapters Indigo location for the book.
Categories
Book Reviews

Short Leonberger Book Packed With Useful Information But With Some Inaccuracies

On this blog I’ve previously reviewed five good Leonberger books:

I’ve also reviewed four Leonberger books I don’t recommend:

With this post I am adding a sixth Leonberger book that I recommend. It is a very short book, but it contains a lot of useful information. It contained a few inaccuracies, so I am giving it four stars instead of five, but it is still a good book.

Photo of the front cover of the book Leonberger Dog by Lankford Marcus. Click on the book to go to the Amazon page for this book.
The book Leonberger Dog by Lankford Marcus. Click on the book to go to the Amazon page for this book.

The book is Leonberger Dog: A Large and Friendly Leonberger for Your Family: Leonberger Dog Breed Origin, Behavior, Trainability and Facts by Lankford Marcus. The book is 57 pages, and the current price on Amazon for the paperback is $6.99 and the Kindle is $2.99 unless you have kindle unlimited in which case it is free. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8463499851, weight ‏ : ‎ 3.53 ounces and the dimensions ‎are 6 x 0.15 x 9 inches.

This is my review for the book

Short Leonberger book packed with useful information but some inaccuracies

This is a short book. It has 55 pages of actual content. However, it is densely packed with information useful to Leonberger owners and those interested in getting one. The book is primarily addressing British readers, but it also mentions the Leonberger Club of America and give some advice specific to American prospective owners. It is quite useful to both American and European readers. The book feature 17 black and white photographs. I would have preferred the photos to be in color but that raises the printing cost, and some Leonberger books have no photos in them at all.

The book contains 11 chapters; Overview, History, Appearance, Temperament and Personality, Living Needs, Caring for a Leonberger, Feeding, Leonberger Health, Choosing a Leonberger Breeder, Average Cost to Keep for a Leonberger, How to identify a Leonberger. Almost all of the chapters were condensed but contained very useful information to Leonberger owners and prospective Leonberger owners. I especially cherished the “Temperament and Personality” and “Caring for a Leonberger” chapters. However, I had an issue with the two first chapters.

I would have given the book a five-star rating if it wasn’t for some incorrect information regarding the history of the breed. On page 4 it says that Heinrich Essig, the creator of the Leonberger breed, was the mayor of the town of Leonberg. Heinrich Essig was a prominent citizen of the town, and he was a successful businessman, farmer, innkeeper, horse and dog trader, large-dog enthusiast, dog breeder, and town councilman, but he was never the mayor of Leonberg.

On page 5 it says that after World War I there were only 5 Leonberger left alive. World War I was tough on the breed, but it was not quite that bad. After the war, Karl Stadelmann and Otto Josenhans, worked hard to save the breed, and they were able to find twenty-five Leonbergers whose owners were willing to cooperate in reestablishing the breed. Of these, only five were suitable for breeding. That’s where that info comes from. That’s a little different from saying that only five Leonbergers survived.

On page 6 it says that after World War II there were only 8 Leonbergers left. However, that is once again an exaggeration. However, there was indeed a “genetic bottleneck” of Leonbergers in the 1940s. This was largely because people repeatedly bred the dogs they thought were the best specimens in a misguided attempt to improve the breed. Scientific pedigree analyses demonstrate that the Leonberger has twenty-two founder animals, or animal ancestors unrelated to one another (ten males and twelve females). Again, a little bit different from “only 8 survived”. Another inaccuracy is that on page 2 the book state that the Leonberger have a tragically short lifespan of 6-8 years. First, all giant breeds have a very short lifespan and the lifespan of the Leonberger has improved partially due to the work of the Leonberger Health Foundation International. Today the Leonberger lifespan is 8-10 years. Ours lived almost 13 years (two weeks short of 13), so the Leonberger Health Foundation International wanted his DNA, which we provided.

This book is short, but it packs a lot of mostly accurate information that is truly useful to Leonberger owners. In that sense I think it is great. I wrote quite a bit about the few mistakes in this book, but I think it is important to point out inaccuracies. These inaccuracies frequently appear on-line and in other Leonberger books as well and they are not important to Leonberger owners. I feel I cannot give five stars considering these inaccuracies are in the book. However, I can still highly recommend this book to all readers interested in a short Leonberger book.

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Finally, if you would like to learn about more about my book and find out where to buy it, click here or here. You can also click the image below to buy it from a Canadian bookstore that I found out about today. It is called Chapters Indigo.

This is an image showing the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Chapters Indigo location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Chapters Indigo location for the book.