The Leonberger is not a typical working breed that was bred to serve one purpose. Today's Leonberger is best described as a family companion whose primary "work" is making certain his human family is not lonely. With patience and time, Leonbergers have captured working titles in obedience, water rescue, agility, carting, herding, and seem to have a natural ability as therapy dogs. They are happiest as a member of a family that includes the Leonberger in daily activities.
Leonbergers are double-coated and come in many shades of brown (from a sand color to dark reddish brown) and often have black tips on their guard hairs. Their most distinguishing feature is a black facial mask. Leonbergers are dogs with good substance, yet have elegant movement and a gentle nature.
Guido Perosino, the founder of the Italian Leonberger club, notes in his 1998 book, The Leonberger: ". . . the most interesting characteristic of the Leonberger is his lack of specialization. Although his is the body, the strength and the muscle of a typical working dog, the fact that he has been selectively bred for the balanced temperament of a house dog. . rather than for any precise working task, has gifted him with a versatility almost unique on the present canine scene."