Leonberger vs American Molossus - Breed Comparison

Leonberger is originated from Germany but American Molossus is originated from United States. Leonberger may grow 14 cm / 6 inches higher than American Molossus. Leonberger may weigh 29 kg / 64 pounds more than American Molossus. Leonberger may live 4 years less than American Molossus. Leonberger may have more litter size than American Molossus. Both Leonberger and American Molossus requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Molosser dogs
Origin:
Germany
United States
Height Male:
65 - 80 cm
25 - 32 inches
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Height Female:
65 - 80 cm
25 - 32 inches
51 - 60 cm
20 - 24 inches
Weight Male:
40 - 77 kg
88 - 170 pounds
38 - 48 kg
83 - 106 pounds
Weight Female:
40 - 77 kg
88 - 170 pounds
32 - 43 kg
70 - 95 pounds
Life Span:
8 - 10 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 14
6 - 8
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Gentle Leo, Leo, Gentle Giant
American Molosser • American Brabanter • American Bullenbeisser
Colors Available:
sandy or yellowish, tan, Reddish-brown
Colors are black, black brindle with some white
Coat:
Thick double-coat - straight or wavy
coat type coarse, dense, smooth and long
Shedding:
Moderate
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
No
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

leonbergerHailing from Germany, and more specifically the city of Leonberg, the Leonberger is a giant dog breed.

A resident of Leonberg, Germany, was looking to develop a dog that resembled a lion and in 1846 it was announced that such a dog had been developed by crossing a Newfoundland, Saint Bernard and Pyrenean Mountain dog.

It was after 2010, when the Leonberger Club of America joined the American Kennel Club, that the strict breeding rules were no longer mandatory for all Leonbergers.

Based on the massive dog of Mesopotamia in 5000 BC, the American Molossus is the same dog recreated in the United States by and for the lovers of these giant dogs. The ancient Molossus was fierce to look at, massive in size, courageous and loyal. He was undaunted by any animal and stood up to any man attempting to hurt his master. When Rome fell the descendants of today’s Molossus were scattered and attempts to revive the breed have created carious large dogs. The American Molossus is the first true recreation that hits the mark.

The original Molossus was one of the most primitive of dogs, one of the earliest dogs that men domesticated. Their initials duties were the guarding of herds and homes against all enemies. They were incredibly loyal to their one master and stayed with him and protected him. These dogs also ate carrion and served the villages by eliminating animal carcasses. They could handle any other hunting animals such as wolves and large cats. This dog, although extinct was the ancestor of all the Mastiff-type dogs of today. The Molossus is said to be the ancestor of the St. Bernard, English Mastiff, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundland, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Rottweiler, Rottweiler and the Neapolitan Mastiff. Now these breeds have become the ancestry of the American Molossus.

According to Marcus Curtis, the founder of the new Molossus, the nearest relative of the American Molossus is the Neapolitan Mastiff. The Hines Bulldog, German Rottweiler, American Bandogge, and South African Boerboel together with the Neapolitan Mastiff were used to form the American Molossus. The goal of the founder was to make a great family pet and protector. It was specifically bred to be courageous, loyal and protective.

Description

leonberger puppyAs a giant breed, the Leonberger stands at between 65cm and 80cm in height. He weighs a hefty 40 – 77kg both males and females.

These dogs are described as being dimorphic. It means that there is quite a difference in the looks of the males and females, with the male dogs being heftier and larger than the females.

The head of the dog is large, he has almond-shaped, dark brown eyes and the ears are medium sized and floppy. The tail is long and he has webbed feet which makes him a good swimmer too.

The thick, double coat can be straight or wavy and comes in different colors such as reddish-brown, tan, sandy or yellowish and the hairs can be tipped with black. He sheds quite a bit so will need regular brushing.

The Leonberger can have between 6 – 14 puppies and these puppies are like big, fat, cuddly, fluffy teddy bears. Don’t be tempted to just buy one because of his wonderful looks because they turn out to be huge dogs that eat a lot and the coat can take quite a bit of effort to keep groomed.

Temperament:

Fondly referred to as the Leo, this giant beautiful dog is social and in spite of his size, he should never be left alone in the backyard for long periods of time. He needs to come indoors from time to time to enjoy some interaction with his human family.

He is a family dog, and with training and socialization, he becomes a well-rounded, confident, obedient pet, quiet and content and sensitive to his owner’s moods.

Even though he becomes a great family pet, you need to think twice before you decide to own one of these large dogs as he can be costly to feed.

This is a giant, massive dog in every way and this recently developed standard makes that very clear. The Molossus should be heavy bones, muscular with a lot of loose skin and wrinkles of all kinds, everywhere. He is an intimidating presence, with a massive square head, broad shoulders, height and mass. No, the American Molossus is not athletic, but he certainly is intimidating.

His head is massive in comparison to his body and it must be square. He has extensive wrinkles and pendulous lips and dewlap. The face is all folds of skin and wrinkles. Deep set eyes, drooping upper lids and lower lids as well as an intimidating expression. His brow is well developed with a marked frontal furrow. The nose is large, and the muzzle is about a third of the length of its head. It is short and broad. Everything about the head must be square. It’s neck and body are powerful and muscular. The chest is deep, wide and barrel like. The back is also powerful and muscular. The front legs are heavy and muscular while the hind legs are broad, strong, powerful and wide-stance. Do not remove the front dew claws. His tail is thick and wide then gradually tapers at the tip.

Health Problems

leonberger dogLeonbergers are strong, generally healthy dogs. It is said that very large dogs like this don’t live as long as smaller dogs and they also face more health issues. Orthopedic issues such as hip dysplasia are more common with large breeds.

Hip Dysplasia:

An orthopedic problem like this is a misalignment of a joint. This large dog also tends to develop elbow dysplasia too. Fortunately today, hip- and elbow dysplasia is controlled because of efforts of breeders to have their Leonbergers screened.

Nonetheless it is important to know about this ailment. The word ‘Dysplasia’ is referring to an abnormality of development. With both hip- and elbow dysplasia, there is abnormal development of the joints, and osteoarthritis can build up, causing lameness for your giant canine.

Cancer:

Cancer is sadly a leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10 years. Lymphoma is a blood-related cancer – a tumor of the lymph nodes. Dogs can develop different forms of lymphoma. The warning signs are a lump or a wound that won’t heal, swelling in the bone and abnormal bleeding.

Luckily cancer is very treatable in dogs, but you need to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Like all Mastiffs the American Molossus faces a variety of potential illnesses, some brought on by its size, some not.

Spondylosis

This could easily be a function of its massive size. It is a degenerative disease and can cause the dog to become lame. In many cases the vertebrae can fuse, or severe pain can result. This is mostly seen in older members of the breed.

Cystinuria

Male Molossus can contract this inherited metabolic disease primarily. It can be life threatening and very serious as it affects the kidney and the bladder.

Wobblers Syndrome

This is essentially Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI) and is caused by the pressure of the nerves in the neck and cervical spinal cord. This compression can cause deformity, pain and abnormal stance/gait. IT has been attributed to the nutrition needs and rapid growth of the Mastiff breeds.

Like all giant Mastiff breeds the Molossus can have skin issues from the wrinkles, dysplasia in the joints which we will address below.

Caring The Pet

leonberger puppiesThat long coat of the Leonberger is going to require some brushing at least twice a week. He is also a moderate shedder and you want to get rid of all that loose hair and to keep him looking well groomed.

Diet:

A proper, nutritious diet is an essential part of having healthy, happy dogs and if you’re unsure about how to feed your giant pet, speak to your veterinarian.

The best diet for dogs is always very debatable, but essentially it needs to be kept simple. Try and invest in the very best commercially manufactured dog food for large breeds. Every dog wants a tasty home-made morsel from time to time. Add in cooked chicken, brown rice as well as cooked or raw vegetables. Raw meat can also be added in from time to time.

You want to avoid feeding the Leonberger puppy a high protein diet as this encourages rapid growth and you want to avoid that.

Feeding

Remembering that this is a very, very large dog you need to be careful about nutrition and how fast your puppy will grow. American Molossus puppies need four meals a day until 12 weeks old. Then until they are 6 months old feed then 3 times a day. Finally, from 6-month-old puppy to adult – feed them twice in 24 hours.

At one year either feed them once or two small meals.

Many people feed their Molossus eggs, vegetables, fruit, and cottage cheese as ten 5 of the total for the day but avoid other table foods. The Molossus can become very picky about what he eats if you feed him too many table scraps.

Health issues

In addition to the health problems listed above, the American Molossus is also susceptible to: Ditichiasis – Eyelashes that are in the margin of the eyelids and can cause eye irritation. May require surgery to correct.

Cataract

Could cause blindness if not removed. Ectropian/Entropion: Eversion and inversion of eyelids which cause ocular irritation.

PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is a degenerative disease which causes the dog to go blind. It is a disease the affects the retinal visual cells, first causing night blindness then day blindness. A DNA test is available for detecting PRA in all Mastiff breeds.

Dysplasia of the Elbow or/and the Hip

Common in large breeds and especially in giant breeds like the Molossus. Multiple forms and causes but all can cause pain and lameness.

Skin issues

Do to wrinkles and loose skin – check often for moisture and infections.

Panosteitis or Wandering Lameness

The is a problem based on a variety of possible causes. It happens when the puppy is between 6-16 months of age. Lameness occurs over time in one limb or in all. It can be intermittent and might be caused by diet, genetics, stress, autoimmune or metabolic issues or infection.

HOD or Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy

This issue is developmental as the dog’s toes turn either inward or outward, then as the condition advances the dog suffers fever, pain in all joints, lethargy and the inability to stand. This happens when the dog consumes too many calories for his activity level in the development times.

Exercise and games

The American Molossus is not a couch potato. He needs to be walked at least twice a day and loves to play fetch. He will be greatly benefited by obedience training. Do not overdo it with exercise but make sure they don’t just lay around.

Characteristics

leonberger dogsDon’t be deceived by the looks of the big Leonberger because he isn’t aggressive, but quiet and calm. Large he may be, but he isn’t sluggish either and he will certainly require exercise such as a long, fairly lively walk every day.

They’re intelligent dogs too and respond well to socialization and training. He is a social dog and wants to enjoy plenty of interaction with his human family members.

These dogs are often used as rescue- and therapy dogs as they are so loving and sensitive. Give him lots of love and good care and you’re going to have the most wonderful pet that lives up to the saying – dogs are man’s best friend.

The American Molossus is an intimidating massive giant bred for protection and guard duty. He is incredibly loyal to his family and courageous in his protection of them. They are guard dogs, not attack dogs. Their simple appearance is usually enough to frighten off anyone intending harm on their families. He is in reality a loving giant. He is intelligent and stable with a strong desire to please his owner. He is a calm yet vigilant presence in the home.

Because the Molossus is so large, it is recommended that the puppy be socialized and trained professionally. It takes a strong owner to handle this breed. They need to know the rules and have the rules consistently applied. The owner must be the pack leader.

Comparison with other breeds

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  9. Pyrenean Mastiff vs Leonberger - Breed Comparison
  10. Moscow Watchdog vs Leonberger - Breed Comparison
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  33. Alaunt vs American Molossus - Breed Comparison
  34. Bully Kutta vs American Molossus - Breed Comparison
  35. Irish Wolfhound vs American Molossus - Breed Comparison
  36. Alangu Mastiff vs American Molossus - Breed Comparison
  37. Francais Blanc et Orange vs American Molossus - Breed Comparison
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