The LCA Working Dog Program is maintained by the Leonberger Working Dog Program & Dog Award Committee.
The purpose of this Committee is to educate the membership as to the wide array of activities in which our exceptionally versatile breed excels, and to encourage the members to work with their Leonbergers by providing timely and meaningful recognition of accomplishments in such activities.
Wendy Jones & Marietta Mennone, co-chairs
Ira VanOrder, LeoLetter & Marketing
Cheryl Woods, Secretary
Wendy Jones, SEC representative
Rachel White, Treasurer
Marietta Mennone, SEC & Draft representative
Erin Andersen & Susan Manuel, Working Dog Breeder & Puppy Liaison
Susan Manuel, Virtual courses
LCA Leonberger Hall of Fame – Introduced in 2010 on our 25th Anniversary, the Hall of Fame features our highest achieving Leos in the show world, performance events, service activities and as all around versatile companion dogs.
The AKC ranks each breed yearly – Check the top ratings on our Top Leos page.
One of the most rewarding parts of owning a Leonberger, is the interaction between you and your dog. Leonberger owners may be involved in breeding, judging, conformation, therapy work, or simply enjoying their Leo as a loving companions. Here are a few activities available for you and your canine friend. Leonberger University has expanded information and overviews of those marked with *.
Dogs have an amazing sense of smell and a natural desire to hunt. The activity and sport of Nose Work designed to develop your dog’s natural scenting abilities by using their desire to hunt and their love of toys, food and exercise. It’s a great way for your dog to have fun, build confidence, and burn lots of mental and physical energy.
Leos are particularly well suited for Therapy work, given their gentle disposition, love of children, and size (easy to pet from a bed!). Entering into any therapy work is not to be taken lightly. You and your Leonberger must work as a team. Your Leo must be trained in basic obedience and comfortable in many environments The Leonberger Club of America has an award program that celebrates those Leonbergers and their owners who have devoted countless hours to participating in pet therapy programs. Participating in therapy work with your Leonberger is a gift whose value is priceless.
Carting is growing in popularity among Leonberger owners who want to share an activity with their dogs while maintaining the working heritage of their breed. Leonbergers are particularly well-suited to drafting because they are a large, sturdy working breed with a desire to please. Unlike the sports of agility, flyball, lure coursing, or other canine sports where fleetness of foot on the part of both handler and dog are crucial, drafting is a relatively slow-paced activity, making it ideal for those who prefer something a little less intense! Whether your and your dog wish to earn a title, march in a parade, give rides to the neighborhood kids, or just bring in the firewood, drafting is extremely rewarding. Many members are working toward earning drafting titles. The LCA offers two titles for carting dogs: Novice Draft Dog (NDD) and the more advanced Draft Dog (DD).
Obedience events test the training of dogs as they perform a series of prescribed exercises at the command of their handler. There are several levels of competition, ranging from basic commands such as “sit”, “come” and “heel ” to scent discrimination and directed retrieves over jumps. It takes dedication, time and patience. Obedience requires a desire on your part to have a closer relationship with your Leonberger and a willingness to put in the effort to work with your dog.
With their webbed feet, Leos love the water. Preparing for water work involves intense training and dedication. The owner must ensure her dog is healthy and capable of the exercises. If you take the time to work with your Leo in the water, you will find a true bond and witness a very happy dog.
Dog agility is a sport in which a handler is given a set amount of time in which to direct a dog off-leash through an obstacle course. In competition, the obstacles are arranged in various course configurations, always unique from trial to trial, that offer levels of challenges appropriate to the class and experience level of the dogs competing. The obstacles used in agility have been designed with both safety and spectator appeal in mind.
Flyball is essentially a relay race between 2 teams of 4 dogs, racing against each other in separate lanes. Each dog on the team must jump 4 hurdles, retrieve a tennis ball from a spring-loaded device called a “box”, and return back over the hurdles again with the ball. As soon as the first dog returns, the second dog is released. The winning team is the first one to get all four dogs over the course and back again with no faults or early changeovers.