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Working Dog Program Description

Working Dog Logo

LWD Mission
We are dedicated to strengthening the bond between Leonberger owners and their dogs. We will Encourage, Recognize and Guide members through the many opportunities that utilize the Natural Versatility of the Leonberger breed.

LWD Vision
We strive to ensure that all members of our Leonberger community engage in activities that enhance socialization, build confidence, and allow them to enjoy the companionship of their Leonbergers in ways that fulfill the working roots of the breed.

The Committee

Marietta Mennone - Chair
Deb Knappenberger - Secretary
Susan Manuel - Treasurer
Ira Van Order
Lisa Karriker
Sue Turbow
Alison Reed

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.

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, companion events (Agility, Obedience, Rally, Tracking), performance events (Farm Dog, Lure Coursing, Coursing Ability, Scent Work, Temperament Test), therapy, drafting, flyball, search and rescue, or simply enjoying their Leo as loving companions.

Here are descriptions of a few of these activities. Leonberger University has expanded information and overviews of those marked with *.

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.

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 you 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).

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.

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.

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.

Therapy Work*
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.

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.

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