The Story of Becoming a Leonberger Breeder
Our involvement with the Leonberger breed started in 1990. Alida Comtois, our friend, and owner of two of our Kuvaszok, decided to buy a Leo girl.
Her dog’s name was Esia v. Klingelberg, and she came from Mary Decher’s kennel in Washington. Esia was two weeks younger then my two “G” litter Kuvasz girls we were raising at the time.
When Alida brought Esia over and plopped her in with Ghillie and Gal, they looked like they could have been litter mates, all but for the color.
The same type of head, same type of structure, the same size, the only difference was the color. We even tried to fool my longtime Kuvasz friend into thinking that Esia was from the same litter as the “G” girls.
Alida’s enthusiasm about Leonbergers was catchy, and soon I found myself studying pedigrees, pictures, and videos both in the US and abroad. I was Alida’s mentor with the Kuvasz breed, so it was not difficult to transfer my knowledge of a very similarly-structured working breed to the Leos. Alida and I attended several rare breed shows where Leos were judged, we analyzed Leo videos together, and found that we have a very similar idea of the ideal Leonberger!
In 1995 at the Ohio Leonberger Club of America National Specialty, I judged the Sweepstakes class. Many people at the show were asking when we would get our own Leo… That day came in 1998 when Alida told us about a very special male puppy she had in her “D” litter. This boy came to live with us in March of ’98 and we named him Darius. Darius led us into becoming the leonberger breeder of today.