Our Breeding Philosophy

  • Every year, Nick and I train hundreds of dogs through our company Sit Means Sit.  We see many puppies, and many of the frustrations that people have with their puppies, of all breeds.  It is of the utmost importance to us that our puppy buyers know exactly what they are in for … before that beautiful bundle of fluff called a Leonberger puppy has them head over heels in love!   Before we agree to give a puppy to a potential owner, we must be convinced that the fur, the sloppy drinking, the hugeness of a Leo won’t be too much for the home.  All of our puppies must be well cared and provided for.  We seek to give advice, counsel, and encouragement for every single puppy we whelp for the duration of that puppy’s life.  We are a resource for every puppy owner.

    We are picky about whom our pups go to.  We prefer an organic approach. We begin with a questionnaire to give us an idea of who you are. Find the questionnaire here: puppy questionnaire  We then will talk on the phone and whenever possible meet with potential puppy owners.  Of course, we can’t necessarily count on our Leonbergers to be good judges of character – they love everyone! If you live far away, we may ask that you visit someone with Leonbergers who we trust that lives in your area. We also may call your current veterinarian, or another reference that you have provided to us.

    If you are new to the idea of getting a puppy from a breeder, we suggest you read this article, Puppy Buyer Etiquette, as a way to understand why we may do some of the things we do.

    Rodeo living the Good Life in the Rockies

    We frequently do not have a litter of puppies.  Breeding is a passion for us, and something we take very, very seriously.  We only breed when we will have the proper time and attention to give to the pups and their mother.  If you like what we have to say below about our philosophy, but we do not have a litter planned that meets your timetable, use the bullet points below as a guide to ask of other breeders.  Also understand that puppies are not like cars, they do not come off an assembly line on demand.  Take time and care in selecting your breeder – it makes a huge difference in the life of your puppy.

    Here are some important facts about Good Life Leonbergers and our approach:

    • We have an open door policy.
      • We welcome people who are interested in learning more about the breed to come to our home and check us out – but understand we are checking you out as well.
      • Potential puppy buyers can see exactly where our pups are raised.
      • Potential puppy buyers may meet and interact with the mother of their pup.
    • Health, temperament and conformation.  These are the criteria we use for selecting our breeding dogs and their mates.
      • Health testing is done on every dog we breed, or use for a stud.  If a dog is not healthy, they are not bred – it’s that simple.
      • Temperament is a hallmark of the Leonberger breed.  A handshy or aggressive Leonberger will not be bred, even if they are the prettiest, healthiest dog around.
      • Conformation is the structure which makes a Leo the majestic and magnificient dog they are.  Our goal is to stay true to the giant, agile and beautiful working dog a Leonberger should be.
    • All of our puppies go out on contract.
      • The majority of these will be spay/neuter contracts (usually by 18-24 months of age – we do not believe in early spay/neuter.  Talk to us about why – we have good reasons.)
      •  If a puppy ever needs a new home for any reason, we will always take back a puppy from our litters.
      • Contracts also to protect our puppy buyers, so that they get in writing everything we talk about.
    • Due to our dog training background, we will not sell littermates.
      • For more information on why this is just a bad idea….Read more
    • You probably won’t see the father of the litter at our home.
      • We go to considerable lengths (time, energy and expense) to produce the best puppies we can with our knowledge.  Frequently this means that the stud we use is out of state and therefore not usually the most convenient or closest to our homebase.
      • Ask us, and we can tell you exactly why we chose the stud we did, and can put you in contact with the owner of the dog to answer any questions you may have.

    • Our pups receive 24/7 care.
    • Our pups are given early neurological stimulation.  Read why here.
    • Our pups are deliberately and safely exposed to as many socializing surfaces, sounds, people, and toys as possible in their time with us.
    • By 4 weeks of age, and when weather permits, our pups spend a good deal of their time outdoors (never unattended) for the purpose of socializing them to even more new things.
    • The mother of the litter spends as much of her time as she can with her babies to teach the pups even more life lessons by the time they go home.
    • Our pups are temperament tested at 7 weeks old to aid in the placement of each pup based upon the puppy buyers interest and reason for getting a Leo.
    • And aside from that, and the reason we do all these things – we love this breed and wish to keep it safe in every way we can.  We start by loving our pups and giving them the best possible start to their lives.