The Union

Things were going very well for the Leonberger after the Second World War and the Leos again found fanciers of the breed in other countries.

The breed was recognized by the FCI in 1955, and clubs were founded outside of Germany (France in 1963, Holland in 1966, and Switzerland in 1969). Communication between these different clubs was almost always quite good. The population of the breed was not very large, so in 1974 Holland and Switzerland proposed the formation of a European Union of Leonberger Clubs to allow the clubs to join forces.

In 1975 the Union was founded under the name “European Union for Leonberger Dogs”. Delegations from the clubs in Holland, Switzerland and Germany were present, as well as Leolovers from Austria, Denmark, France and Italy.

France delayed joining the Union until some time later because the official French club did not want to join the Union. A dissident club wanted to join, but was not accepted. Fortunately, after some time, the two French clubs finally merged and France became a full member of the Union.

In 1978, clubs in Denmark, Belgium and Austria were formed and joined the Union. Sweden followed in 1982 and Italy in 1987. In 1988 the Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom became members, followed by Norway in 1990, Spain in 1995, Hungary in 1998 and Russia in 1999. New Zealand joined in 2003.

The Leonberger Club of Canada joined in 2007, the Leonberger Club of Ireland joined with observer status in 2007 and received full membership in 2011. Estonia joined the Union in 2013 and Poland in 2023. There are currently 20 member countries from Europe, Asia and North America.

Every year during the last weekend of September, a meeting of representatives from the member countries of the Union and a club show is held. A true sense of partnership and excellent communication is maintained throughout the membership of the Union.

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