The Home of Champion Leonbergers in Ireland
The Top Winning Leonberger Kennels


Update 39.  Joe tested on his Leo Knowledge!

On 20th March another trip to the UK, this time for Joe to attend a judging seminar.  After a presentation on the Breed Standard by Sarah Sevastopulo and an opportunity to pratice, the afternoon brought the dreaded exam where all participants had to go over 5 dogs and critique them, placing them in winning order and explain why they had placed the dogs in that order!  A few days later, a nervous Joe got the call to say he had passed his judging exam! 

LCGB cert

Update 38.  Celtic Winners Show and Peata Parade

March 17th 2011 sees the biggest show of the year in the Irish Show Calendar.  Cuki’s coat is like a woolly mammoths and it takes a heck of a lot of grooming to get it all ready for the show.  At just 11 months Cuki takes Celtic Junior Winners Title.  She goes on to win Celtic Winners title and Best of Breed.  This is a first for any Leo, to win the two titles and best of breed.  What a great little trooper she is!  It was also wonderful to see baby Dude out at the show socialising and mingling with everyone and loving the attention he was getting, mind you he can certainly sleep like his dad!
Around lunchtime Boomer heads off into the main ring as part of the Peata Pet Therapy Parade.  Dogs of all shapes and sizes that do pet therapy visits, strut around the ring in their snazzy vests showing off the wonderful work of pet therapy.  Nice this year that Boomer had a fellow Peata Leo dog with him in the ring, Dexter, who does great pet therapy work in Dublin. 

Cuki JW 11
Cuki CW11
Peata parade 2011
Dude and Boomer


Update 37.  Special Needs Funday Visit

Joe, Okie and Boomer head off to visit a school for children with Intellectual and physical disabilities.  All the dogs are an instant hit with the kids and many of them remembered the dogs from last year. It is a very humbling experience seeing the amazing ability of the dogs to bring a smile to the children’s faces.  After lots of cuddles and rubs and some carting it is time for the gang to leave after another satisfying visit for all.


Update 36.  Deebo comes back to the homestead

Deebo and Leo
Deebo from our first litter returns to us for 6 months as his mam and dad, Ian & Melissa head over to New Zealand for 6 months (lucky sods).  It made complete sense to us all that Deebo come back to us and have lots of company so as he wouldn’t miss Ian & Melissa too much.  Deebo immediately fell in love with Cuki and the pair have been inseparable since his arrival.  Wherever one is, the other is very close behind! Of course Deebo had to get to know the cats again and as you can see in the picture he loves having a chat with Leo the cat on the window sill.  


Update 36.  Our New Baby! 

The 31st  January sees the end to an 8 month long wait for the arrival of our new baby – Calliah Casimira of New Wind for Sionnarush – what a mouthful! Her call name is Cuki and she has come all the way from Hungary and she will bring completely new lines into this country. Balazs has done a great job minding her for us and a big thank you to him and Marianna for giving us such a happy bundle of fun.  Her pedigree is from Rahel Shcale’s champion winning lines Vom  Lowengarten  in Germany and Guido Perosino’s Multi-champion award winning lines,  Berljon from Italy. You worry about bringing a dog in at that age, but the worrying was all for nothing as Cuki made herself right at home and by that night she was cuddled up on the couch beside us giving us lots of leo kisses and dive bombing on top of the older ones on the floor! 

Update 35.  Canine Health Seminar

ENC cert
At the end of January, Sinead heads up to Belfast to attend a Seminar on Canine Cardiac Health and Hip Dysplasia.  Both speakers were easy to listen to and kept our attention and gave us lots of useful and helpful information.  Thanks to the Emerald Isle Newfie Club who organised this and took such good care of us on the day, as they always do. 


Update 34.  Peata Carol Service

This year’s Peata Carol Service is delayed until January due to the snowy weather we had over Christmas and the New Year.  Joe and Boomer head off to Christchurch Cathedral and meet up with fellow Leo Pet Therapy Dogs, Dexter & McGyver for another great Carol service and blessing of the PAT dogs. 


Update 33.  Puppies arrive at Sion Na Rush

On 9th December, with lots of snow on the ground, Elsa’s first litter arrive!  She has one boy and two girls.  This litter are like a walk in the part compared to Okie’s 7 that kept us very busy altogether!  The three musketeers go from strength to strength and what a noisy and inquisitive bunch, that love nothing more than playing in the sitting room and having a snooze in front of the fire. All too soon it is time to say goodbye to Dude, Lola and Elsa (Junior) as they go off to their wonderful new homes in February when they are just gone 8 weeks.  The house is so very quiet without them and it takes a bit of getting used to!  Click here to see some pictures

Elsa crew


Update 32. Better Together Competition.

The Sionnarush gang were asked to help out with a video to highlight the work of Peata and Therapy Dogs for a competition run by the Better Together Campaign. It aims to show how you can make a difference by getting involved in community and voluntary activities. It also aims to highlight charities, clubs and associations and the work they do in the community. Our crew, being no strangers to being in front of a camera's thoroughly enjoyed making their video for the competition. See their video at


Update 31. Breed Seminar

On 14th November the Sionnarush gang head off to the Kennel Club buildings at Stoneleigh in the UK for a Breed Seminar on the Leonberger. Guido Perosino (Italy) and Petra Junehall (Sweden) had the job of educating us all on every aspect of the Leo from the tip of their nose to the end of their tail! Guido, with his charismatic style gave us a presentation on the Leo head. Who ever knew you could spend 3 hours talking and listening about the Leonberger's head, but you can! Petra took the afternoon slot and went through the rest of a Leo highlighting the good with the not so good. We learned loads at the Seminar and it was good to meet up with our Leo friends in the UK again!


Update 30. LPN1 Test Results

After what seems to have been an eternity of waiting we finally got the results from the blood samples we sent off to Bern University in Switzerland to test our crew for Leonberger Polyneuropathy 1. But the wait was worth it as Okie, Elsa and Boomer all came back as being clear of LPN1 (Genotype N/N).

Update 29. Health Seminar

On Sunday 24 th October Sinead & Joe head off to Coleshill, near Birmingham to attend a health seminar on Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) and the Science behind dog breeding. This was organised by the Health Committee of the Leonberger Club of Great Britain. Both talks were very informative and the speakers were excellent. It was great to meet up with familiar faces at the seminar and meet some new people too.

Update 28. Exam Time for the Sionnarush Leos

On Sunday 10 th October Okie, Boomer, Joe and Sinead are back in their trusted Leo Limo heading off to Morrigan Household near Downpatrick to undergo their Level 1 drafting test with the Emerald Isle Newfoundland Club. Judges on the day were Martin Morrigan and Kevin Clarke. We arrived to a lovely cooked breakfast and then it was down to work and getting on with the testing. A great day was had by all and a huge thanks to Alison and Co. for organising such a super event. Roll on Level 2 tests!

Okie struting her stuff and below her cert
Boomer on the homeward journey


Update 27. Leonberg Time again!

The last weekend in September rolls around all to quickly and the bags get packed for the annual trip to the small town in Germany. This is our 4th time to go to Leonberg. After such a wonderful win last year, we plan to leave the dogs at home and just enjoy the atmosphere. However, Joe has to stay at home and Sinead takes a road trip with Louise and Sharon and Balli. We stay with Sharon on Thursday night and after we have the most wonderful lamb dinner cooked by her mam we all get a relatively early night for the long trip ahead. The journey from Calais to Leonberg is a long one and this year we go through Belgium as it is meant to be a quicker journey. The longest bit of the journey was the last 10 miles into Leonberg and we resort to playing word games to keep us all awake! Once in the Kirchner Hotel, we all meet up with old friends and make some new ones. A great evening was had in the hotel with everyone mingling and chatting.

Sunday is show day and the weather completely conspires against everyone and the place is like a complete mud bath! Sharon shows Balli for Louise and after much deliberation by the judge, she places him 2nd in Puppy class.....great result! On a separate note it was great to see the number of dogs getting blood drawn for LPN1 testing at the show. All too soon it is time to make the return journey home and look forward to returning next year.


Update 26. Puppies 1st Birthday Party!

Although a few weeks later than planned, the Magnificent 7 return to the homestead to celebrate their 1st Birthday. There is birthday cake for the dogs (liver cake), lots of treats and a BBQ and liquid refreshments for their owners. But before we all tucked into the BBQ and beer, there was fun and games to be had with the puppies! We played retrieve the sausage, had a markies and spoon race, played skittles and the kids got to play game with the dogs too! It was lovely to see the puppies together and all look healthy and happy and well spoilt and much loved by their owners! Thanks to everyone who helped make the day such a success.


Update 25. Leonberger Club of Ireland Champ Show

On 14 th August, the Leo Club show was held in Cloghran in conjunction with the Navan Dog Show. We had breed specialist Joan Rushby judging us on the day. There was a good atmosphere ringside and the weather was superb. A big thank you to Graham for his photographic skills on the day, who did a super job photographing the dogs and the fun around the ring. Today was Elsa's first time out this year and she went on to win the Res Green Star, so we were well happy with that. Boomer, although somewhat out of coat, wins Best Male and goes on to win Reserve Best In Show. This is the first time an Irish dog wins the top honours at a club show, so we were happy bunnies. There was food afterwards and a bit of craic which seemed to be enjoyed by all.


Update 24. Pet Expo

The Sionnarush gang all take their turns at doing their bit to promote the breed at Pet Expo again this year. Okie charmed everyone with her Carting skills and Boomer and Elsa had a duel role promoting their pet therapy work too. A busy weekend with lots of interest in the dogs and great work done by all the Leo folk that came along to support the breed.

Update 23. Water-work and Fun day

We all head off on a road trip to the UK, all the way to East Dean for a great weekend with our Leo friends in the UK. On Friday we arrive to a banquet BBQ, lovely wine and great company. On Saturday we all head off early to Wiltshire to join a water training session. The lake was gorgeous but cold! Elsa and Boomer try their paws at water-work and thoroughly enjoyed pulling the boat back to shore. At lunchtime, we all sat around and had a picnic lunch and then back to East Dean to get ready for the fun day.

On Sunday the Fun-day got started with a presentation on Canine first aid given by Vet John. It was a packed presentation with loads of information. After some tea and coffee from the “Hair of the Dog Cafe” the Fun dog show got underway, which was (ably??) judged by Joe? Anyhow, after picking his winners, the doggie games began and it is fair to say that by the time the last person went home everyone was tired but very happy from having such a great day. A big thanks to Louise, Sharon and Lyn for organising such a great event....another annual pilgrimage for us to make from now on!

Boomer getting ready to pull the boat in
Elsa easily pulling the boat in.
You can just make out Boomer and Elsa on the left of this pride of Leos been held by Des from Hawai.

Update 22. Delving into our past

On invitation, Sinead has become involved in collecting and collating information on Leos for an International Leonberger database called ileodata ( This is a worldwide database with litter and health information that is freely available to all Leo enthusiasts. The remarkable database provides invaluable information on the family trees of Leo's worldwide. It allows people to view pedigrees and health tests to enable them to plan for the health and wellbeing of our future generations.


Update 21. Boomer becomes an International Champion

At the Fermoy International Show during the Bank Holiday weekend in May, Boomer wins his 4th CACIB which makes him up to International Champion. He is the first Leo in Ireland to have won this prestigious title. Boomer has now won all Champion Titles making his official title.........INT & IRISH CH Tarkaleos Atlantic Ted into Sionnarush, Junior Champion, AN CH ‘09, CW '10..................but better known as Boomy!


Update 20. Peata Parade

During the Celtic Winners Show on St Patricks day there was a Peata (Irish Pet Therapy) parade and Elsa parading around the ring with all the other Peata Dogs. All in all, a very enjoyable day out.

Some of the Peata Irish Therapy Dog gang
Come in sizes to suit all


Update 19. Special needs school fun day

We were contacted and asked to partake in another fun day for children and young adults with intellectual disabilities after our crew were seen on the TV. We gladly agreed and we set off to Balbriggan early one March Saturday afternoon. We arrived to a great atmosphere and as usual the dogs were complete hits with everyone. Okie and Elsa kept everyone entertained kissing and looking for cuddles while Boomer was the perfect gentleman by enabling some less physically able children interact with him. One very handsome young man lay cuddled across Boomers massive rib cage and spent a long time been lifted and lowered by Boomers breathing whilst stoking Boomers ear. Next the cart came out and the troublesome trio entertained the masses by pulling them all around in the cart, much to the kids, and adults delight! A fantastic day for us, the kids/ teenagers and their parents and not forgetting the dogs also. A big thank you to all at for inviting us to their party.


Update 18. Crufts

Thursday 11th March saw us flying over to Crufts for the day to watch the Leonberger judging and do a spot of doggie shopping. It was great to meet up with our friends from across the water and meet up with some new ones too. The Leo judging got underway at 8.30am and continued until approx 3pm! We met Boomers sister Eva (the last time we saw Eva she was only 8 weeks old!) and she looked gorgeous and came 2nd in her very large class. The open class was very exciting with Boomer's half brother Zeus (Champion Sylbert Emperor Ridge at Sancholees) looking very mature and handsome. He went on to win not only the Dog Challenge Certificate (CC) but also Best of Breed. So when it came time for the Working Group we all sat around the large screen TV at the Bar (how handy was that!!!) to watch Paul and Zeus strut their stuff in the main arena.


Update 17. First Puppy Party

We had our first puppy party today the 14th Feb when we had puppies from our first litter back for the day. It was great to see how large and strong they all had become at six months with their dark eyes and luxurious coats. We had games and treats lined up for the day and it was good fun, even if the puppies didn't quite get the hang of the sausage retrieve. We also had organised for David ( to come and do some basic obedience work with the puppies and owners - still along way to go Summer!


Update 16. Sionnarush win photographic competition in Russia

Our good friend Vladimir hosted a photographic competition for Leos around the globe. There were several different categories and we got 1st place for a picture of Leo's in motion with Okie and Elsa and also 2nd prize for the best pair of Leo's together, again with Okie and Elsa! Thanks to Vladimir and Olga for organising the competition and for the lovely prize they sent all the way from Moscow.


Update 15. Small screen fame for hard working Leos

Okie, Elsa and Boomer have got ideas of fame after appearing on a national television program today. We were contacted by RTE to know if they could come and film our dogs for a segment of the Afternoon Show on the working roles of dogs, and in particular our crews work with Peata Therapy Dogs. The film crew (sounds good, but it was only four people) arrived bright and early on Tuesday morning and after spending ages cooing over the hounds they started filming and when they are happy we packed up and went off to the Nursing home we visit every week to film the hounds doing their therapy work and getting feedback from the residents and staff. We have uploaded the final film to youtube and you can see it on our Pet Therapy page (click here).


The Year that Was – 2009

From huge wins at Crufts in March and Leonberg in September, our first litter of puppies, winning top Irish Leo at the Leonberger Club of Irelands first club show, doing the Breed Notes for Leo's, organising a Triple Breed Seminar with friends in the Newfie and Bernese Clubs to Pet Therapy work 2009 has been a really busy year but a very nice one with many fond memories for the Sionnarush Kennels. Despite the hard work we have had great fun over the past 12 months. During our escapades, we met up with old friends from across the globe in the strangest of places and we made a few more new friends that share our common love of all things Leo!

Despite having missed out on Annual Champion last year by one Green Star and even with missing a number of shows the Sionnarush Kennels take the accolade of Annual Champion 2009, with Boomer having won the most number of Green Stars and Best of Breeds. We are also the top winning Leonberger Kennels having won in 2009, 6 firsts in brace stakes, 28 green stars, 14 best of breeds and six CACIBS not to mention CAC and open class at the German Club show in the home of Leos - Leonberg. Not only that but we are looking forward to seeing four puppies from our first litter having there first outing in the show ring early in 2010.

Update 14. Carting Kids

We visited the local pre-school group the week before Christmas, but before hand we decorated the cart with festive baubles, lights and sleigh bells. Okie and Boomer had their sleigh bell harness polished and ready to go. From the moment we entered to the moment we left all you could hear were children squealing with delight as Okie and Boomer took turns bringing them all for a jaunt in the cart/ sleigh! The only stipulation was that the kids had to sing Jingle Bells with a slight change in the words - instead of "a one horse open sleigh they changed the words to "a one dog open sleigh".

boomer with sleigh bell cart and harness
Boomer and his sleigh cart and harness
Okie wondering why is she hearing so many sleigh bells?

Update 13. Peata Christmas Carol Service Christmas 2009

On December 8th , we headed off to Christchurch Cathedral for a very special Carol Service. It was hosted by Peata and it was fantastic to meet up with around 40 Therapy dogs and their owners. There was a lovely festive atmosphere and the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, Dean of Christchurch encouraged everyone to get involved in the singing, including the dogs! During the service all the dogs received a special blessing from the Dean and afterwards there was tea, coffee and mince pies, chat and lots and lots of photos! Our two were suitably decked out with their jingly sleigh bell collars! (Big thanks to John Gordon ( for doing such a great job on the sleigh bell collars and harness for us).

Elsa and Boomer leonbergers at Christ Church
Very Revend Dermot Dunne Dean of Christ church and two Leonbergers

Update 12. A new member 2nd Nov

We have a new temporary member to the Sion na Rush household for the next few weeks when we fostered a kitten from Drogheda Animal Rescue. Smudge had been found as a stray and because of an injury to his back leg had to have pins inserted. He has settled in well and even though he has to be restricted in his movements to allow his legs to mend the only person in the house that seems to be put out is our other cat called Leo (don't even go there in slagging us about his name - we have a house full of Leos after all).


Update 11. Breed Seminar

Sinead on behalf on the Irish Leo club along with Alison from the Emerald Isle Newfoundland Club and Peter from the Bernese Mountain Dog Club organised a triple breed seminar. This was the first breed seminar for Leos and we were delighted to have Ms Sarah Sevastopulo give the talk on Leos. Sarah wanted to review a Leo of either gender and a request went out to the club but produced no volunteers. Sinead did find a knight in shinning armour when Paul Carroll volunteered his fantastic male Travis to be critiqued. And as no female could be found we put our Elsa forward. It was a great day starting off with the Leos with Sarah giving a great talk on the breed standard and using Elsa and the magnificent Travis to explain all the great things about the breed. Sarah was followed by Ms Judy Oriani who gave equally great talks on both the Brenese mountain dog and Newfoundland breeds, but sure I have to state here for the record that neither breed compares to that lion of a breed that the Leo is (do they huff puff).


Update 10. Cluny

Took another road trip this weekend and drove another 3,000 km ish round trip to Cluny for the French club show. First time in Cluny which we have to admit is a fantastic place to visit with or without your leos. Great food, great friends new and old (anyone for some cheese or dog bowls?) and great crack all weekend especally as neither Sinead, Joe or Boomer speak any French except for the odd word here and there. None the less we muddled through and managed to make it to the right ring at the right time, just had a little hassle finding a vet with a stamp to mark Boomers passport - seems to be getting a bit of a habit that, but at least Sinead was not heard over the tannoy this time!


Update 9. Pet Expo

This weekend was a little different from others when we went to the Pet expo in the RDS where the Leo club had organised a stand to allow people to get to know about Leos. The stand was directly opposite the stand of birds of prey but more particularly there was an owl there that kept staring a Boomer and it was a new experience to see our big man around the house caught between trying to go over to look at the giant rabbits and been put of by the huge Great Grey Owl. However it was great to watch peoples reaction when Boomer was walking through the crowd pulling his cart with Michelle's' Harrys' sleigh bell collar. People would hear the bells first, turn around and then see Boomer and as he passed them they would finally register that he was pulling a bright red cart. it was also the first time for one of our puppies "Summer" to be seen in public with her da when she came up to the expo for a short visit.


Update 8. Annual trip to Leonberg Sept 09

Joe, Sinead & Boomer make the long trip to Leonberg to represent Ireland at the International Leonberger Union annual meeting. The meeting as usual was very informative and there was lots of discussion around health issues in Leo's with a emphasis on Polyneuropathy and breeding issues. Boomer also became the first Irish dog to be shown at the Leonberg International Club Show and not only that but took the honours of First place in open class placing him in the top 5 dogs at the show!


Update 7. Puppies left home

The last 8 weeks have been completely hectic here! The puppies have gone from strength to strength and are eating us out of house and home. All the future owners have been regular visitors to see their new additions which is great for us and the puppies. But trying to have them on their best behaviour to impress their new families is proving to be a bit of hard work!! With the weather being so unseasonably nice the pups are spending lots of time outside playing. They are all getting the hang of the toilet thing outside which will make life a bit easier when they all head off.

Saturday 19th September - Today is a day full of mixed emotions. The puppies are all going to their new homes today, so a busy day ahead. It is great to see the excitement of everyone coming to bring their new Leobabies home, but of course it is sad for us as we will miss them. However, we are looking forward to a having lie in tomorrow morning! Click here for photos.


Update 6. The Munster Circuit

The Munster Circuit (week of dog shows) occurs in August and as part of the week the Leonberger Club of Ireland held their first ever club show. A great time was had by all and Boomer wins "Top Irish Leonberger" at the show. During the week of the circuit Joe had some well earned rest from the puppies to recharge his batteries, and he, Boomer and Elsa had a few wins during the week, including a best of breed, green star dog, green star bitch and a number of reserve green stars and a first in Brace.


Update 5. Mating and Puppies!

After being checked out medically by the vet, Okie and Boomer are mated in May. As this was our first time to breed we were very nervous and anxious but thanks to all the support from friends at home and abroad, all went exceptionally well and on 24th July, Okie gave birth to 7 puppy-bergers ! Okie has taken on her role as Mammy with open paws and she is caring for each


Update 4 . First Aid for your Faithful Friend

Joe is busy in April and does Canine First Aid Training. The next day he goes back for more and becomes one of only 8 people in Ireland to become a Canine First Responder Instructor for more see


Update 3. Showing and all things Leo

Showing continues too as it gives you just the excuse (if one is needed) to head off for the weekend! Joe enters the Brace Stakes with Boomer and Elsa, which really is just for fun. They are the only Leo's currently doing this activity in Ireland. It is where Joe has to run around the ring like he would with one dog but he has to do it with two! No mean feat I can tell you with 22 stone of dog! It was great to see them receiving a several 1 st places in the Brace Stakes. They even got their photos in the doggie papers a couple of times too! Not wanting to feel left out of all things Leo going on, Sinead begins to do the Breed Notes for Irish Canine Press (doggie newspaper) and also begins to organise a Breed Seminar for judges about Leonberger's, Newfoundland's and Bernese with friends from both the Emerald Isle Newfoundland Club and the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Ireland.

So far this year (up to July) Boomer has won 10 Green Stars and 8 Best of Breeds and 2 CACIB's having missed some shows. Elsa has won 6 green stars, 2 CACIB's and 2 Best of Breeds again having missed some shows. Boomer has also been shortlisted a number of times in Group 2, but he is still not even 2 years old, so he has not fully matured yet.


Update 2. Pets as Therapy

April sees the Treacy's Trio doing their Peata Pets as Therapy tests so they can visit a variety of settings to provide Pet Therapy for people. Okie, Elsa and Boomer pass the tests with flying colours and begin to work immediately doing visits. In one of the centres they visit they were specially invited to a Family Day for residents so Joe took the dogs and all the Carting equipment and did carting with some of the families children, which went down a treat with everyone.


Update 1. Crufts

We headed off to the UK to attend Crufts in the NEC in Birmingham. Unfortunately we were a doggie short as Elsa was unable to attend as she was in season. Boomer, the first Irish owned male Leo to attend Crufts, was lonely without Elsa, and obviously wanted some company, which he made known to everyone usually around 3am the night before the big show! Big thanks to Nigel & Anita and co. for their understanding and hospitality! As this was our first trip to Crufts we were very excited. When it came time for the Yearling Dog, Joe and Boomer strutted their stuff in ring 25 and Boomer was placed 3 rd in his class. His litter brother Nero was placed 1 st place, while his other brother, Fonzi came 4 th in the same class. Happy out, we got the Ferry home at 2.30am and straight to bed for some well earned sleep!


January 2009

As we have just launched this site we have all our news in the previoBoomer Leonberger looking outus pages, but keep an eye out and check back soon as we will be constantly adding new content.

2008 at a glace

It was great year for all in Sion ná Rush with eighteen green stars, eleven best of breeds and twenty reserve green stars. We took our annual trips (unfortunately without our Leos) to both Crufts in the UK and Leonberg in Germany meeting old friends and making new acquaintances along the way. October saw us and our Leo's learning the art of carting with the Southern Leonberger Carting Group in the UK, and we hope to lead out with carting in the Irish Leonberger club in 2009.