Thank you so much for sharing. I’m happy any time I hear about Leos being a positive influence for someone.
Farley (2000-2013) was born in California but LOVED New York, especially Central Park. He seemed to think he was the therapy dog for the entire city. And everyone he met on the street fell in love with him. He was dubbed by more than one New Yorker as the “King of New York”.
I would recommend them if you feel comfortable with handling a big dog. And if you’re not sure, read up on it. Obviously, yes, cockers and leos are completely different but one of my main concerns is that leash/obedience training will be different with a big dog. With smaller dogs leash training is usually very easy, some put up a fuss but they’re easy to manage and get under control.
With a large dog, and this goes for almost any large breed not just leos, if they put up a fuss with the leash or want to go chasing a squirrel or go say hi to another dog, most of the time they can drag you away without thought. So I wouldn’t recommend a leo if you’re not going to keep the training up or if you don’t think you’ll be able to control the dog properly.
Though, If you’re fine with those and are thinking of getting a puppy then start the leash and obedience training very early. Leos can be big goofballs and lay around all day and be gentle giants but they also get bored very easily and so they’ll get bored of obedience training and do what they want instead. And say when your leo turns 4 or 5 and you haven’t reminded them of their training in a year or so they’ll easily revert back to doing what they want and still be just as strong and you’ll be struggling to hold them back or chasing after them when they don’t want to come after being called.
There’s many different ways to train for obedience but for leos I think food is the best motivator. Of course there’s also the route of hiring someone to train your dog for you. But, yes, I would recommend them because the only high maintenance thing about them is keeping them brushed, happy and cool. Just keep in mind how to handle big dogs, and always keep in mind big dog health concerns since they are drastically different from smaller dogs, and you should be alright. I hope this helped.
Most don’t need much exercise. I take my own for a walk every morning and she’s happy to lounge for the rest of the day. You don’t have to worry about having to run them every day or multiple walks like high energy breeds, leos are the complete opposite.
They can tolerate a warm climate, though most do love being in colder weather because their coats are so thick. My only warning with a warm climate is to make sure they’re not out for too long because heat stroke is a very serious thing and always always refresh the water. All Leo’s have the black mask and most have an array of dark colors across their backs, and the sun really sinks into it really quickly. Keeping it cool indoors is always a good thing.
And a side note: when it’s warm they shed a lot, so be mindful of that. My leo builds a heavy winter coat and I’m brushing her every few days for multiple weeks when it starts to get hot out. So if you’re not up for that maintenance or don’t like hair everywhere I wouldn’t consider a leo just in general.
And an apartment is usually fine. They adapt very well to different situations, what they care about is their people more than a backyard. You do have to take into consideration their size. If you’re thinking of getting a puppy you can usually judge how big they’ll become after just a few months. Some apartments don’t allow dogs over a certain weight limit and even a runt of the little for a leo can be end up being 90 pounds. (Sometimes renters will ask what kind of dog, look it up, and then decline you because the first pictures online are of the biggest ones.) And some apartments are just cramped anyways, which obviously isn’t fun for the dog, but they do adjust. (And always out of courtesy, if there’s apartment beneath yours, just explain you have a large dog so they know what to expect sound wise and always thank them for putting up with it.)
I hope this was helpful! Come back anytime for help.