I have been interested in Leos for many years and would like to look into getting two this winter/spring. Anyone know reputable breeders? Is anyone experienced with having them in desert environments? Anyone have comments on integrating them in with a household that has a dog, cats, a parrot, horses and chickens? Any tips/tricks?
There were 2 Leo's that frequently are boarded at the kennel I work at. They're there about 10 days out of each month as the owners travel a lot for work. Sweet, sweet dogs but very rambunctious and strong willed.
I will say that you won't be able to have anything on tables, desks, etc. Anything that's not sitting higher than 4' off the ground gets knocked over, either by their tail or their head lol.
"People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"
Ditto Milocalwinnings thoughts. I do dog day care for 2, sweet, get along with all the other dogs and ignore the chickens, goats and horses, but high energy and willful. I'm sure the lack of obedience is in part due to the individual owners, but, wow, with a dog that large, I would really want to make sure he listens to me. Just my 2 cents. . .
I have had large dogs before...lab/pyrennes/shepard crosses, one at 95lbs and the other 135lbs. I trained them to work off the leash and they were well behaved and traveled. I currently have a lab/pit cross that is smaller, but also works off the leash. She also works off of voice command when I am on my horses. High energy is fine, because I have an acre that is completely fenced with 5' no climb. I just need to make sure they don't chase horses. I had another pit that unfortunately did chase the horses when he thought I wasn't looking. I worked with him extensively for a year, but he had a very strong prey drive and I got him at 3 yrs old. He had to be rehomed with no livestock. So, I absolutely need a breed that is good with livestock and I keep reading that quality about the leonbergers. I also love big dogs and miss having them around.
One of the other Devon chairs has one and I ADORE him. That being said, he is a LOT OF DOG. Sheds tons. And despite what they say about the breed-- he drools. He is great around horses, very gentle, but strong and just all around a LOT OF DOG. Talk about beautiful if they fit your lifestyle.
Here's Guinness in the doggy constume contest one year...
My best friend when I was little had one and he scared the bejeezus out of me and all of our friends. Even had an unfortunate incident when he pinned me up against a wall at her house. BUT she has had two and loved her dogs very dearly. All I would say is that in my opinion they are extremely protective. And giant!
I know someone up here in Ontario and her second one came all the way from Seatle as I guess the pickings are slim with good breeders of rare breeds. Her second one is amazing so check seatle for a breeder.
Lovely dogs, my suggestion from hard learned experience is to not get two puppies at once. Get one and after it is trained get the second. The first will help you train the second. Can't wait to see puppy pics!
If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb
Sounds like you are very adept at training. But getting both at the same time? I had always been warned not to take on two at once, especially two puppies of any kind, since they tend to bond together, and pay you less attention. Just a thought.
I had Labs as pets, then showing & breeding, and some obedience. I have seen this with others who took on two at once.
Currently have an Irish Wolfhound, so I can relate to the "tall" part. Counter surfing for her is a breeze.
Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes
Hmmm...there are some good points about not getting two at the same time. I may just get one at first. The great thing about my current dog is her good behavior and training rubs off on other dogs, so it makes my job easier. She is also a bundle of energy and would be a great playmate for a puppy who needs to blow off steam. Here is my favorite pic of her with her happy face. This was her first time in snow. http://www.equus-webdesign.com/images/pepper.jpg
There is one that lives in our urban neighborhood- he is a lovely, kind, polite (yet gargantuan) dog who is very sweet and gentle with my corgi puppy. We run into a lot of dogs on our walks, and he is one of my very favorites.
One of the daughters of the BO where I used to board had one of these. She spent a lot of time with him at first, then after she found a boyfriend, very little. They had an invisible fence, and this dog would regularly blow right through the fence, run across a busy road, and play with the kids practicing football at the high school across the road. To the point where they knew who to call when he was over there (he really loved kids). He also would torment the heck out of the horses. He thought it was great fun to grab the horses' muzzle when they went to drink out of the tubs. We asked the daughter to keep him penned repeatedly but he was always out. Then one day, he went into the pasture with the horses and he got chased down then kicked but good and never messed with them again after that.
So, he started spending lots of time in the kennel. He was miserable and howled all the time ... then got sent to the dad's farm. Then somehow the dog mysteriously got a wound that looked like he'd been shot (with pellets). Dad swore that it was just a sore from the concrete in the kennel. Daughter took the dog back, but still didn't pay him any attention.
So a friend of mine adopted him as her farm dog. He did much better with her as he was her constant companion. Good with cats, dogs, and horses. GREAT with her twins when they came along. He was very protective of them and those kids could do anything to him and he was fine with it. They called him 'Big Dog' so that became his name.
They lost him a year or 2 ago when he became so arthritic that he couldn't get up and down the steps, and at almost 100 lbs he was too heavy to carry. The kids where completely heartbroken.
I have Irish Wolfhounds but see the Leos at the shows, and agree they are gorgeous! Less predatory (generally) than a wolfhound too, but comparable short lifespan, unfortunately.
I have often raised two puppies together, and agree it can be done, but it is a whole lot of work. It would be much easier to get one well started, than add a second one when the first is doing well. As far as breeders, I don't know any offhand, but go to the AKC website and go through the Leo national parent club. The breeders will have to abide by a certain code of ethics and you will have a better chance of getting a reputable breeder. Obviously temperament must be a major concern in such large and powerful dogs.
As I recall, cancer is a big problem as mentioned earlier, as well as hip and elbow dysplasia and heart problems. Good breeders will screen breeding stock and try to breed away from some of these health issues.
Good luck! They are beautiful dogs, send pictures!