Leo is an adorable sable Cocker Spaniel.
Described by his mom as the handsomest boy ever, Leo has amassed a following of over 28,000 people on Instagram.
It’s easy to see why when you look through Leo’s photos, with his big brown eyes and spectacular colouring.
With autumn in full swing, Leo’s coat complements the beautiful fall colours to create some mesmerising photos.
We spoke to Leo’s mum to learn more about this charming Cocker Spaniel and find out what life is like owning a member of this sporty breed.
You can follow Leo on Instagram here (@_leo_the_cocker_).
1) How did you first hear about Cocker Spaniels?
I grew up with Cocker Spaniels, to be honest they are pretty much the only dogs I’ve ever known. We bred a few litters too when I was younger! From the moment I was born, I was around Cockers, my parents even bought me my own, Amber, when I was 8 years old.
2) What made you get a Cocker Spaniel?
When it came to deciding what breed to get for me and my partner in our own home, there was no doubt in my mind that it would be a Cocker Spaniel. My old girl, Amber, lived for around a year after I moved out of my parent’s home, and I missed her so much! I just knew that a Cocker would fit right into our little family and home!
3) Can you give us an insight into Leo’s personality?
If I could describe Leo in one word, it would be CHILLED. You hear so much about Spaniels being crazy, and don’t get me wrong – he has his moments! But in general he is a super laid back pup, who loves nothing more than snuggling up for a cuddle!
4) How would you describe Leo’s appearance?
Apart from absolutely gorgeous?! We get SO many comments on Leo’s coat and colouring, I think the Sable coat isn’t overly known about, a lot of people don’t believe us when I say he’s a Cocker! Plus at the minute he is super fluffy as he still has a lot of his puppy fur!
5) Do Cocker Spaniels get cold quite easily?
If they do, Leo is not one of them! Especially in the house! Leo will quite often take himself off to lie on the cool conservatory floor, and when he’s feeling cuddly, it doesn’t take long before he jumps down because he’s got too hot!
6) Did you find Leo easy to train?
Very much so, I was so shocked and surprised at how quickly he picked up tricks and training! We had him for 2 weeks and he’d already mastered Come, Sit, Paw, Down & Roll Over! Toilet training was also a breeze with Leo, I can count on 2 hands how many accidents he had!
7) Do Cocker Spaniels shed a lot?
YES! I knew this was coming, having grown up around Cockers, and Leo is no exception! The one benefit with Leo is his fur is fairly dark, and I tend to wear black, so it’s not overly noticeable when I’m covered in Leo fluff!
8) Does Leo get along with other dogs?
Very much so! He can be quite excitable when he passes dogs on walks, so we have to try to control him and walk on by, but with friends and families dogs he is amazing! My grandparents have a 12 year old Cocker, and Leo is so gentle with her!
9) What should people look for when buying a Cocker Spaniel?
Firstly, do your research, they can be quite a demanding breed in terms of energy and grooming. I would also say check that the pups parents have testing for FN and PRA which are hereditary conditions common in Cockers.
10) In your experience, are Cocker Spaniels fussy eaters?
None that I’ve ever owned! Leo in particular is NOT fussy when it comes to food, He’ll eat absolutely anything… which is great when he thinks his worming tablet is a treat… but not so great when he comes in off the garden munching on pieces of twig!
11) Why did you decide to start an Instagram account for Leo?
I think I first started it knowing that I would be taking TONNES of photos of Leo! I’m a professional photographer, and I didn’t want my photography Instagram to become over saturated with photos if him! So his insta was a place to post all the cute photos and keep a diary of him growing up!
12) What tips do you have for other dog owners who want to step up their IG game?
Post regularly with good, clear images! It doesn’t have to be on a professional camera, I have some lovely shots of Leo from my iPhone! Engage with your followers too, I’ve found that people want to know who is behind the account, not just the dog!
13) What is your favourite post or memory with Leo?
I think it would have to be the photoshoot we had back when Leo was only little, with the amazing Jessica Coates Photography! Myself, my partner and Leo had the shoot, and the photos are something I will treasure forever!
14) Would you recommend a Cocker Spaniel for a first-time dog owner?
I would, as long as you go into it with open eyes that not all spaniels are alike! Some can be crazy, high energy drive and demanding! We have been very lucky in the respect that Leo is such a chilled pup, but as with all dogs, they aren’t all like that!
15) What advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now if you were to go back to when you first got your dogs?
Take a moment each day to appreciate how far your dog has come! I sometimes take for granted how well behaved Leo is considering really, he is still just a baby! So when occasionally he does naughty things and I get frustrated, I have to remind myself that both him, and me, are still learning!
English Cocker Spaniel pros and cons
English Cocker Spaniel Pros
• They are very intelligent: Cockers are very intelligent dogs, they pick up training very easily, and with the right work and patience, are even capable of things such as agility training!
• They have a lovely temperament: on the whole, every spaniel I’ve known has had a really sweet nature and temperament, Leo is fantastic with kids and adults alike!
• Their coats are beautiful, with lots of colour variations! One thing I love about Cockers, is you really do get a chocolate box of variety! From Solids, to particolours, to roans and sables, there are so many stunning colours and patterns!
English Cocker Spaniel Cons
• They shed… A lot: As mentioned already, Cockers are prone to shedding, especially when their puppy fur is ready to be groomed out! Meaning our hoover gets a lot more use than before we had a dog!
• They require a lot of grooming: Cockers fur can be prone to matting, particularly in areas like under their front legs! If you don’t regularly groom them this can cause problems!
• Separation Anxiety is a common problem: Cockers are generally VERY sociable dogs, who love spending time with their owners. This can often lead to separation anxiety. We’ve experienced this first hand with Leo, especially with the addition of Lockdowns, but it is something we continually work on!