Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 ( LRRK2) gene are associated with familial and sporadic forms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Sporadic PD and LRRK2 PD share main clinical and neuropathological features, namely hypokinesia, degeneration of nigro-striatal dopamine neurons and α-synuclein aggregates in the form of Lewy bodies. Animals harboring the most common LRRK2 mutations, i.e. p.G2019S and p.R1441C/G, have been generated to replicate the parkinsonian phenotype and investigate the underlying pathogenic mechanisms. Disappointingly, however, LRRK2 rodents did not consistently phenocopy hypokinesia and nigro-striatal degeneration, or showed Lewy body-like aggregates. Instead, LRRK2 rodents manifested non-motor signs and dysregulated transmission at dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic synapses that are reminiscent of behavioral and functional network changes observed in the prodromal phase of the disease. LRRK2 rodents also manifested greater susceptibility to different parkinsonian toxins or stressors when subjected to dual-hit or multiple-hit protocols, confirming LRRK2 mutations as genetic risk factors. In conclusion, LRRK2 rodents represent a unique tool to identify the molecular mechanisms through which LRRK2 modulates the course and clinical presentations of PD and to study the interplay between genetic, intrinsic and environmental protective/risk factors in PD pathogenesis.