The Springador is a hybrid breed that crosses the Springer Spaniel with the Labrador, both of which are popular and high-energy breeds. The mixed breed is playful and has a lot of energy. It is also intelligent so, as well as needing lots of physical exercise, will need plenty of mental stimulation in the form of training and classes. It would also benefit from being used as a working dog.
Considered good with other dogs and children, the Springador is a good choice as a family pet and will bark to raise alarm so can also be considered a good watchdog, although its friendly temperament means that it will not make the best guard dog.
black, brown, gold, yellow, chocolate
Active families that spend a lot of time outdoors
Loyal, loving, friendly, pleasant, intelligent, energetic
The breed’s friendliness and close bond with its owners, as well as its high energy and intelligence, does mean that the hybrid is prone to separation anxiety and may not be the ideal choice of breed for owners that are out at work all day.
Read on to find out more about this playful breed and to find out whether it is a good choice of family pet for your home.
The Springador is known for being good with children and accepting of other dogs, but every dog is unique and individual. If you have dogs or children, try to have them meet the puppy before you bring it home. Ensure that they are respectful of the puppy and its mum, but also that they all get along well. This is a first meeting, so it might not be perfect, but look for signs of aggression and dominance.
Make sure to read the Springador’s full care guide so you know what type of food, exercise, and grooming they need to grow into happy and healthy dogs. Give your Springador puppy a nice welcome home by having a comfy dog bed, treats and toys ready!
Temperament & Intelligence of the Springador
The Springador combines two popular and loving dogs, the Labrador and the Springer Spaniel. Although it is a hybrid, we can determine a lot of likely characteristics of the resulting cross from the attitudes of the parent breeds. As such, here is what you can expect from your puppy if you buy or adopt one of this mixed breed.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
The Springador is a good family pet that will love all family members equally, although will usually take a real shining to the family member that is most often responsible for going on walks. With that said, it is an active breed and can be prone to moments of running around. As such, it may be too boisterous for some small children and will prefer the company of older children that know how to play well. There are usually no problems with regards to aggressiveness, however, and it should not be protective of children if they have friends around.
Although this breed is very active and does require plenty of exercise, it will happily shadow its owners around the house, play in the yard, and will curl up in front of the fire or on your lap, of an evening.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
The Springador is a cross between two hunting dogs and may retain some prey drive. As such, there might be some issues introducing one of this breed to cats, and any smaller animal should not be left unsupervised around any dog. In most cases, though, the Springador will get along with other dogs and can become good friends with cats, especially if they are introduced at a very young age so they have time to get to know one another and bond as a family.
Things to Know When Owning a Springador:
Friendly, loyal, loving, and playful, the Springador will fit in well with most families and makes a great companion pet for individual owners, too. However, the breed has a strong desire to be around its family at all times and this, combined with its high intelligence and energy levels, means that it can suffer separation anxiety if left alone too long.
Separation anxiety is not only distressing for your dog, but it can lead to unwanted and destructive behavior like chewing and destroying items around the house. It can also cause problems with nearby neighbors, so it may not be a suitable breed for families that are all out at work or school every day.
Similarly, the high energy levels mean that the Springador usually fares better in a home with a yard or garden, rather than in an apartment.
Although a potentially good family companion, it is not the most appropriate breed for all potential owners. Below, we look at some of the other requirements and needs of the breed, so that you can determine whether it is the right choice for you.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Although Springer Spaniels are smaller, the Labrador is a voracious eater for its size and can be prone to overeating. The Springador is usually smaller than a Labrador but is still considered a large dog. It has a large appetite, and you will need to feed between two and three cups of a good quality kibble each day. If you are unsure of how much to feed or are concerned about your dog’s eating habits, consult a vet and follow their recommendations.
Weight problems can be very problematic for dogs, and the Labrador is especially prone to them. They have a seemingly endless appetite that means they will hoover up any food you put in front of them, so be sure to carefully weigh the food you give.
You can also feed wet food or canned food, and every food is different, so accurately weigh your dog and then follow the manufacturer guidelines on the volume to feed.
If combining both wet and dry food, be careful not to overfeed. You can feed half the recommended dry food and half the recommended wet food. This will give your pet a good mixture of the two foods, ensure that they get all of their nutritional requirements, and provide some variety and excitement in feeding.
You also need to take into account any treats that you give your dog. High-value food treats are commonly used in training, especially when teaching new commands and behaviors. Use low-calorie treats and reduce the amount of food you give your dog if you do use food treats.
Raw food diets have become increasingly popular because they give owners total control over the ingredients and amounts that are fed. It ensures food is fresh and, if your dog has sensitivities or allergies, it also means that you can create a specialized diet. It does require more work on your part, although you can prepare and properly store the food a few days in advance.
The breed is energetic, with both parents having been bred to hunt and work the fields. The resulting cross is no slouch, is as happy in water as it is on dry land and will benefit from a minimum of one hour of exercise each day. This can include walks and you can take the breed hiking: it will likely outlast you on most treks. It is also very intelligent, so it is beneficial to include some form of mental stimulation to prevent them from getting bored.
Not only is the Springador very energetic and has bags of energy to burn, but it is eager to please and keen to follow clear instructions. Consider puppy classes when your dog is young because this will help lay the groundwork for future training at home. It will also allow you to socialize the dog in a positive environment where other owners are in the same boat as you.
Springer Spaniels are used as sniffer dogs and tracker dogs, so if you can find some form of exercise or canine sport class that involves scent tracking, then this will fit in well with the breed. Similarly, both parent breeds enjoy time in the water and are highly skilled in their aquatic adventures. Canine sports offer a good opportunity for intense exercise, allow socialization, allow you to train your dog, and they also make a great bonding experience for the two of you.
The Springador is an adaptable dog that can survive and thrive in most climates. You may need to offer additional warmth in sub-zero temperatures, however, and you should always ensure that any dog has plenty of water and shade when the weather gets really hot.
As a mixture of a Labrador and Springer Spaniel, the hybrid breed has medium-length hair that is usually curly and thick. It will need brushing weekly to avoid knots. The breed is a light shedder, although it does shed once or twice a year, depending on the climate.
Brush your dog’s teeth at least three times a week and consider supplementing this with dental chews and maybe a dental chew toy. These assist in breaking down tartar and preventing plaque from building up. Poor dental health is a real problem for pet dogs, and only through regular brushing and care can you hope to avoid it.
Health and Conditions 🏥
The Springador is considered a healthy breed that has an average lifespan of approximately 12 years and an average lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. If you do see signs of the following problems, though, you should consult a vet to have checks and scans done. The quicker a problem is diagnosed, the better the outlook.
Male vs Female
There may be a slight size difference between the male and female. As is common in most breeds, the male tends to be a little larger than the female, although the difference isn’t big. There isn’t much difference in temperament, either, though some owners claim that the male is more likely to lose concentration during training and activities, while the female is more level-headed. With good training and socialization, there shouldn’t be any major difference in character, however.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Springador
1. The Springer Spaniel Gets Its Name From Its Hunting Technique
The Springer Spaniel is a skilled hunting dog that would accompany hunters into the field to help them find and take down their quarry. Typically, they were used to hunt game and wild birds. The name does not come from the springing action of the dog or that the breed is always ready to spring into action, but because they would spring wild birds into the open. Once the birds took flight, the hunter would shoot them, and the dog would retrieve them. Although a crossbreed, the Springador is still considered a highly capable hunter and working dog.
2. Springer Spaniels Are Used By The Police
The Springer uses its nose when hunting birds, and its olfactory senses have also made it popular in a host of other roles. In particular, the breed is used by police to help sniff out drugs, firearms, and other contraband. Their incredible sense of smell is backed up by intelligence and a willingness to be trained. Springers may also be used for canine sports and are also employed as therapy dogs and companion dogs.
3. Labradors Are Well Equipped For Water
Labradors are as friendly and loyal as the Springer, perhaps even more so, which has seen them become one of the most popular pet dog breeds in the world. But they too have a working background. The Labrador was first bred in Canada as a hunting dog and is especially skilled in the water. The double coat is virtually waterproof, and because it is short it doesn’t weigh the dog down when it is wet. They even have partially webbed feet, enabling them to move quicker and more easily through the water. Most Lab owners will attest to the fact that they love jumping in puddles, and the muddier those puddles, the better.
Combining the energetic Springer Spaniel with the lively and somewhat goofy Labrador, the Springador makes for a fun and enjoyable family pet. The biggest challenge with this hybrid breed is ensuring that they get enough exercise, and adequate mental stimulation, to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive. They can also exhibit some separation anxiety.
However, they are easily trained, get along with all family members, and love to spend time outdoors playing with you all. The breed is best suited to families where somebody is home most of the day, and they do prefer the space to run around that is offered by a home with a yard or garden and might struggle to settle properly in an apartment. In either case, you do need to walk them regularly and consider signing up for canine sports classes to ensure that they are getting enough of a physical and mental workout.
Featured Image Credit: David Calvert, Shutterstock