Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Springador
Average Cost to keep/care for a Springador
The Springador is a cross between an English Springer Spaniel and a Labrador Retriever. They are often referred to as "designer dogs" and as yet they have not be recognised by The Kennel Club although other international breed organisations have recognised them and set breed standards. These lovely dogs are renowned for their kind personalities and temperaments, they are affectionate and love to please which is what makes them such wonderful family pets and companion dogs. Today, Springadors are as popular as they were when they first appeared on the scene although how a puppy turns out remains luck of the draw.
The Springador is a relative newcomer to the canine world, but they've become a popular designer cross breed to own both as a family pet and working dog. Their parent breeds are the Labrador Retriever and the English Springer Spaniel, both of which are well known for their kind natures and eager to please temperaments. With this said, both the Lab and the Springer have passed their working skills down to the Springador, but because they are so new to the dog scene, each puppy in a litter can not only look very different to their siblings, but they can have quite different temperaments too.
The exact origins of how Springadors first came about are a little uncertain, even though they are so new to the scene. It’s not know whether the cross was intentional or a mistake, but the result is a charming dog that over time has become one of the most popular cross breeds both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world. Because Springadors are so new to the dog world, it's doubly important to make sure puppies are only sourced from reputable breeders who routinely have their stud dogs tested for any hereditary health issues before using them in a breeding programme. This helps reduce the chance of their offspring inheriting any of the health issues that so often affect the Labrador Retriever and the English Springer Spaniel.
Height at the withers: Males 45.7 - 60.9 cm, Females 45.7 - 60.9 cm
Average weight: Males 22.6 - 40.8 kg, Females 22.6 - 40.8 kg
Springadors tend to be larger than an English Springer Spaniel, but quite a bit smaller than a Labrador Retriever. However, some dogs look more like a Lab and have the same shaped heads and coats whereas other dogs may look more like the Springer Spaniel and have longer coats. Some Springadors inherit a bit of both their parent breeds in the looks department too which adds to their overall charming appeal.
They always have a keen, alert expression in their eyes which is a good indication of just how active they like to be. Noses are always nice and large with dogs having wide open nostrils. Ears are usually set well on a dog’s head and they drop down which dogs hold more erect when excited or alert. They have athletic bodies much like both their parent breeds which paired to well developed and strong front and back legs is a good indication of how fast a Springador can be on their feet when needed.
Coat colours and textures can vary quite a bit too with some dogs having solid, tight coats and others have longer coats with a varying amount of markings throughout their coats. Some dogs have feathering on their ears, chests, legs and tails whereas others don't, but they usually have double coats with a harsher top coat and a much denser, softer undercoat. Outer coats can be straight, wavy or even shaggy which adds to a Springadors charming appearance. The most common coat colours include the following:
The Springador usually inherits a lot of their parent breeds traits which is why they have become one of the most popular cross breeds to own as a family pet or companion dog both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world. They are extremely intelligent which makes them easy to train, but the downside to this is that a Springador is just as quick to pick up bad habits and behaviours as they are the good ones.
They are playful dogs and enjoy being in a family environment. They thrive on being involved in everything that goes on around them which includes playing nicely with the children. They form strong attachments to their owners and families which means they don't particularly like to be left on their own for long periods of time which is why they are a great choice for families where one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out of the house. Because they are so intelligent, they need to be given the right amount of mental stimulation on a daily basis for them to be truly well-rounded, obedient dogs.
If left to their own devices and not given enough daily exercise, a Springador would quickly get bored and this could result in a dog developing some unwanted and destructive behaviours around the home. They could also suffer separation anxiety which can leave dogs nervous an anxious. They are a very good choice for first time owners as long as they have the time needed to socialise and train such an intelligent, high energy dog.
Springadors are intelligent and they love to please which makes them easy to train. However, because they such active, high-energy dogs by nature, it can prove hard to get a puppy to concentrate during a training session. It's best to just teach them the basics and wait until they have been fully vaccinated and then to enrol them into puppy classes which is a great way of starting a Springador's training in earnest whilst at the same time socialising them in a safe environment where they can meet lots of other dogs.
Being sensitive dogs by nature, the Springador does not respond well to any sort of harsh correction and heavy handed training methods definitely do not get the best out of them. The key to successfully training them is to use positive reinforcement and to make a training session as interesting as possible, keeping it short and sweet without too much repetition. This helps keep a younger Springadore stay more focussed on their handlers so they understand what is being asked of them.
Springadors have inherited their kind natures from both parent breeds and therefore thoroughly enjoy being in a family environment. They thrive on being around people and children. However, any interaction between the kids and a dog should be supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not end up getting too boisterous particularly when younger kids are involved.
It they have grown up with a family cat in a household, they usually get on well together, but because Springadors boast having a pretty high prey drive, they would think nothing of chasing off any other cat they come across. Care has to be taken when they are around smaller animals and pet, just in case.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Springador is between 10 and 14 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Like so many other breeds, the Springador is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these active and good looking dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
As with any other breed, Springadors need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
A Springador's coat can vary depending on whether they've thrown more towards a Lab or have inherited more toward the English Springer Spaniel. As such, some of them can have shorter, tight coats whereas other Springadors have longer coats with the latter being slightly higher maintenance in the grooming department. With this in mind shorter coated dogs would only need a weekly brush and a wipe over with a chamois leather to keep their coats tidy and to maintain a nice sheen. Longer coated dogs need grooming several times a week to remove any dead hair and to prevent any knots or tangles from forming in their coats paying special attention to their ears, under their bellies and any feathering found on any part of their bodies, legs and tails.
Both long and short haired Springadors shed throughout the year, only more so during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent grooming is usually necessary to keep on top of things and to remove any loose or dead hair from a dog's coat. It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
Springadors are intelligent, high energy dogs and therefore they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and as much mental stimulation as possible for them to be truly happy, well-rounded and obedient dogs. They need at least 60 minutes exercise a day and more if possible because it’s hard to tire these high energy dogs out.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these active, high energy dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Springador puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.
If you get a Springador puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Because Springadors are known to suffer from bloat, it is really important for them to be fed twice a day instead of giving a dog just one larger meal a day. It's also a good idea to invest in a stand for their feed bowls which makes it easier for these large dogs to eat comfortably without having to stretch their necks down to reach their food. Dogs should never be exercised just before or just after they have eaten either because this puts them more at risk of suffering from gastric torsion.
If you are looking to buy a Springador, you would need to pay anything from £200 to over £500 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Springador in northern England would be £21.73 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £42.25 a month (quote as of June 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £40 - £50 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Springador and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £900 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Springador would be between £70 to £100 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree or other puppy.
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