Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Sprollie
Average Cost to keep/care for a Sprollie
The Sprollie is a cross between a Springer Spaniel and a Border Collie and they have inherited many of their parent breed's looks and character traits. However, puppies from the same litter can be quite different depending on whether they have thrown to the Collie or Springer with one of the constants being they are high energy, lively dogs that like nothing better than to be working alongside their owners. Sprollies have become a popular choice for people who lead active, outdoor lives and who would like to have an intelligent and devoted canine companion at their side.
The actual origins of how the Sprollie first came about remain unclear and as yet these charming dogs have not earned the recognition of The Kennel Club, although several local breed clubs have been established in the UK and elsewhere in the world with an end goal being to breed healthy Sprollies whether first or second generation dogs.
What is known is that for decades Border Collies have been crossed with Springer Spaniels and more especially on farms in the UK where they have always been used as working dogs. With this said, over more recent times, Sprollies have only been deliberately bred not just as working dogs, but as companions and family pets too. In the last ten years or so, they have become a popular choice, more especially with people who lead active lives because these high energy dogs make such wonderful companions in the great outdoors.
Height at the withers: Males 46 - 56 cm, Females 46 - 56 cm
Average weight: Males 18 - 25 kg, Females 18 - 25 kg
Because Sprollies are a cross between an English Springer Spaniel and a Border Collie, puppies from the same litter can be quite different in appearance depending on which of the parent breeds they throw to. However, because the Springer and the Collie are similar sized dogs, their offspring tend to be of a similar size too. With this said, most Sprollies inherit the pendant type ears of the Springer and they usually have very similar coats to the Spaniel. However, when it comes to coat colours, these can be very Border Collie-like with the majority of Sprollies inheriting a well-furnished, feathered Collie tail too.
They have well proportioned, broad heads and have inherited the alert expression of both parent breeds. They have quite distinct stops and their muzzles are broad, but taper slightly to a dog's nose which can either be black or brown in colour. Eyes are a nice oval shape and set wide apart being either a light or dark brown. Sprollies always have a keen and "ready to go", yet intelligent look about their eyes much like that of a Springer and a Collie.
They have medium sized ears which are set wide apart and which are typically long and pendulous, falling forward when a dog is alert and to the side of their heads when they are relaxed. Sprollies boast having a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. They have a strong, muscular, slightly arched necks which are wider at the shoulder than at the nape which adds to their overall athletic appearance.
They have strong, well boned forequarters with well laid back shoulders and nice straight front legs. They have athletic bodies with well sprung ribs and deep chests over deep, muscular loins. Hindquarters are muscular with well-developed thighs and well angled back legs. Their feet are oval shaped with deep pads, tight arched toes and short dark coloured nails.
Sprollies have inherited the long tales of the Border Collie which are set low and which are well covered in hair. Dogs carry their tails with a slight curve in them right to the tip, adding to their overall perfect balance and proportion. When excited, Sprollies raise their tails, but they never carry them over their backs.
When it comes to their coats, Sprollies can either have quite long hair or their coats can be short and smooth. However, whichever type of coat they have inherited, they always have a dense topcoat and softer undercoat which offers dogs lots of protection against the elements. Long-coated dogs have longer hair around their necks and upper shoulders which forms a mane and they have more in the way of feathers on their legs and under their tails. Sprollies can come in a variety of colours and combinations of colours with the most common being as follows:
Sprollies are high energy dogs having inherited their liveliness from both parent breeds. They have also inherited the intelligence of the Collie and the Springer which means they not only need to be given the right amount of daily exercise, but they also need to have enough mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well rounded characters. A tired Sprollie is a happy dog and one that's a pleasure to have around. A bored Sprollie can become quite a handful and all too often they'll develop unwanted and destructive behaviours around the home if their minds are not kept occupied.
Puppies need to be taught the "basics" and the boundaries as soon as they arrive in their new homes and their training has to start in earnest once they've been fully vaccinated. A great way of socialising one of these independent and high spirited dogs is to enrol them into puppy classes where they will get to meet lots of other dogs and people while at the same time being trained in a safe and controlled environment.
Although a Sprollie is always quick to let an owner know when there are any strangers about, they are not terribly good watchdogs being far too friendly which is one of their endearing traits. They are a good choice for people who lead more active, outdoor lives and not so suited to people who lead sedentary, quieter lives because these dogs need a ton of exercise and are never happier than when they are out and about with their owners.
It's really important for Sprollies to be well socialised from a young age so they grow up to be confident, outgoing mature dogs. Their socialisation has to include introducing them to lots of new situations, noises, people, other animals and dogs. A Sprollie is never happier than when they know their place in the pack and who they can look to for direction and guidance. If they don't know who is the alpha dog in a household, they may quickly take on the role of a dominant dog which can make them harder to live with and handle.
The Sprollie is a very smart dog and a fast learner being able to retain a lot more in the way of "commands" than many other breeds, much like the Border Collie and the Springer. The downside to this is they are just as quick to pick up bad habits as they are the good. As such, their training has to begin early and it has to be consistent and always fair from the word go and throughout a dog's life, so they understand what owners expect of them. Sprollies are never happier than when they are given something to do which is why they are so amenable to learning new things.
They excel at many canine sports which includes activities like flyball, agility and obedience because they thrive on the attention they are given during their training and the one-to-one contact they have with their owners when competing together. The key to successfully training a Sprollie is to make their training as interesting as possible and to avoid too much repetition. It's also a good idea to keep training sessions shorter which helps a dog stay more focussed on what’s being asked of them, bearing in mind the more intelligent a dog is, the faster they tend to get bored.
Sprollies are known to be very good around children thanks to their gentle, albeit bouncy natures. However, any interaction between toddlers and a dog should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could end up with someone being knocked over and hurt, although this would only happen by accident.
When dogs have been well socialised from a young enough age, they generally get on well with other dogs they meet and if they have grown up with a family cat in a household, they usually get on well together. However, a Sprollie would think nothing of chasing off any other cats they encounter because they would see them as fair game. Care has to be taken when they are around any smaller animals and pets because a Sprollie might want to continually herd them which they do by nipping at their back-ends.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Sprollie is between 10 and 17 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The Sprollie may be prone to suffer from a few hereditary health issues that affect their parent breeds which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these energetic and intelligent dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
As with any other breed, Sprollies 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.
Sprollies boast having double coats that consist of a harsher top coat and a softer and dense undercoat. However, they are not high maintenance on the grooming front. A twice weekly brush is all it takes to keep their coats looking good and tangle-free. They shed steadily throughout the year only more so during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent grooming is usually necessary to stay on top of things and to remove dead and shed 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, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure with ear infections.
The Sprollie is a high energy, intelligent dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. They need a minimum of 1 hour's exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Sprollie would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home which is their way of relieving any stress they are feeling and not necessarily because they are being naughty.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must with as much off the lead time as possible. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden 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 and could get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Sprollie 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 Sprollie 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 eaters, but this does not mean they can be given 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.
If you are looking to buy a Sprollie, you would need to pay anything from £250 to over £350 for a well-bred puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Sprollie in northern England would be £22.55 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.75 a month (quote as of July 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 £30 - £40 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Sprollie 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 Sprollie would be between £60 to £90 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 well-bred puppy.
Click 'Like' if you love Sprollies.