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Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Sproodle
Average Cost to keep/care for a Sproodle
Breed Specific Buying Advice
The Sproodle is a cross between a Standard or a Miniature Poodle and an English Springer Spaniel and they first appeared on the scene in the 1980's when breeders wanted to develop a dog with a low shedding coat and one that boasted being energetic, intelligent and biddable. The result was a charming dog that soon became a popular choice with people because they make such great family pets.
Today, Sproodles have found their way into the hearts and homes of many people in the UK and elsewhere in the world although they are not yet recognised as a breed by The Kennel Club or other international organisations although Sproodles can be registered with hybrid clubs in the States. Anyone wanting to share a home with a Sproodle should always contact reputable breeders who routinely have parent dogs health tested for known congenital and hereditary conditions.
The Sproodle first appeared on the scene back in the 1980's when breeders wanted to produce intelligent, biddable dogs with low shedding coats. Since then, these charming dogs have consistently remained one of the more popular modern cross breeds in the world thanks to their charming looks and their kind, well-balanced, loyal and affectionate natures. They can range in size and weight depending on the size of their parent breeds and which of them puppies throw to.
They are often called Springerdoodles and have established a big fan base in the UK and elsewhere in the world with more breeders producing healthy first and second generation litters every year. They are not recognised by any of the International Breed Organisations, which includes The Kennel Club (October 2017). However, some local Sproodle breed clubs have been set up with an end goal being to continue to produce healthy, well-bred dogs and to ensure a breed standard is eventually set for these charming, high energy and intelligent dogs which today are often seen being used as PAT dogs around the country.
Height at the withers: Males 45.72 - 55.88 cm, Females 45.72 - 55.88 cm
Average weight: Males 22.67 - 31.75 kg, Females 22.67 - 31.75 kg
Sproodle pups from the same litter can look very different because it depends on whether they have thrown to the Poodle or to an English Springer Spaniel. With this said, both parent breeds are of a similar size which means their offspring tends to be around the same size as the parent breeds used in a breeding programme. Their coats can vary quite a lot too with some dogs having more of a Poodle coat whereas others have straighter, more Springer-type coats.
Sproodles are generally well-balanced dogs that boast kind and gentle, albeit mischievous expressions in their eyes which is an insight into their playfulness. They have nicely proportioned heads with ears being set quite wide apart and which fall down to the side of a dog’s head. Their muzzles are moderately long and dogs usually have quite distinct stops. Their eyes are round to oval shaped and typically a dark colour with dogs having a keen, intelligent look about them.
They have nicely arched necks, a trait inherited from both parent breeds and Sproodles also have strong jaws with a perfect scissor bite. They have strong shoulders that are nicely laid back and well sprung ribcages. Front legs are straight and strong showing a good amount of bone. Their backs a lightly arched with dogs having strong, well-muscled hindquarters and muscular back legs. Feet are compact with firm pads and strong, dark nails. Their tails are set quite high which dogs carry gaily when excited or alert, but lower when resting or relaxed.
A Sproodle's coat can vary quite a lot, but it is usually very weather resistant and soft to the touch whether the hair is straight, wavy or curly. Some dogs can have a moderate amount of feathering on their ears, body, front legs and bodies as well as on their hindquarters. When it comes to colours, the most commonly seen in Sproodles are as follows:
When a Sproodle moves, they do so with great determination and purpose covering a lot of ground when they do. They have a bouncy, gay gait with dogs always being on the alert and ready to go.
Prospective Sproodle owners should be wary of any puppies or dogs that show any sort of exaggeration whether in their looks or conformation and that extra-small Sproodles often come with many health issues so they are best avoided. A responsible breeder would always ensure that puppies they produce are of a good size and conformation and would avoid breeding extra small dogs for these reasons. Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums.
Both Poodles and Springer Spaniels are nice natured and intelligent dogs and they have passed on both traits to the Sproodle. Since they first appeared on the scene, Sproodles have proved to be among one of the most popular modern crossbreeds both with people here in the UK and elsewhere in the world. They make wonderful family pets because they are so good around children of all ages and they are always so affectionate, loyal and biddable.
However, sharing a home with a Sproodle means having a high energy companion in the house and one that needs to be kept busy both mentally and physically for them to be truly happy, well-balanced characters. The good news is that Sproodles love to please and being so intelligent they are fast learners and always willing and biddable which makes their training such a pleasant experience.
They are very good choice for people who lead active, outdoor lives and who like to have a busy, smart and eager canine companion at their side. They are also a good choice for first time owners, but only if they have the time needed to dedicate to such an intelligent, high-energy dog. With this said, it's really important for these dogs 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 once they have been fully vaccinated. It's also crucial for their training to start early too and it must be consistent. A Sproodle 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.
Sproodles are the perfect choice for first time dog owners because they are so amenable and people-oriented, loving nothing more than to please and to entertain their families which also makes them highly trainable. They are particularly good with young children and older people too although playtime can get a bit boisterous at times.
Sproodles are social by nature and even though they have working and hunting dogs in their lineage which means some of them do have quite a high prey drive. In short, they love chasing anything that moves which is why it's best to keep a Sproodle on the lead when walking through the countryside or when there is livestock or wild animals around.
Sproodles have a very playful and often mischievous side to their natures and love to entertain and be entertained. They also like to test limits to see how much they can get away with and for the fun of it.
Sproodles are highly adaptable dogs and providing they are given enough daily physical exercise combined with as much mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in, they are just as happy living in an apartment as they would be living in a house with a garden.
Although Sproodles form strong ties with their families, they are not overly clingy in that providing they are not left alone for too long, they don't stress out when an owner goes out, but it must be stressed that no dog should be left on their own for extended periods of time.
Some Sproodles like the sound of their own voices a little too much which is something that needs to be gently nipped in the bud when a dog is still young being careful not to frighten them. Others will only bark when there are strangers about or when something they don't like is going on in their surroundings.
Most Sproodles love swimming and will take to the water whenever they can more especially when the weather is hot. However, if anyone who owns a dog that does not like water should never force them to go in because it would just end up scaring them. With this said, care should always be taken when walking a Sproodle off the lead anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case a dog decides to leap in and then needs rescuing because they can't get out of the water on their own or get into trouble.
Sproodles are not natural watchdogs although this is not to say a dog would not be quick off the mark to let an owner know when there are strangers about although they would rarely do this aggressively preferring to keep their distance and bark as a way of alerting the owners to the situation.
The Sproodle is a very smart dog and a quick learner, much like both parent breeds. The downside to this is they are just as quick to pick up bad habits as they are the good. As such their training must begin early and it has to be consistent and always fair throughout a dog’s life so that a dog understands what their owner expects of them. Sproodles 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 get during their training and the one-to-one contact when competing with their handlers. The key to successfully training a Sproodle 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 short which helps a dog stay more focused on what's being asked of them, bearing in mind that the more intelligent a dog is, the faster they get bored.
They do not answer well to harsh correction or any sort of heavy handed training methods, but they do respond extremely well to positive reinforcement which always brings the best out of these intelligent and quick-witted dogs, especially when there are high value rewards involved.
Sproodle puppies are incredibly cute and it is all too easy to spoil them. However, care should always be taken as to how puppies are treated right from the word go and all prospective owners should start out as they mean to go on. In short, it is crucial to let out limits and boundaries so that puppies understand what is acceptable and what is not, bearing in mind that a Sproodle puppy will always test these just for the fun of it. The first commands a puppy should be taught are as follows:
Sproodles are known to be very good around children thanks to their gentle, placid natures. However, because of they can be quite lively and boisterous at times, 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, albeit 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 too. However, a Sproodle 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 they may see them as "fair game", as such any contact is best avoided.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Sproodle is between 10 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The Sproodle can suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are known to affect both parent breeds namely the Poodle and the English Springer Spaniel which are as follows, bearing in mind that not all dogs would develop any of the conditions during their life time:
In 1993, a law was passed preventing anyone other than a vet from carrying out the procedure, but this was further changed when The Animal Health and Welfare Act (Scotland) came into effect in 2006 which invoked a total ban on tail docking unless for medical reasons. In other parts of the UK, the Animal Welfare Act came into effect in April 2007 which meant that dog's tails could no longer be docked unless they fell into the category of a specific "working" dog or for medical reasons providing the correct paperwork has been submitted by a qualified vet who would undertake to carry out the procedure. There is a heavy fine for anyone who has a dog’s tail docked without submitting the necessary paperwork to the right authorities
Sproodle puppies would have been given their initial vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to make sure they have their follow-up shots in a timely manner with the vaccination schedule for puppies being as follows:
There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such, it's best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether a dog should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.
A lot of vets these days recommend waiting until dogs are slightly older before spaying and neutering them which means they are more mature before undergoing the procedures. As such they advise neutering males and spaying females when they are between the ages of 6 to 9 months old and sometimes even when a dog is 12 months old.
Other vets recommend spaying and neutering dogs when they are 6 months old, but never any earlier unless for medical reasons. With this said, many breeds are different and it is always advisable to discuss things with a vet and then follow their advice on when a dog should be spayed or neutered.
Sproodles can gain weight after they have been spayed or neutered and it's important to keep an eye on a dog's waistline just in case they do. If a dog starts to put on weight it's important to adjust their daily calorie intake and to up the amount of exercise they are given. Older dogs too are more prone to gaining weight and again it's essential they be fed and exercised accordingly because obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years. The reason being that it puts a lot of extra strain on a dog's internal organs including the heart which can prove fatal.
Some Sproodles are prone to suffering from allergies and it's important for a dog to see a vet sooner rather than later if one flares up. Allergies can be notoriously hard to clear up and finding the triggers can be challenging. With this said, a vet would be able to make a dog with an allergy more comfortable while they try to find out the triggers which could include the following:
All responsible Sproodle breeders would ensure that their stud dogs are tested for known hereditary and congenital health issues known to affect the breed by using the following schemes:
BVA/KC/SDS Gonioscopy, DNA test - Fuco, DNA test - PRS (cord1), BVA/KC/SDS/ Eye Scheme, BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme, DNA test - PFK, Fucosidosis through Animal Health Trust, Phosphofructokinase through AHT, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (cord1) throught AHT, Canine DNA profiles (ISAG 2006) through AHT
DNA test - prcd-PRA, BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme, hip scoring for hip dysplasia, DNA test for Von Willebrand's disease
Sproodles are not a recognised Kennel Club breed as such there are no breed specific breeding restrictions in place for them. However, prospective owners should always make sure that breeders they contact have stud dogs routinely health tested for all hereditary and congenital health issues that are known to affect the Schnauzer and the Poodle whether toy, miniature or standard.
There are no Kennel Club Assured breeder requirements in place because the Sproodle is not a recognised KC breed.
As with any other breed, Sproodles need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition, bearing in mind they are prone to suffering from skin allergies associated with autoimmune issues. 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.
Sproodle puppies are boisterous and full of life which means it's essential for homes and gardens to be puppy-proofed well in advance of their arrival. A responsible breeder would have well socialised their puppies which always leads to more outgoing, confident and friendly dogs right from the word go. With this said, any puppy is going to feel vulnerable when they leave their mother and littermates which must be taken into account. The longer a puppy can remain with their mother, the better although it should never be for too long either.
It's best to pick a puppy up when people are going to be around for the first week or so which is the time needed for a puppy to settle in. Puppy-proofing the home and garden means putting away any tools and other implements that a boisterous puppy might injure themselves on. Electric wires and cables must be put out of their reach because puppies love chewing on things. Toxic plants should be removed from flowerbeds and the home too.
Puppies need to sleep a lot to grow and develop as they should which means setting up a quiet area that's not too out of the way means they can retreat to it when they want to nap and it's important not to disturb them when they are sleeping. It's also a good idea to keep "playtime" nice and calm inside the house and to have a more active "playtime" outside in the garden which means puppies quickly learn to be less boisterous when they are inside.
The documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:
There are certain items that new owners need to already have in the home prior to bringing a new puppy home. It's often a good idea to restrict how much space a puppy plays in more especially when you can't keep an eye on what they get up to bearing in mind that puppies are often quite boisterous which means investing in puppy gates or a large enough playpen that allows a Sproodle puppy the room to express themselves while keeping them safe too. The items needed are therefore, as follows:
All puppies are sensitive to noise including Sproodle puppies. It's important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home. TVs and music should not be played too loud which could end up stressing a small puppy out.
As previously mentioned, Sproodle puppies would have been given their first vaccinations by the breeders, but they must have their follow up shots which is up to their new owners to organise. The vaccination schedule for puppies is as follows:
When it comes to boosters, it's best to discuss these with a vet because there is a lot of debate about whether a dog really needs them after a certain time. However, if a dog ever needed to go into kennels, their vaccinations would need to be
Older Sproodle need lots of special care because as they reach their golden years, they are more at risk of developing certain health concerns. Physically, a dog's muzzle may start to go grey, but there will be other noticeable changes too which includes the following:
Older dogs change mentally too which means their response time tends to be slower as such they develop the following:
Living with a Sproodle in their golden years means taking on a few more responsibilities, but these are easily managed and should include taking a look at their diet, the amount of exercise they are given, how often their dog beds need changing and keeping an eye on the condition of their teeth.
Older dogs need to be fed a good quality diet that meets their needs at this stage of their lives all the while keeping a close eye on a dog's weight. A rough feeding guide for older Sproodles is as follows bearing in mind they should be fed highly digestible food that does not contain any additives:
Older Sproodles don't need to be given the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog, but they still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent a dog from putting on too much weight. All dogs need access to fresh clean water and this is especially true of older dogs when they reach their golden years because they are more at risk of developing kidney disorders.
A Sproodle's coat can vary quite a bit because it depends on which of their parent breeds they have thrown to. Some dogs have curlier coats than others, but the one consistent is that Sproodles need to be professionally groomed several times a year which makes it that much easier to keep their coats looking good in between visits to a grooming parlour.
They shed little throughout the year even during the Spring and the Autumn, but a quick brush every few days helps remove any dirt and debris a dog may have picked up in their coats and it also helps prevent any knots and tangles from forming. It's 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 Sproodle 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 anything from 40 to 60-minutes 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 Sproodle 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 must be extremely secure to keep these lively and energetic 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, Sproodle 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 Sproodle 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.
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide, a Sproodle puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
Once a puppy is 12 months old they can be fed adult dog food.
Once fully mature, an adult Sproodle must be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide, an adult Sproodle can be fed the following amounts every day:
If you are looking to buy a Sproodle, you would need to pay anything from £400 to over £1000 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Sproodle in northern England would be £25.92 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £46.61 a month (quote as of December 2017). 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 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 £20 - £30 a month. On top of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Sproodle 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 Sproodle would be between £60 to £80 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 healthy, well-bred Sproodle puppy bred from health tested parents.