A sprocker is a hybrid dog breed created from the crossing of a springer spaniel and a cocker spaniel, so it is fair to say that if you can’t pick between these two popular spaniel types, a sprocker provides the best of both worlds!
However, with the springer and the cocker being two closely related breeds that share both temperament and physical traits, many people are confused by the appeal of the sprocker-why not just pick one of the other? If this is something that has been baffling you, or if you are wondering what type of dog might be the right one for you to choose, in this article we will look at the sprocker dog type in more detail. Read on to learn more!
“Sprocker” is the term used to refer to a dog that is produced from the crossing of a springer spaniel and a cocker spaniel, with the name of course being a portmanteau of the two. To produce a sprocker, a springer spaniel and a cocker spaniel are crossed, or alternatively, two existing sprockers are crossed with each other, or a sprocker with one of the two parent breeds.
The sprocker is therefore a dog type rather than a dog breed, and they are not classed as a pedigree, which means that they cannot be registered with The Kennel Club. However, many popular hybrid dog types are as popular as, if not more than, many of the UK’s other favourite breeds, and as such, may command prices similar to or even higher than that of a registered pedigree!
Unless you have owned both breeds of dog and/or are very familiar with spaniels, it can be hard for the uninitiated to tell the springer spaniel and the cocker spaniel apart. Unlike most other hybrid dog types-which are usually created from two very separate, unrelated dog types-such as the cocker spaniel and the poodle, in the case of the cockapoo.
The dogs that we now call sprockers are certainly not a new creation-because both springer spaniels and cocker spaniels have similar working histories, both breeds would naturally have shared owners in many cases, and either deliberate or accidental matings between the two breeds have happened pretty much since the two breeds first came into being.
However, the deliberate crossing and assignation of a name for this type of dog is something that has only really come to prominence over the last decade or so.
When it comes to both the cocker spaniel and the springer spaniel, there are a lot of good points about both breeds. They are both on the slightly small side of medium, are good looking dogs with soft, kind faces and temperaments to match, and are very friendly with both other dogs and people, as well as being versatile, intelligent and really energetic.
The springer spaniel is the rather more energetic of the two breeds, but the cocker is by no means a couch potato either-which means that owning either breed, or a sprocker, is best undertaken by lively, active people who love to spend time outside and go on long walks.
As is the case with any hybrid dog type, the combination of traits that any sprocker shows (both physically and in terms of temperament) can be variable; but the ideal sprocker combines the best of both worlds, while potentially taking the edge of some of each breeds’ most pronounced traits.
A sprocker will usually be around the size of a cocker spaniel or a touch taller, and they will be lively and active dogs, without having the very onerous exercise requirements of the purebred working springer spaniel.
Additionally, the sprocker is instantly identifiable as a spaniel, which adds to the appeal for some people-aside from other sprocker, cocker or springer owners, the average dog lover would not usually be totally confident in taking a guess at the breed in question!
Also, the colour and pattern range that both the springer and the cocker can be found in gives plenty of room for variance. Springer spaniels come in either black and white or liver and white, while the cocker can be seen in black and white, liver and white, roan, and a range of other full body colours including black, red, sable and others!
This means that the potential range of colour variants that can be found in the sprocker are wider than than of either individual breed, and any given sprocker litter will probably be a real rainbow!
Both the springer spaniel and the cocker spaniel breeds have a slightly elevated propensity to inheriting certain hereditary health problems, and by outcrossing with another breed, the chances of these affecting the puppies is exponentially reduced.
This means that a sprocker is theoretically more likely to be robust and healthier than either parent breed, as well as having less chance of suffering from any hereditary health problems. To view more information on the spocker health and hereditary health problems, please view the Sprocker Breed Profile.