Springador – Breed Guide (Personality, Health, Grooming etc.)

springador

Springadors are not purebred dogs but rather a cross between a labrador retriever and an English Springer Spaniel. These are large, intelligent, and friendly dogs who combine the best characteristics of both these cuddly breeds.

Also called Springerdors, Labradinger Retrievers, and Labradingers, these are medium to large sized dogs that inherit their pleasant temperament and loving natures from both their dog parents. Combine this with a playful nature and mild manner, and you have the ideal family dog or the ideal companion for an active dog owner.

Not much is known about the origin of Springadors. The original breeds that they are descended from have been around for decades. Labrador retrievers are dogs that were bred in Newfoundland, purported to have descended from the St John’s water dog. Springer spaniels are an ancient breed who were bred by the Romans, who are supposed to have brought them to other parts of Europe.

Both these breeds are active sporting dogs who were bred for their companionship and their help while hunting or keeping farms. Labrador springer crosses inherit much of their ancestors sporting ability and penchant for activity. The retrieving ability is nothing to sneeze at either.

Highlights about Springadors

  • Springador dogs are a relatively new breed who were created in the USA in the last two decades.
  • They are not a pure breed dog but rather a designer mix derived from crossing a labrador retriever with a Springer Spaniel.
  • As a mixed breed dog, they do not have official recognition from most of the international official kennel clubs, such as the American Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club or the English Kennel Club. So far there is no standardized breeding for them either.
  • They are however recognised by the American canine hybrid Club, the Designer Breed Registry, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club and the Dog Registry of America Inc.
  • A good way to make sure that you get a dog of good descent is to make sure that you get him from a reputable breeder, preferably one where you can meet and check out the dog’s parents as well.
  • It’s not uncommon for some Springadors to be the result of multi-Generation crosses.
  • Springadors are loyal, active, affectionate and playful dogs who fit into most family situations.
  • This designer breed shows a large variation in height and weight because of the multiple variations possible and their parents’ breeds.
  • Even puppies from the same litter can show large variation in their sizes both at birth and in adulthood.
  • It’s not possible to predict whether a Springador dog will take after his labrador parent or his Springer parent and physical attributes.
  • The young pooches can weigh anywhere between 55 to 80 pounds or 25 to 40 kg in weight. 
  • This depends on how much after the labrador parent gene expresses in the puppy, since labradors are larger than springer spaniels.
  • Springadors grow to a height of about 21 to 25 inches or 55 to 70 cm. Even the smaller versions fall well into the medium-sized dog category.
  • Dogs that take after their labrador parent more, can grow to full Labrador size as well.
  • They are incredibly friendly and outgoing dogs and do well in social situations.
  • These dogs are not known to bark and necessarily or even react aggressively unless provoked.
  • They are not working breeds, but being derived from working breeds, do have a high exercise quotient that needs to be met on a daily basis.
  • Labrador x Springer crosses do not do so well in apartments or small living spaces, which do not afford them the space to run around and play, that this breed means.
  • Even dogs who are taking out for walks multiple times a day still need a larger living space to spread out in and play in.
  • Apart from being high energy they are also highly intelligent and need extensive training.

Springador Size

springador happy

A lot of variation is possible when it comes to springadors because of the difference in sizes that can occur in their parent breeds. Mixed breed dogs rarely fall under strict size ranges even under more regulated circumstances. This principle applies to Labrador spaniel crosses as well. Labradors are slightly larger than English springer spaniels, the former being a large-sized dog and the latter a medium-sized dog. Springadors can exhibit both size ranges depending upon which parent they take more after.

Height: Springadors grow to an average height of 21 to 25 inches or 50 – 60 cm at the withers. Dogs that take after their spaniel parent tend to be both shorter and slimmer.

Weight: springadors weigh on average anywhere between 55 to 80 pounds or 25 to 40 kg. There is no large sexual dimorphism, i.e. both males and females are approximately of the same size. The weight can however be influenced by their genetics and how much they’ve inherited from their labrador parent.

Conformation: these are medium to large sized dogs with a large skull with a broad forehead and a sloping nasal bone. The snout is elongated and narrow, which is a triangular to oval shaped nose, usually black in colour.

The eyes are high set and wide and usually a shade of dark brown. The ears are triangular and floppy and sit flat against the sides of the head down to the lower border of the skull.

Springadors have a short, broad neck connected to muscular shoulders that support stocky well-built and powerful front legs. The back is slightly arched and sloping with the hind legs being a little longer than the front legs.

The paws are narrow and sturdy and help support them on their feet, especially through rough terrain and in running for long periods of time. Their legs are muscular and take the weight of the leap. Their tails can be short to long haired and fluffy, but rarely go over the arch. Docking is not a feature in this breed and is not recommended either.

Springer spaniel cross labradors can come in a large variety of coat colours ranging from cream, to brown, black, and red, with occasional white markings. Golden springadors are especially popular. Their coats also show so much variation in length and texture.

Short to medium coats are common, densely woven and almost woolly in texture. These kinds of dogs have an almost waterproof coat. Others have hair that can be long and wavy or even short and curly. Keep in mind is that these dogs are most definitely not hypoallergenic.

Springador Temperament and Personality

springador puppies

Although Springadors are large, happy, and goofy looking dogs, certain factors have to be kept in mind when training them or incorporating them into the family. For starters, they are extremely social, and playful, but this also means that they become hard to control and come and when they get hyper excited.

The working dog ancestry means that they do not tire easily and can keep playing high intensity games for long periods of time. It also means that they are prone to developing bad habits and stubbornness if they aren’t tired out everyday. Lab and spaniel mixes need frequent walks and intensive play sessions so that they get both mentally and physically exhausted enough not to act out at home.

And even when Springadors have been taken out, it’s essential that they be kept on a leash or a guideline because of their short attention span and tendency to run off into the underbrush. And if you have to chase your dog down, you will not have fun getting him to pay attention to you, compared to the distractions at hand.

Relationship with Owners: springadors develop close and affectionate relationships with their owners. They are incredibly loyal and dedicated dogs and will spend as much time around their owners as possible. They are also smart enough to be trained extensively.

This is especially significant for springadors because their puppyhood phase extends longer than in other dog breeds. This means that your dog will still be capable of learning new tricks as a young adult, even if he’s not a puppy anymore.

They are also exceedingly easy to train, because of their high intellectual engagement. They also enjoy being trained and the entire back and forth of the training period. They also make excellent watch dogs but must sometimes be trained not to bark too much beyond giving a warning signal.

Relationship with other pets: springadors get along swimmingly with other pets, especially cats and bunnies in the house. Of course, this applies to dogs, who have been socialised already to a certain extent, and not dogs who have never been alone with another animal that they haven’t hurt.

Puppies also should never be directly exposed to other animals without adequate separation and time for them to get acclimated to the idea that these other animals are going to be co-inhabitants and not prey. Especially springadors that take after their springer spaniel parents are more likely to have nervous aggression tendencies and to chase fellow pets around the house, despite being reprimanded multiple times.

Relationship with Children: springadors get along great with children and can play with them all day. They are patient with small children and loving and playful with older children. However it’s not advisable to leave dogs alone with small children, unsupervised and unattended, because sometimes small children can provoke dogs beyond their patience, or even end up harming the dog without meaning to. Something like this could also provoke the dog into retaliating, with disastrous consequences.

Springador Health

springador closeup

Both labradors and springer spaniels are dogs that have multiple health issues associated with inbreeding. Springadors escape some of these consequences of pure breeding, but are not entirely disease-free and healthy dogs because of the high occurrence of disease in their parent breeds. An excellent way to anticipate what problems your dog might develop, is to check out the parent dogs and their pedigrees, for an idea of the health issues typical to that line. Common health issues in Springadors are:

  • Allergies and ear infections as a consequence of having long hair on their ear flaps. These dogs tend to develop ear Mites as well, unless the ear flaps are cleaned out on a regular basis with a mild disinfectant approved for use on the tender skin lining.
  • Degenerative joint disorders like osteoarthritis and rheumatic disease are common to labradors and therefore to springadors as well. With advancing age these dogs suffer accelerated degeneration of their joints and skeletal health, leading to restricted mobility and severe joint pain well before the onset of old age.
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia are especially common in these breeds because of inherited developmental abnormalities that lead to an early onset of disease.
  • Central nuclear myopathy is also a disease that is typical to labradors and therefore to Springadors. In this condition the muscles actively disintegrate, leading to wasting and atrophy without any clear reason, progressing to frequent collapses which may even prove fatal for the dog.
  • Metabolic diseases like Canine fucosidosis are also typical in these breed derivatives. In this condition abnormal red blood cells and muscle cells result from Phosphofructokinase abnormality, eventually leading to central nervous system abnormalities and complete dissociation.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy and other degenerative eye diseases are also frequent features of this breed.
  • Cold tail
  • Skin disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Bloat
  • Osteochondritis dessicans
  • Heart defects
  • Acute moist dermatitis

Lifespan: labrador x springer spaniel crosses live to an average of 12 to 15 years, under otherwise good health.

Springador Care

Most important aspect of care for this dog is to make sure that it gets regular exercise on a daily basis.

They need to be taken on walks two to three times a day at least for 30 minutes each time. Additionally, they need games and interactive play that keeps their mental faculties engaged.

Springadors are dogs that appreciate being around their family and should not be left alone for long periods of time to avoid separation anxiety from developing. Early training is advisable with this breed, with extensive training that can go longer than with other dogs.

Springador Grooming

Where grooming is concerned, these dogs can show a large variation in maintenance requirements. Short-haired coats do not need to be brushed as frequently as longer haired dogs, who are prone to tangles, knotting, matting and hairfall. These dogs are heavy shedders in winter and benefit from daily brushings and twice monthly baths if they aren’t getting actively dirty.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Springadors good family pets?

Yes. Springadors are great family pets and adjust well to family life.

Are Springadors easy to train?

Yes, springadors are relatively easy to train and need constant, well paced and stable training for best results.

What age do Springadors live to?

Labrador x springer crosses live up to 12-15 years, if no other health issues are present.

Do springer spaniels bark a lot?

No, springer spaniels are not prone to barking a lot unnecessarily.

Can springer spaniels be aggressive?

No, springer spaniels are typically not aggressive, but can be violent if provoked too much.

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