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Labrador x Spaniel

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Introduction

Springadors are a cross between a Labrador Retriever and an English Springer Spaniel. They are a hybrid and are recognised by several breed organisations including the Designer Dogs Kennel Club although in the US registry they are known as Labradinger Retrievers. However, in the UK the breed is known as a Springador. These lovely dogs are renowned for their sweet personalities and temperaments, they are affectionate and love to please which is what makes them such wonderful family pets and companion dogs. They boast a life expectancy of anything between 10 to 14 years and height-wise they stand at around 24 inches at the shoulder and can weigh in at between 50 to 90 lbs. Apart from making great family pets, the Springador is a brilliant therapy and hunting dog having inherited the best traits of their parent breeds.

History

The Springador is a relative newcomer to the canine world, but they've become a popular designer hybrid to own both as a family pet and working dog. Their parent breeds being the Labrador Retriever and the English Springer Spaniel, both of which are well known for their kind nature's and great working dog skills, have passed on the best of their traits to their prodigy which is why Springadors are now such popular choices with families or people who love spending time in the great outdoors with a four-legged friend.

Appearance

Springadors are larger in size than the Springer Spaniel and yet smaller than the Labrador and the shape of their heads is very similar to that of the Springer Spaniel but they boast longer hair on their ears. Coat colours can vary from gold right through to black with lots of great chocolate hues in between. They boast an outer and under coat with the outer being longish and slightly shaggy in appearance. Coats can be either wavy or straight but the under coat is soft and dense which is typical of hunting dogs. Springadors have lovely feathered legs and longer hair on the chests, bellies and ears which gives them an appealing appearance.

Height-wise, the Springador stands at around 24 inches at the should and can weigh in at anything between 50 to 90 lbs with females being slightly smaller than their male counterparts. However, both the female and the male boast long athletic bodies reminiscent of their parent breed the Springer Spaniel.

Temperament

The Springador has inherited all the wonderful traits of both their parent breeds which is why they have become such popular family pets and companion dogs. They are extremely intelligent which makes them easy to train but this needs to be started at a young age and then it has to be consistent throughout their lives. They are very playful characters and extremely good around children because they are so gentle by nature. However, they need to be kept busy because they are active dogs. This means they need lots of regular daily exercise to stay happy and healthy both physically and mentally.

When it comes to other pets, the Springador is generally very tolerant and if introduced to other animals in the home at an early age, they will get on very well with them. However, they do boast a strong natural instinct to hunt which means you need to keep an eye on them if they are around rabbits, hamsters or other small family pets which they may view as prey. The one thing Springadors hate is to be left on their own for long periods of time and if they are, they may develop some unwanted behavioural problems namely chewing furniture and other destructive behaviour around the home.

If well cared for and given lots of exercise, the Springador is a lovely pet to share a home with. They are very loyal and loving which is why today, they are among some of the most popular hybrid dogs around. However, because they are so intelligent Springadors are also popular as working dogs having inherited the retrieving, flushing and hunting skills of their parent breeds.

Health

When it comes to health issues, the Springador being a hybrid tends to be a lot stronger than pure bred dogs. However, they are prone to ear infections which is probably due to the longer hair they boast on their ears and their love of playing in and around water.

Caring for a Springador

Caring for a Springador means regular grooming so their coats stay in tip top condition and this has to be done more frequently when they start shedding in the springtime and during the warmer months. You may also find the longer hair on their chests and bellies can become matted and tangled if not regularly combed out and you may have to give them a trim from time to time to keep them looking good. Ears too need to be regularly checked and cleaned when necessary especially after a walk in the countryside to avoid any build up of any debris in their ear canals which could lead to an infection. This is especially important if Springadors regularly play in watery environments.

Because they are such active dogs, Springadors need lots of regular daily exercise and they also need to be socialised from a very young age so they grow up to be well balanced dogs. Their training needs to start early and it has to continue throughout their lives because they are intelligent dogs that need lots of mental stimulation to prevent any boredom setting in. When training a Springador, this needs to be done with a firm but gentle hand because these clever canines need to know who is "boss". But they are incredibly eager to please which makes training them a pleasant experience all round.

As with all dogs, it's important for Springadors to have their teeth cleaned every day using a specially formulated toothpaste for use on dogs. They also need to have regular health checks at the vets so their shots are kept up to date and if there is a health issue, this can be caught early and then treated accordingly.

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