The eager-to-please Labradinger is a cheerful blend of two working breed dogs; the friendly Labrador Retriever and the energetic English Springer Spaniel. With a love of spending time with his family, he is a perfect fit for the active retired owner or one who works from home and won’t need to leave him alone for extended periods of time throughout the day.
The Labradinger is a cheerful blend of the friendly Labrador Retriever and the energetic English Springer Spaniel.
Labradingers likely harken from the 80s, when designer breeds first surfaced in a bid to fill the desire for smaller variations on popular breeds. In the case of the Labradinger, his lineage dates back well before the 1980s and includes the Labrador retriever who hails from 19th century Newfoundland where he was used by fisherman to haul nets, ropes and pull in fish. The English Springer spaniel was bred around the turn of the 19th century as a hunting dog with an expertise at “springing” to flush out game bird – hence his practical moniker.
Because of the mix of English Springer spaniel and Labrador retriever, the Labradinger is considered a designer dog and therefore is unable to join the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) roster of purebreds. Both parent breeds however, are long-time members of the AKC dating back to 1910 when the English Springer spaniel first gained recognition and joined the elite club’s “sporting” group and to 1917 when the Labrador retriever was also admitted into AKC’s “sporting” group.
Food / Diet
Labradingers are energetic medium-sized dogs that require a diet that reflects not only their size but also their age and activity level. His Labrador DNA means he may tend to overeat, so don’t plan to free-feed your dog. Meals should be spaced over two feedings and food type should be top quality without fillers such as carbs and grains that will make him want to continue eating in order to feel full. Always choose a kibble that indicates “meat” as a first ingredient and because he may be prone to hip dysplasia and joint issues, foods that include glucosamine are a good option.
The Labradinger can be willful and will require patience and perseverance to get him properly trained.
The Labradinger can be willful and will require patience and perseverance to get him properly trained. For first-time dog owners or those not familiar with a head-strong pooch it may make sense to hire a professional trainer or to take him to obedience school. Once he has been socialized and tutored in obedience you’ll end up with a wonderful addition to your family. For those who opt to train him on their own, keep it rewards-based and offer up lots of praise and treats in order to achieve the results you want.
The Labradinger is considered a medium sized dog and when fully grown, he will weigh 50-80 pounds depending on whether your dog is a male or female.
Temperament / Behavior
While he is described as eager-to-please, friendly and energetic, the Labradinger can be willful and is not a good fit with young children. Although not necessarily genetic, some English Springers have been known to display neurological/behavioral problems known as Rage Syndrome which can result in an aggressive behavior. It’s not typical of the breed and is thought to be related to an extreme sense of dominance versus a gene disorder. The Labradinger on the other hand, craves human companionship and is not a breed that enjoys being left alone – he thrives with company. He can be quite vocal when he feels it is necessary and his eagerness to alert his owner to approaching strangers makes him a great watchdog candidate.
Common Health Problems
Labradingers are a healthy breed with no known history of ailments however because it is a young breed, prospective owners should look to their dog’s lineage for clues as to what he may inherit. Both Labs and English Springers can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia whereas the English Springer can also be prone to epilepsy and PFK deficiency which means he is born without a red blood cell enzyme. A simple DNA test before your Labradinger puppy leaves the breeder can help alleviate any concern that this gene has been inherited.
The Labradinger has a life expectancy of 10 to 14 years.
The Labradinger is a high-energy dog who will require regular, daily exercise to keep him mentally and physically healthy. While long walks are great, this boy has many talents and loves active play where he can show off his agility. A great running or jogging companion, he will do well in an off-leash park where he can sprint to burn off some of his energy. His ideal home will have a fenced yard where he can play catch or just stretch his legs throughout the day.
The Labradinger craves human companionship.
Also known as the Springador, the Springerdor and Labradinger Retriever, the Labradinger’s designer breed status means that he cannot be a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC), however he is a member of the Designer Breed Registry (DBR), the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC) and the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA).
In spite of his thick, wavy coat, the Labradinger is considered a minimal shedder making him ideal for owners who don’t want to tackle copious amounts of hair in their homes and cars. He will require regular weekly brushing to keep him looking his best and minimize hair loss. Bathing can be done as needed, but no need to have him professionally groomed. The Labradinger resembles a small Labrador with longer ears and typically in colors of black, chocolate or yellow plus variations with the distinctive white spaniel markings. Because of his long, floppy ears, weekly inspection and cleaning should be done to avoid wax build-up and potential infection.
Labradinger puppies are intelligent but can become stubborn so start their socialization and obedience training as soon as possible. They are extremely active from a young age and in spite of the temptation to tire them out with frequent walks and play, this breed can be prone to joint issues so be careful not to overdo it. His feedings should be frequent and provided over several meal periods to avoid over-eating. Lots of chew toys will help satisfy his need to chew.
Photo credit: graphicphoto/Bigstock; eriklam/Bigstock
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