Labradinger (English Springer Spaniel & Labrador Mix)

Height: 18-22 inches
Weight: 50-80 pounds
Lifespan: 10-14 years
Colors: White, cream, orange, liver, brown, black
Suitable for: Active families looking for a friendly and outgoing dog
Temperament: Loving, intelligent, energetic, playful

The Labradinger is about as lovable of a dog that you can find. He loves people almost to a fault. That’s the product of the Labrador Retriever and English Springer Spaniel in him. This hybrid is one of the new kids on the block, being a recent mix. Both parents are members of the Sporting Group of the American Kennel Club (AKC). An afternoon with a pup, and you’ll understand why.

He is a canine that loves to run and play. The Labradinger may even outlast your kids. That comes from the parent breeds’ hunting background. The Springer’s quarry is upland game birds like pheasant and quail. The Lab’s prey is waterfowl. That’s where he feels happy—in the water. You may notice that his coat is oily, a result of his affinity for water. It depends on how dominant the Retriever is.

Both parent breeds are very popular with dog owners, with the Labrador Retriever in the number one spot. It’s easy to see why. The Labradinger is an affectionate pup and will even welcome strangers in your home. The only thing that puzzles us about this adorable pooch is why someone didn’t think to breed the Springer and Lab together sooner.

Divider 1

Labradinger Puppies – Before You Buy…

View this post on Instagram

Throwback to when I had fluffy ears 🐾

A post shared by Henry (@henryspringador) on

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

The essential thing to understand about the Labradinger is that he needs a job, even if it’s just retrieving a ball. He is eager to please and quite agreeable when it comes to trying new games or learning new tricks. However, he is an energetic pooch. He’s not a pet to leave for alone in the yard for hours on end. The Labradinger craves as much attention as he will lavish on you.

As you may expect, the Labradinger has a strong prey drive, especially in pups in which the Springer is dominant. That is, after all, his calling. He also has a high wanderlust potential if he finds something interesting to investigate. We recommend keeping him on a leash. The size and energy of the Labradinger mean that early socialization is imperative. Suffice to say that he is a handful.

Training is just as essential. The Labradinger puppy has a moderate tendency to nip. He is also vocal, a bad habit you’ll need to control before it becomes a problem. While he is intelligent, this pooch probably isn’t the best choice for the first-time dog owner. He’s easily distracted and needs an individual who can keep him focused on learning and obeying.

What’s the Price of Labradinger Puppies?

The popularity of the parent breeds comes into play when it comes to the price of a Labradinger puppy. On the one hand, there are lots of pups in need of a home out there. On the other hand, you’ll face competition for one. A lot of people probably have the same idea. You can expect to pay at least $800 and likely north of $1,000 for a puppy, depending on the bloodline.

Puppies from parents that hunted or showed well will cost more. Bear in mind that many breeders make spaying or neutering a condition of a sale. That will increase the expense of owning a dog for that first year. Remember that having a pet is also a financial commitment. There are vet visits, grooming, toys, and of course, food to buy. Plan on spending well over $1,000 a year.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention two other issues regarding getting a Labradinger or any pet. First, beware of so-called puppy mills. If you see pups priced at ridiculously low prices, look elsewhere. The chances are they are not up-to-date on their vaccinations or deworming. That only scratches the surface about the problems you may encounter, too.

The second point is to consider adopting a rescue dog. These are pets that need a home desperately. It’s an excellent option if you want to get an older pooch, instead of starting from scratch with a puppy.

Parents of Labradinger
The parent breeds of a Labradinger. Left: Labrador Retriever, Right: English Springer Spaniel

Divider 8

3 Little-Known Facts About Labradinger

1. A Nickname of the Labrador Retriever Is Otter Tail

If you look closely at the tail of a Labrador Retriever, you’ll notice that it doesn’t taper to a point as you may expect. Instead, it has a fatter part in the middle that resembles, well, an otter tail, hence, his nickname. It also refers to the fact that it’s always in motion. Just be sure to watch any breakable things on the table if he stands next to you on the couch!

2. The Labrador Retriever is the Swiss Army Knife of Sporting Dogs

The Labrador Retriever’s intelligence is evident when you consider all the jobs this pooch can do. Sure, he’s an ace gundog in the field. However, he also is an excellent therapy and service dog. His keen sense of smell makes him a natural for search-and-rescue efforts.

3. English Springer Spaniels Come in Two Flavors

Maybe, you won’t know it by looking at him, but there are two kinds of English Springer Spaniels. The field type is the gundog going after upland game. He has a docked tail and a lightweight coat better suited for this purpose. The bench dog is the one you see professionally groomed in the show ring. His coat is more luxurious, an excellent match for his handsome appearance.

black labradinger
Image: Andrew Goodsell, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Labradinger

The Labradinger is an excellent choice for the right household that understands his need to run and get attention. While he’s smart, this pup is also a challenge, sometimes. He’ll need reminders to stay on point. You will also have to curb any bad behaviors and cultivate his canine manners. In return, you’ll get a happy and friendly pet that will make a wonderful addition to your home.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Labradinger is an ideal family pet. He has enough energy to keep up with the kids. He’ll play for hours if given a chance. Both parent breeds are affectionate and kid-friendly. We suggest supervising time with the little ones because of the dog’s size. Sometimes, he gets a bit too excited while roughhousing.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Both parent breeds get along with other dogs as well. It’s likely a characteristic that breeders selected for because of their time with other canines in the field. Aggressiveness is even treated as a fault in the show ring. Cats and other small animals are another story. As we mentioned earlier, the prey drive runs strong in the Labradinger. If they run away, your pup will chase them.

The exception to this observation is if you raise your puppy together with a cat. You may even find that the two will become best friends.

Labradinger
Image Credit: Andrew Goodsell, Shutterstock

Divider 4

Things to Know When Owning a Labradinger:

There are a few other things you should know about the people-pleasing Labradinger. Every breed has its quirks and unwelcome behavior. That makes learning what you can expect a smart idea for any prospective pet owner. It’s worth mentioning that upbringing plays a profound role in the personality of your dog. That’s where socialization and training come into the mix.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Labradinger is a good-sized dog that needs a diet formulated for a canine of his weight. The reason is that the rate of growth differs between small and large breeds. The former matures quickly, while the latter may not reach its adult size until well over 12 months. We suggest feeding your pooch a high-quality food that will ensure he gets everything he needs.

Despite how active the Labradinger is, the Retriever in him has a high propensity for gaining weight. We recommend two things. First, offer treats as a training aid only. Make sure that the kids know that, too. Second, monitor his weight. Remember that the feeding instructions on the back of the bag are a suggestion only.

Exercise 🐕

Daily walks or a visit to the doggie park are essential for keeping your Labradinger healthy, both mentally and physically. It’ll help keep his weight under control, too. You have his playful nature going for you on this score. An hour of playing frisbee will do the trick. It’s also an excellent opportunity to reinforce his socialization and training.

Training 🎾

As we discussed, the size, temperament, and prey drive all make the Labradinger a challenge for a novice pet owner. This pup is quite food-motivated so that you can use it to make the lessons go down easier. Another thing to note is that this pooch is sensitive. He’s so eager to please that a harsh reprimand will upset him more than you may realize. Stick with positive reinforcement only.

black labradinger running
Image: Andrew Goodsell, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Both parent breeds shed. Therefore, regular brushing is necessary to keep your Labradinger’s coat looking its best. It’s also an excellent opportunity to check his skin and ears for redness or other signs of allergies or infections. Also, clip his nails regularly, especially if you’re not walking him on the pavement. Occasional baths are also a good idea if there is more Labrador in your pup.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Labradinger, like his parent breeds, sometimes doesn’t know when to stop. Sometimes, he seems indestructible. For a pet owner, that means he may injure himself or get into things he shouldn’t. As far as congenital issues, there are a few for which there are health screenings. We strongly encourage you to buy only from breeders who do them, given the popularity of both breeds.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Eye infections
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions

Divider 5

Male vs Female

The size difference between male and female Labradingers is often significant, depending on the dominant breed. Otherwise, both sexes will make delightful pets. You’ll enjoy the friendliness and affection no matter which one you choose. We suggest that you discuss spaying or neutering your dog with your veterinarian. It’s the responsible thing to do if you’re not going to breed your pup.

Divider 3

Final Thoughts

For all his playfulness, enthusiasm, and high energy, the Labradinger has a lot to give to the right home. He is a devoted and loyal pet that will lavish you with unconditional love. It won’t take long for you and your family to realize why the Springer and Lab are so popular. Luckily, you will have the best of both worlds with the adorable Labradinger.


Featured Image Credit: Tracey d, Shutterstock