A Labrador Retriever that is bred with a Cocker Spaniel will create a litter of mixed breed puppies, which are sometimes referred to as Spanadors. As with mixing any two dog breeds together, it is important to remember that the puppies will not necessarily have inherited the most desired qualities of each breed, and the puppies could have a range of different appearances and personalities. Families who are interested in acquiring a Spanador should find a responsible breeder and meet the puppies in person.
According to DesignerMixes.org the Spanador is usually a medium sized dog with a strong body that resembles that of a Labrador, although the legs are somewhat shorter. The dog's ears are longer than a Labrador's but shorter than a Cocker Spaniel and the tail can be mid-length to long. The dog's coat can be mid-length to long and can be wavy or curly, often requiring regular grooming to prevent matting. The Spanador can be black or tan in colouration and the mix can also produce a range of patterns and markings.
As both the Labrador Retriever and the Cocker Spaniel are working breeds, a mix of the two will be an extremely active dog which will require daily exercise. The Spanador should be suitable for older children as the Labrador and Spaniel are both playful and known to be gentle with children, although these breeds can be too energetic for young children. The American Kennel Club recommends both the Labrador and the Cocker Spaniel as a pet for active families.
As with any breed of dog, it is important to begin training the Spanador as early as possible to ensure that the dog will be obedient at it develops into an adult. The dog will also benefit from being socialised at an early age, which means introducing the puppy to as many new people and dogs as possible. Both the Labrador and the Spaniel are intelligent breeds and are generally easy to train, according to the American Kennel Club.
Purchasing a Spanador
People who are looking for a Labrador-Cocker Spaniel mix should look for a responsible breeder who will allow prospective buyers to meet the parents of the puppies. This can be a good indicator as to what the temperament of the puppies will be. The breeder should keep all their dogs in a healthy environment that is clean and spacious and dogs should not be kept in small crates. Budding owners should never agree to purchase a puppy without seeing it in person first. It can also be beneficial to have the puppy checked over by a veterinarian before buying.