Pippa Elliott
Dr Pippa Elliott (BVMS MRCVS, University of Glasgow)
Photo of adult Springerdoodle
Shelley Groomer / Flickr.com

The Springerdoodle is a hybrid dog, which is the result of breeding an English Springer Spaniel with a Poodle. This delightful, bouncy breed also goes by a number of suitably evocative names, such as the Springerpoo, Sproodle, and Springerdoodle Retriever.

The Springerdoodle is a veritable paragon of a dog, with a reputation for being friendly, reliable, and full of enthusiasm for life. They also rub along fine with other dogs,and make a waggy addition to a multi-dog household. A medium-sized breed, they love to be active and thrive when given a problem to solve. This makes them super-candidates as a family dog for those wishing to participate in dog-centred activities, such as agility, hiking or competitive obedience.

About & History

As a hybrid dog, the Springerdoodle’s story is that of their parent breeds, the Springer Spaniel and the Poodle.

The Poodle

Make a judgement about the Poodle based on face value and you’re likely to be wrong. The stereotype of the Poodle is as a handbag dog with a bouffant haircut, and also they are commonly known as French Poodles. However, the Poodle originated from Germany (and later developed in France) and the breed was specifically created as a hunting dog.

Indeed, Poodle ancestors include a number of different ‘water dogs’ hailing from Germany, Portugal, France, Hungary and Russia. Originally, they were known as Pudelhund, from their love of splashing about in water. Their job was to hunt and retrieve waterfowl, which is where the fancy clip came in. The purpose of those distinctive pom-poms of fur was to protect the dog’s joints when pushing through undergrowth. Over time, three different sizes evolved, each finding a niche in different parts of society. But in common across the toy, miniature, and standard Poodle is their intelligence and good nature.

The English Springer Spaniel

Looking to the spaniel side of the story, these were also originally hunting dogs. The early dogs are likely to have come from Spain, and disseminated widely by traders to further developed in England. An interesting quirk of the breed is that Cocker and Springer Spaniels are very closely related.

Indeed, in the 19th century, both types could be born in the same litter – the distinction being one of size only. The smaller pups were trained to hunt woodcock and became 'Cockers', whilst the bigger ones were used to flush or ‘spring’ game, hence the name Springer Spaniels. In 1902, the UK Kennel Club recognised them as separate breeds.


Springerdoodle Large Photo
Shelley Groomer / Flickr.com

The Springerdoodle is considered a medium-sized dog, but this can vary somewhat depending on the size (toy, medium or standard) of the poodle parent. This is a well-proportioned breed,with legs that are neither too short nor too long, a robust body, and a head with a sensible length of nose.

Their coat is usually double layered with a longer outer coat that can be curly. The coat is medium length and depending on whether they take after the poodle parent, may need clipping from time to time. Common coat colours include a combination of white or cream with black or brown patches.

Character & Temperament

If there was to be a modern remake of the classic Hollywood Lassie movies, then the Springerdoodle would be a worthy successor to the famous Collie. They are sweet, affectionate, loyal and intelligent. They love their family and get along well with other animals. But they also have character and love to play or be set a problem to solve. They can also be quirky, such as having a love of water, which can lead them to sit in horse troughs if that’s the only watery option.

The easy-going nature of the Springerdoodle does make them a good option for first time dog owners. However, like any dog, they do best when given plenty of exercise and mental stimulation so that they have an appropriate outlet for their energy.


Photo of Springerdoodle puppy
Emily / Flickr.com

The Springerdoodle inherits intelligence from both sides of the family tree… and it shows. These guys are smart (really smart!) and love to have their owner give them cues so they can prove just how clever they are. Springerdoodles respond best to reward-based training methods. The will work hard in order to gain the praise of their owner or a game of ball.


As a hybrid breed, there is little data pertaining directly to the health problems of the Springerdoodle. However, it’s reasonable to assume the inheritable conditions prevalent in the parents, may also show up in some of the pups.

Sebaceous Adenitis & Seborrhoea

This hereditary disease affects the skin, specifically the oil glands. Symptoms include an excessively greasy coat, and in the worst cases, excessive hair loss leading to bald patches. There is no cure for either sebaceous adenitis or seborrhoea, but life-long treatment can control the symptoms and improve skin quality.

Valvular Heart Disease

In middle aged to senior dogs, the valve leaflets in the heart can become diseased. This prevents the valves closely neatly, which allows blood to leak in the wrong direction. This is heard as a heart murmur.

Mild valvar disease is of little consequence and does not impact on the dog’s ability to exercise. However, more advanced disease will lead to heart failure with symptoms, such as coughing, lack of energy, weakness and fainting.

Diabetes Mellitus

Also known as 'sugar diabetes', this is when the body is unable to properly regulate the levels of sugar in the blood stream. Symptoms include excessive thirst, urinary accidents, and weight loss.

When the blood sugar is high for prolonged periods of time, this can cause complications, such as blindness and a state known as ketosis, where natural toxins poison the body. Diabetes can be controlled with a healthy diet and regular insulin injections. Also, keeping the dog slim during all stages of life, goes a long way to reducing the risk of diabetes developing.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The Springerdoodle does need to be active and enjoys daily long walks. They also thrive with the opportunity to hunt and chase, so playing fetch or Frisbee are high on their to-do list. As a social dog that loves to learn, they also do well at canine sports, such as agility or Canicross.

However, they don’t like being cooped up and do need a certain amount of space. Access to a fair sized garden is necessary, so their one drawback is they aren’t suited to apartment life.


The parent breeds have different coat types in that the poodle’s coat grows continually but doesn’t shed, whilst the Springer coat is a finite length but does shed. The characteristics of the Springerdoodle coat will depend on which parent they most take after.

It’s fair to say the Springerdoodle may need clipping on occasion, and definitely needs regular brushing. The latter is because their active lifestyle will lead to burrs and twigs getting caught in their hair and create knots.

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