The Lovable Cocker Spaniel Labrador Mix – AKA the Spanador

The Cocker Spaniel Lab mix is a small to medium-sized dog breed weighing 20 to 50 pounds. You can also call them the Spanador, their temperament is a loving, gentle, caring, playful, eager, and easily teachable dog breed.

Laid-back and sociable, Spanadors are great family dogs that are non-aggressive to strangers and other household pets. They will alert you to strangers approaching the house, but their parent breeds are not specifically bred for guarding you or the house.

This mixed breed is bred to run and fetch fallen waterfowl for hunters. However, Spanadors are also great family companions.

In this article, we will cover the parent breeds: Cocker Spaniels and Labrador Retrievers, and then the offspring — the Cocker Spaniel Lab Mix. We will go through their daily exercise needs, genetic health issues, grooming requirements, and the Cocker Spaniel / Lab training needs.

Cocker Spaniel Lab Mix

The Cocker Spaniel

  • Weight – 29 – 32 pounds
  • Height – 14 – 17 inches
  • Lifespan – 10 – 14 years
  • Major Health Concerns – PRA, cataracts, bloat, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, urinary stones, kidney disease, allergies heart failure, & epilepsy.
  • Grooming – 4x weekly during shedding season 2x weekly during summer
  • Colors – gold
  • Eye Color – Brown
  • Exercise – They need long walks and runs and playtime in the yard several times a day.
  • Training – The Cocker Spaniel is easy to train
  • Socialization – Positive exposure to other people and dogs daily for best socialization.
  • Temperament  Loving, caring, loves to fetch, eager to play, eager to please.
  • Good in apartments? – Yes! The Spaniel is a perfect apartment dog!

Cocker Spaniels are believed to have originated in Spain due to the name ‘Spaniel’, but began their residency in England around 55 BC. The English quickly and fondly adopted the Spaniel as its own. By around the 16th century AD, cocker spaniel was commonly used for hunting in the retrieval of waterfowl.

Spaniels have a high energy level, needing plenty of exercise throughout the day. They are a friendly and fun-loving breed that makes great family pets, though they prefer to be with someone than alone.

For centuries European and British Spaniels were grouped as land or water Spaniels. But that changed in the 19th century when the purebred standardization began in England, and the various Spaniels were put into different classifications. 

Cocker Spaniel Labrador Mix Cocker Spaniel puppy running
Cocker Spaniel puppy

The Labrador Retriever

  • Weight – 55 – 99 pounds
  • Height – 22 – 24 inches
  • Lifespan – 10 – 14 years
  • Major Health Concerns – Cold tail, Bloat, PRA, Hip Dysplasia, & obesity
  • Grooming – 4x weekly during shedding season 2x weekly during non-shedding season
  • Colors – Black, tan, white, yellow, & chocolate
  • Eye Color – Brown
  • Exercise – They need long walks and runs and playtime in the yard several times a day.
  • Training – Labrador is very easy and very eager to train
  • Socialization – Positive exposure to other people and dogs daily for best socialization.
  • Temperament  Playful, loyal, even-tempered, outgoing, agile, trusting, gentle & smart
  • Good in an apartment? – No

The Labrador Retriever’s birthplace is Canada, and they were bred to help the fishermen and hunters retrieve their catches. The breeder needed the Labrador to love jumping into the water and recover the day’s catch no matter the temperature.

The Labrador has a double-layered coat that is also handly waterproof the breeder also needed the Labrador Retriever to be friendly and docile to family members and strangers alike.

The Labrador was sent over to England in the 1800s by some English noblemen who had discovered the breed while visiting Canada. Those breeds began the line that is now the English Labrador Retriever, bred more for show, companionship, and conformation.

The English Labrador is shorter, stockier, thicker necked, and more mellow than their American cousins. We have an article on the differences between the American Labrador VS, the English Labrador.

Cocker Spaniel Labrador Mix 
Labrador Retriever in a Santa hat
Labrador Retriever

The Cocker Spaniel Lab Mix

  • Weight – 20 – 50 pounds
  • Height – 18 – 20 inches
  • Lifespan – 10 – 14 years
  • Major Health Concerns – Cold tail, Bloat, PRA, Hip Dysplasia, & Obesity
  • Grooming – 4x weekly during shedding season 2x weekly during summer
  • Colors – Black and tan
  • Eye Color – Brown
  • Exercise – They need long walks and runs and playtime in the yard several times a day.
  • Training – The Cocker Spaniel Labrador mix is extremely easy to train!
  • Socialization – Positive exposure to other people and dogs daily for best socialization.
  • Temperament  Playful, loyal, even-tempered, outgoing, agile, trusting, gentle & smart
  • Good in an apartment? – Yes! The Spanador is a perfect apartment dog!

The Cocker Spaniel Lab mix or the Spanador is a small-medium-sized dog with medium/long-sized hair. The Spanador is a great dog for everyone, no matter your level of competence in the dog world!

Both the Spanador’s parents are used as hunting retrieval dogs, and so if you are a hunter, this breed will be great for bird hunting retrieval services.  

Common Names for Cocker Spaniel Labrador Mix

  • Spanador
  • Labrador Cocker Spaniel Mix
  • Cocker Spaniel Labrador mix
  • Cocker Spaniel Lab Mix
  • The Cocker Lab Mix
  • Lab Cocker mix

This last part of the article will be split into five parts; all five pieces will be essential for a healthy, well-balanced Cocker Spaniel Lab.

Cocker Spaniel Lab Mix
Lab Cocker Spaniel mix

Exercise Requirements of the Spanador

Both of the parents are working dog breeds therefore, their offspring will need lot’s of exercise and will need one to three of these things every day:

  • 15-25 minutes jog
  • 10-15 minutes running
  • 20-30-minute walkabout

When walking, releasing your dog off the leash is inadvisable. These agile hunters could quickly take off chasing an animal and may get lost. So always make sure to have your dog on a leash unless, of course, you are hunting and or are in an enclosed area.

With adequate exercise given every day, the Cocker Spaniel Labrador will be an excellent family pet. If you are a couch potato, this breed is definitely not for you, so please get a dog like the Charles Spaniel. Charles Spaniel is a couch potato they are not one for running around the yard or going out on long walks. King Charles Spaniel mostly loves sleeping, whether that is on the bed or the couch. 

Socialization of the Spanador

Socialization is a must for any dog, and whether he is big or small, it is essentially teaching them good dog manners. So take your Spanador out for a walk in the city/town, and let him/her hear different sounds, smells, see other people and animals.

You can also take your puppy to puppy classes; this knocks out two birds with one stone. You are getting your puppy to meet with other puppies, and at the same time, you are getting expert training and advice.

Cocker Spaniel Lab Mix
Labrador Puppy Photo by Ben Owen

Avoiding The Dog Park As A Puppy!

I know this may not be popular advice for some people, but it’s essential to consider. Avoid taking your puppy to the dog park. The dogs in the dog park can be rude and even aggressive. One bad experience can scare your puppy for life. The dog park can also be a carrier of disease and germs to your puppy.

So if dog parks are your best option for outdoor recreation and socialization for your dog, at least wait until it’s older and well socialized through proper training.

Cocker Spaniel Labrador Mix Cocker Spaniel running
Cocker Spaniel

Training the Spanador

Training is also essential, the Cocker Spaniel Lab Mix can be a bright puppy! So training they will be easy if you consistently train the puppy from the beginning.

A well-trained dog is easy to spot, in comparison, the untrained dog is all over the place, with the master holding on for dear life.

Training starts whenever you get home with your puppy. Whenever you have free time, train the puppy. The puppy’s mind is like a sponge, so the more commands you put into that brain, the better trained the Labrador Cocker Spaniel Mix is.

When training the puppy, do not give up on the give of commands! But rather keep repeating the order until the puppy does what you ask him/her to do. Then praise the puppy with a treat and or a few words of praise once they follow through.

Cocker Spaniel Labrador Mix Labrador standing

The Temperament of the Spanador

The temperament of the Labrador Cocker Spaniel mix is:

  • Calm
  • Relaxed
  • Good-natured
  • Loving
  • Playful
  • Quick learner
  • Energetic

They do not have one mean bone in their body, so they would not make for good guard dogs for that reason. They will, however, sound the dog alarm whenever someone comes to the door or property. 

Cocker Spaniel Labrador Mix Spanador Labrador Cocker Spaniel mix
Cocker Spaniel Lab Mix

Health Problems of the Spanador

  • PRA – This is a painless process of going blind
  • Cataracts – A natural thing that happens with age
  • Bloat – Bloat happens when a dog has just eaten and is taken out and is run about for a while. This is a deadly condition if not take to the vet immediately. There the Veterinarians will cut into the stomach and untwist the stomach.
  • Cherry eye – This is a medical condition known as a prolapsed nictitating membrane, prolapsed third eyelid, or third eyelid gland prolapse.
  • Kidney Disease – Familial Nephropathy (FN) is a fatal kidney disease that occurs in English Cocker Spaniels. 
  • Cold Tale – Cold tail happens to sport dogs, and they gradually lose the loss of their tail; this is quite painful for it is at the base of the butt.
  • Obesity – The Labrador is prone to overeat, and they can become obese.
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia – Happens to any dog breed that gets overbred without healthy standers.
  • Allergies – to pollen, mold, mildew, or dust (called atopy). Your dog will get itchy: usually in the face, feet, and ears, though some dogs are itchy all over.
Cocker Spaniel Labrador Mix Health Issues Image
Health Issues

Regular Grooming of the Cocker Spaniel Lab mix

Grooming is essential for the Spanador because they can have massive knots embedded close to the skin if not brushed regularly. Therefore, the brushing should be done once every three to five days a week to avoid any sized notes.

During the spring and fall, you will be wadding through loose dog hair! If you want a dog to blame, you can thank the Labrador. During the summer and winter, the loose dog fur will slow down to a manageable outflow.

In winter, your dog may scratch him/herself constantly, this is simply a reaction to their dry skin flaking off. Dry skin happens more in places where you need the heater daily.

One way to help stop this constant irritant for the dog is not to wash your dog weekly. When you bathe them, you are robbing their body oils from keeping down the dry skin. One other thing that you can do is to feed your dog a spoon full of yogurt, butter, or coconut oil.

Conclusion of the Cocker Lab mix

The Spanador is a perfect dog breed for a lot of outdoorsy types of people! They can be a good fit for beginners if they give their dog daily exercise and, more importantly, training daily.


Cocker Spaniel Lab Mix Labrador puppy
Photo by Shane Guymon

We here at Labrottie give the Spanador a four-star rating! Everything about this breed is excellent, except for their health, which is a problem, but if you give them an annual check-up, you should avoid many of these problems.

So I hope I have convinced you to get this beautiful Labrador Cocker Spaniel Mix! If, however, you think that this dog is just not for you. 

If you think that the Labrador Cocker Spaniel is a little too calm for your taste. We have some other options, and they are:

Do You Have a Dog and Want To Share It With The Labrottie Nation?

If you have a Spanador or any dog and want to share your dog with the Labrottie Nation. All you need to do is send us the information and photo/s with your dog/s, and we will post it onto our photo gallery!

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