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Do I train my springador as a spaniel or as a lab?


The early training for either breed is the same.

You will need to establish a good bond with the puppy at heel and close to your side before progressing to any areas which would apply specifically to either breed, such as hunting live game for the gun as a pure-bred spaniel would, or long-distance handling as required for picking-up with a labrador.

You can try and choose which path you wish to follow, but I have found through experience that continual assessment of your springador as it develops should help make some of the decisions for you.

It is possible you will not get the best of both worlds. If you over-develop the dog’s long-distance retrieving skills, it could seriously affect control when you then expect it to quarter close to you when hunting for game to flush within gunshot.

As you intend to use the dog for roughshooting, then good close control is essential if you are going to fill your gamebag.