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Both the Labrador Retriever and the Springer spaniel are originally hunting dogs. Both breeds are still used in hunting, and for this reason they are in general energetic and active dogs. Especially the Labrador needs lots and lots of exercise every day to prevent them from being hyperactive, frustrated and sometimes even destructive in the home. The springer spaniel is quite happy with regular exercise on a daily basis.

Both breeds like to engage in long walks or hiking, as well as swimming (more on the Lab side than the Springer), obedience, agility, rally, tracking – and of course, hunting. On the Labrador side, the breed is split in two where one line is directed to hunting while the other is more about exterior and dog shows. The Springer spaniel is more thoroughly a hunting dog, but both breeds works just as well as an active family dog. None of them should be kept of lead, though, due to hunting instincts still running deep.

Both these breeds are very friendly and playful, but the Labrador may be slightly more outgoing than the Springer spaniel. They are close to their families, but the Springer spaniel is more prone to separation anxiety due to their need to stay close to the pack/family.

Being bred to work closely with people, both the Labrador and the Springer spaniel are easy to train. Both breeds are eager to please their humans, and they work very well in family situations. Like any dog of any size and mentality, both Labrador and Springer should be supervised when interacting with children – but they are both good with little humans. Due to its size, the Labrador should learn at an early age how to behave around smaller people, especially since they are known for their wagging tails precisely in the height of a toddler.

While both breeds enjoy the company of their human pack, the Springer spaniel is quite the explorer of unknown territories. Therefore, keeping them on lead is highly recommended since they tend to run off on their own to explore new grounds.

The biggest difference between the Labrador Retriever and the Springer spaniel is size and coat. The Lab is the larger of the two, while the Springer has the longer coat that needs more work to groom. The Lab’s coat is easy to care for, where the Springer’s coat needs brushing through at least once a week, and they need trimming of certain problematic areas. Both breeds have flapping ears, the Springer’s much longer, that needs extra care to keep clean and healthy.

The Labrador is prone to obesity, due to its huge appetite. If you’re thinking about getting a male Lab, you may want to discuss this as a consequence of neutering, with your vet. You should always give your dog, regardless of breed, good, nutritious food with consideration to breed and age.

These are some of the similarities and differences between two glorious breeds. I hope you learned something new or found something new to consider if you’re thinking about getting yourself a new dog.


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