- Average Height: 18 to 21 inches
- Average Weight: 40 to 55 pounds
- Coloring: Black and white, brown and white, tricolor or black
- Coat Type: Smooth, short coat or a medium-length coat
- Dog Breed Group: Crossbreed
- Average Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
Key Personality Traits:
He’s not some obscure British motor car. The Sprollie is a cross between an English Springer Spaniel and a Collie or Border Collie. He tends to be highly active, smart and good-natured but can be a challenge to live with.
Sprollies tend to be high-energy dogs. Both of the parent breeds are known for being active and intelligent. Springers tend to be cheerful, fun-loving and bouncy. Border Collies are typically intense, with a strong desire to herd. The Border Collie’s cousin, the Collie, tends to be protective and active and also has a strong desire to herd. What you get depends on both nature and nurture. With a hybrid such as the Sprollie, it’s safe to say that no matter which breed’s temperament is dominant, this dog will need lots of daily exercise.
Because of their high activity level, Sprollies may make good playmates for children who are at least 6 years old, but the dogs may be too rambunctious for a younger child. The dog’s desire to herd may also be an issue. It’s important not to let him learn that it’s okay to nip at children’s — or anyone else’s — heels to get them to move.
Sprollies need early training and socialization so they don’t run roughshod over you. Exercise needs for healthy Sprollies can usually be met by a couple of long daily walks, playtime that allows them to run and fetch a ball or flying disc or participation in a physically or mentally challenging dog sport such as agility, flyball or nose work.
Sprollie puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons this breed is so popular. There’s also a good chance that you can find a Sprollie adult or maybe even a puppy at your local shelter.
If you do choose to buy a Sprollie puppy, select a breeder who has done the health testing to help ensure that her puppies won’t carry the genetic diseases common to the parent breeds.
- The size of a Sprollie can vary, depending on the size of the parents. Collies, for instance, are 22 to 26 inches tall and weigh 50 to 70 pounds. English Springers are 19 to 20 inches tall and weigh 35 to 50 pounds. Border Collies are 18 to 22 inches tall and weigh 30 to 45 pounds.
- The typical Sprollie is black and white, brown and white, tricolor or black.
- A Sprollie usually has a smooth, short coat or a medium-length coat, floppy ears and a mid-length to long feathered tail that is frequently wagging.
The History of the Sprollie
Sprollies have probably existed for decades in rural areas where farm dogs were allowed to mate freely. Currently, with the rise of the craze for hybrids over the past few decades, they have also begun to purposely be bred and sold.
Technically, a Sprollie is not a breed, but a hybrid—also known as a crossbreed. Breeds are created over many generations of selecting for certain characteristics like appearance, size, and temperament. So, the process of Sprollies earning breed status is still very much in progress.
Even though the Sprollie doesn’t have a long “history” like some more common purebreds—such as a German Shepherd or Labrador Retriever—there is still so much to love about them. Purebred or crossbreed, love your dog for what he is: a unique and loving best friend.
Sprollie Temperament and Personality
Sprollies tend to be bright and affectionate dogs. Their temperament ranges from sweet and obedient to crazy workaholic to destructive dynamo. Your Sprollie may carry a sign that says “Will work for food,” or he may be happy with your smile and a brief word of praise. It all depends on which genes he gets from which parent and how the nurturing he receives affects his personality.
The typical Sprollie is highly energetic, and the first 2 years of his life can be exhausting. While he’s still a puppy, give him plenty of running and chasing play on grass and work his brain with puzzle toys and sports such as nose work. He can also start to learn agility skills that don’t involve jumping (which could damage his still-developing musculoskeletal system). Teach him tricks: He’ll love to show them off.
Once his skeletal growth is complete at 14 to 18 months, take your Sprollie running (overall health permitting and with clearance from your vet) and hiking as often as you can. Get him started in flyball or the jumping portion of agility. Try to keep him interested in fun activities so he doesn’t become bored. A bored Sprollie can become destructive and noisy.
Sprollies are likely to maintain their energetic lifestyle well into adulthood, so make sure that’s what you want to live with. People who are prepared for a Sprollie’s level of activity say they wouldn’t swap them for any other dog.
A Sprollie who has been raised with or extensively socialized to children may make a great companion for families whose children are at least 6 years old. Still, supervision is a must. Every Sprollie is different, so not every Sprollie will get along with kids.
This dog may love everyone in the family or choose a single person as his favorite. He may or may not seek attention from visitors or strangers on the street. The Sprollie can get along well with other dogs and cats, especially if he is raised with them.
Temperament is affected partly by inheritance and partly by environment, so it can be variable. A Sprollie’s temperament depends on several factors, including the temperaments of his parents, especially the mother, who is more likely to influence a puppy’s behavior; the amount of socialization he receives; and the particular genes he inherits. Neither English Springers nor Collies or Border Collies should be shy or aggressive.
Note as well that some Sprollies may be obsessive about chasing lights or shadows. To help prevent this behavior, avoid playing with your Sprollie using a laser toy or flashlight.
Purchasing a Sprollie from a breeder? Describe exactly what you’re looking for to the breeder—she will often be able to make uncanny recommendations on the right pup in her litter for your needs. As you’re looking for a puppy, always make an effort to meet the parents. Choose a puppy who’s parents have nice personalities and you will more likely to have a nice puppy on your hands, too.
What You Need to Know About Sprollie Health
All dogs can develop genetic health problems. When it comes to the Sprollie, they are susceptible to any of the health conditions you might find in their English Springer Spaniel and Collie parents. Here is a breakdown of the most common disorders from those breeds.
Health Conditions Common to the Springer Spaniel
Phosphofructokinase (PFK) deficiency. This genetic disease affects the metabolic system of dogs, causing them to become weak and lethargic. Dogs that have it may experience muscle cramps and anemia as well as dark-colored urine after exertion, barking or panting.
English Springer Rage Syndrome. More common in show lines, this syndrome is marked by episodes of aggression that happen without warning. While it is believed to be the result of both genetic and environmental factors, always exercise caution and do your due diligence when researching the breeders.
Hip Dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia occurs when the head of the thigh bone doesn’t fit properly into the hip socket, and over time the cartilage on the bone surface begins to wear away. The constant inflammation can lead to pain and lameness over time.
Health Conditions Common to the Border Collie and Collie
Collie Eye Anomaly. This condition refers to a group of eye disorders ranging form minor to serious. They are present at birth, and may be detected in puppies as early as 5 to 8 weeks of age. Fortunately, genetic tests exist to help weed out these potential problems early on.
Epilepsy. Collies can be susceptible to seizures. If they are prone, it usually appears early in life. Unfortunately, there is currently no screening test for seizure disorders in the breed.
It’s impossible to accurately predict which, if any, of these conditions will be present in your Sprollie. However, you can help safeguard his health by preventing one of the most common conditions in all dogs: obesity. By keeping your Sprollie active and feeding him an appropriate amount of food, you can ward off the health complications that can come with being overweight.
The Basics of Sprollie Grooming
A Sprollie can have a short or medium-length coat that ranges from sparse to bushy. Brush it at least two or three times a week to help keep the coat shiny and prevent or remove mats and tangles. Remember the areas behind the ears or where the legs meet the body, because they are prime spots for mats to develop.
Sprollies typically shed. Regular brushing helps to keep fur off your floor, furniture and clothing.
Bathe a Sprollie as needed. That might be weekly (if he spends a lot of time on your bed or other furniture), monthly or somewhere in between.
Many Sprollies love to play in water. It’s essential to rinse them (to help remove chlorine, salt or debris) and dry them thoroughly afterward.
Other grooming needs include trimming his nails every week or two, keeping his ears clean and dry and brushing his teeth regularly — daily if you can — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste.
How to Find a Sprollie
Sprollies, having only been bred for a short period of time, tend to be harder to find than their more common purebred parents, the English Springer Spaniel and Collie. Still, there are options for buying a Sprollie from a breeder or adopting one from a shelter or rescue.
Whichever route you choose, here are some things to keep in mind.
Tips for Finding a Sprollie Breeder
Selecting a respected breeder is a great way to find the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will, without question, have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. Good breeders care more about getting puppies in the right homes than turning around a profit.
If you choose to purchase a Sprollie, select a breeder who has done health testing to help ensure that her puppies won’t carry the genetic diseases common to the parents’ breeds. Buying from a breeder who is smart and caring enough to do health certifications, even for a crossbreed, is the best way to do that. Avoid breeders who simply say that their breeding stock is vet-checked but have no up-to-date documentation from the OFA or the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC).
Also, look out for some common red flags for disreputable breeders. Those include puppies always being available, multiple litters or multiple breeds on the premises, having your choice of any puppy and the ability to pay online with a credit card. Convenient? Sure. But these conveniences are almost never associated with good breeders.
Have you considered bringing home an older Sprollie? Puppies are fun and cute, but they also require a lot of work. If you are interested in acquiring an older dog, ask your veterinarian if she knows of an adult dog who needs a new home or check your local shelters to see if there’s a dog who meets your desires. And depending on your resources and lifestyle, don’t dismiss the idea of adopting a senior. Under ideal circumstances, Sprollies can have long lifespans, so a dog who is 5 or even 8 years old is likely to still give you years of love. As with any pet, be prepared to provide medical care and deal with any special needs that arise.
Tips for Finding a Sprollie to Adopt
Finding a Sprollie to adopt is likely to be a challenge due to how new of a breed they are. But challenging does not mean impossible! Use the following tips to help you in your search.
Let Search Engines Be Your Friend. Beyond Google, there are pet adoption specific sites that can connect you with an adoptable Sprollie fast. Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet.com are the standard bearers for doing just that, and they offer some powerful filtering options to narrow your search based on geography and dog characteristics. Looking for an animal rescue group in your area? AnimalShelter.org is your best bet.
Talk to to Local Experts. Start talking with all the pet pros in your area about your desire for a Sprollie. That includes vets, dog walkers and groomers. When someone has to make the tough decision to give up a dog, that person will often ask her own trusted network for recommendations.
Talk to Breed Rescues. Networking can help you find a dog that may be the perfect companion for your family. Ask a local shelter or rescue group if they ever have Sprollies available and leave your name and number.
Puppy or adult, breeder purchase or rescue, take your Sprollie to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot problems and will work with you to set up a preventive care schedule.
What is a Sprollie dog?
A Sprollie is a hybrid between an English Springer Spaniel and a Collie. While it is a popular crossbreed, it’s not for everyone. The traits they inherit depend in part on the randomness of genetics, so it’s impossible to predict which traits a Sprollie will have from its English Springer Spaniel parent, and which traits it will have from its Collie parent. Regardless, be prepared for smart and high energy dog that likes to be put to work.
How do you train a Sprollie dog?
Sprollies are derived from two working dog breeds, so they enjoy having a task to do. Many Sprollie owners choose to train their dogs to herd, while others opt for agility training or simple hikes through the mountains.
Training a Sprollie is similar to training just about any other dog: It requires patience, perseverance, and positive reinforcement. Keep things interesting by trying different puzzle games and teaching him new tricks.
Are Sprollies aggressive?
Neither English Springer Spaniels nor Collies tend to be aggressive, so Sprollies will likely have the same loving demeanor. Sometimes, English Springer Spaniels are prone to a condition called English Springer Spaniel Rage Syndrome, marked by random bouts of aggression. However, the occurrence of this is rare and typically only shows in certain show lines.
Do Sprollies shed?
Yes,Sprollies typically shed. Regular brushing helps to keep fur off your floor, furniture and clothing. Bathe a Sprollie as needed. That might be weekly (if he spends a lot of time on your bed or other furniture), monthly or somewhere in between.