A sprocker spaniel is a basic cross between a springer and a cocker (which makes perfect sense when pointed out).
They have been a long hidden secret by gamekeepers and the shooting fraternity since they combine the best that a
Springer and a Cocker can bring. Of course this is all personal preference but having met my lovely Ernie (short
fat hairy legs when a tiny pup AKA Ernie Wise) you would certainly agree what a fabulous combination this is.
Some might say that they could also harbour the worst of both breeds, but since all spaniels are perfect in every
way this is clearly impossible.
They can be produced in various colour ways but obviously not to order. Ernie is a deep chocolate with a white
bib. Born with blue eyes he has the piercing soul searching gaze only a cocker can have, combined with the cheerful
bid fullness that a springer inherently dictates. I love him to pieces. Terribly greedy he will do most stuff
for a treat. I often find him up in my bedroom snuffling through my jean pockets if I have been silly enough to
firstly leave the door open and secondly to leave food in my clothes. The good point is that he doesn’t chew the
clothes, if he cannot get what he wants he brings them to me with a happy ‘I am just SO clever’ air he has inherited
from his Father.
Ernie’s Mother is our Springer ‘Sky’ who anyone who meets her will tell you she is the most focused on playing
dog ever (and actually one of my best trained dogs too) and he has inherited the ‘I am very good at doing what I
am told’ trait from her. I couldn’t recommend them more highly as both a family dog (Ernie makes a great alarm clock in
getting children up for school) and a working dog too.
We have had such great feedback and interest in our Sprockers, both for families and as working dogs we have decided
to dedicate a third of our breeding time to producing our own ‘Uggeshall Kennels Sprockers’ (obviously the other two
thirds are still dedicated to Springer’s and Cockers).
Having done our homework as thoroughly as possible we understand that a lot of potential Sprocker owners are concerned
about the puppy or dog they are buying were ‘mistakes’ or simply a one off breeding experience for someone who does not
have a lot of knowledge in breeding and pedigrees. Since we know each of our dogs inside out and back to front so to
speak we can predicate their nature quite easily and assess if they are going to make good family pets, good working
dogs or a mixture of both.
We also have made sure each of our dogs have the best pedigrees, and are not related (this is harder than you would
expect given the spaniel gene pool in the UK).
Pedigree dogs are bred within a closed gene pool - hence if you carry on breeding the wrong combination of dogs
inherited diseases are more likely to happen. We use the Kennel Club ‘Mate Select’ service before we even buy a dog
to breed from, by doing this we can be absolutely sure that we are not inbreeding and we are producing healthy dogs.
We also spend a lot of time getting to know our dogs, they are part of the family and if there are any concerns over
the dogs nature and health we do not breed from them. With this is mind you can rest assured that by using the best
of both breeds (that we are determined to have as our Springer and Cocker breeding dogs) then there is no inbreeding
and we are creating a Sprocker family tree of the most excellence.
We have a few choices with our Sprocker stud dogs. Initially we only used Teddy the gold Cocker on our Springer
girls but now we use a combination of Cockers (Teddy, Tango and Nevil), our own Sprocker Ernie and Eddie the Springer
stud dog on the Cocker girls. Each combination brings differing results. Teddy makes solid black and chocolate Sprockers,
Tango produces solid black and solid chocolate, liver and white, and black and white. Nevil makes liver and white and
black and white with roan colouring thrown in the mix whereas Eddie makes black and white…
We think its their character that families are drawn too. They are a down to earth type of dog, they don’t need any
frills but certainly won’t say no to some multi coloured toys or you having a spending spree in any pet store!
They are part of the family if that’s what you want, and are very intelligent, hence trainable from the moment
you get them home. Their dedication to you is simply love, their obedience is down to you laying down the rules
from Day One, with those two simple ideas in mind you are off and running….we have two resident Sprockers here, the
enormous character of Ernie who is a family pet (and the occasional creator of mayhem but that’s part of his charm)
and Flo who is Richards young Gundog in training. You are welcome to come and see them both…you wont be disappointed.
We are in the process of launching The Sprocker Spaniel Club website which can be found at
https://www.sprocker.org you may find it both interesting and informative.