Featured mutt: Dalmation/springer spaniel mix



Note: If you have a mixed-breed dog you’d like to see featured on my site, send information and photos to Lindsay@thatmutt.com. The first featured mutt is Sebastian, a dalmatian/springer spaniel mix owned by Sabrina Packard in Orrington, Maine. Here’s what Sabrina had to say about her mutt:

We were blessed with a pup four years ago. Our dog is a perfect match of English springer spaniel and dalmatian. His name is Sebastian, and he is always working the ground and finding mischief. He looks like a dalmatian with the nose of a springer spaniel. He has all the energy of both breeds, but only the temperament of a springer. He is loving, obedient, cuddly and smart. He does not have one aggressive bone in his body. He is 60 pounds and a little taller than a springer. He has the short hair of a dalmatian, but the texture is so soft you could pet him all day.

We have a 40-acre lot for Sebastian to explore, and he has the best time springing in the tall grass. He will get in the water to play with our other pups, but he won’t explore it on his own unless they are instigating the play. I believe it’s because of his short hair. He doesn’t have the insulation to keep warm.

Sebastian was trained at home and in spite of his energy, he will sit and stay, lie down and stay, sit pretty and herd the cats where I need them to go. He exits the house on command, enters the cars on command, eats on command, has the softest mouth and will only take a treat on command. He is such a great addition to our family.

Sebastian and his siblings were an accidental litter. The family owned the mother and the father, and the mother birthed her litter during the winter. It was extremely cold out and the dogs lived outside with mom. The owner brought the pups into town (10 of them) in a banana box. They were four weeks old. I was at my bank and saw them and had to have one. We bottle fed Sebastian and he slept in a shoebox with some TY beanie babies to make him feel at home.

I later met one of Sebastian’s sisters and she is more the size of an English springer spaniel but looks just like my dog. She is a therapy dog and well mannered like her brother.

Note: Below is another dalmatian/springer mix named Cooki.



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  1. Apryl DeLancey on January 20, 2009

    What an attractive fellow! I don’t think I’ve seen this mix before.

  2. vee on January 20, 2009

    Sebastian has a darling face!
    you can really see the mix of springer/dalmation in him.
    What a cutie

  3. Shane on January 20, 2009

    Sebastian looks like a wonderful dog. But I would like to defend the Dalmation breed a little after reading your story. I just lost my Dal of 15 years a couple of months ago. His name was Rusty Wallace Tommerdahl and was one of the best dogs that I have ever had. When I picked him from his litter he was definately the dominant pup. And he was the biggest which continued on into adult hood. He was just shy of 90 pounds and very trim. He was more Doberman size than Dal. Any way he never showed any aggression whatsoever throughout his whole life. He was never the aggressor when around other dogs and loved to play with them no matter the size. He was so gentle with little dogs that it was amazing. Same with kids. They could do anything to him and he would take it. I will say though that if another dog would push the issue he had no problem showing that he would be the alpha. I have been around other dals too and what I have decided through my observations was when the movies came out. (you know the ones) All these people that had never owned a dog before let alone one that is as smart and stubborn as a Dal, went out and got one thinking that they would be just like in the movie. Well when they realized how much work went into them it went south. The dals were abused, abandoned, ignored you name it. Along with getting a bad rap. Just like the Pitties, Dobermans, Rottys and Shepards. So what I am saying I guess is unless you have had Dals and can speak with experience please do not bash the breed. My experience with mine was one of enjoyment, energy, loving and pleasing. Never aggression, intimidation or irritation.

  4. Lindsay Stordahl Author on January 21, 2009

    Hey Shane. Thanks for stopping by and for pointing out that dalmatians are not aggressive. I’m sorry to hear you lost your dog recently. I’m sure he was a great dog.

    It is individual dogs that are aggressive, not specific breeds. Most of the purebred dalmatians I have known have had aggression issues with other dogs. But I don’t blame the dalmatians for this, I blame the owners. Some springer spaniels are aggressive too, just like “some dalmatians.”

  5. Shane Tommerdahl on January 21, 2009

    Thank you Lindsay. I have the same beliefs as you when it comes to dogs. And I probably go overboard standing up for them. On a different note. My family is looking at adopting a dog from 4 luv of dog right now. And once our new addition has settled in we are probably going to do some fostering also.

  6. Lindsay Stordahl Author on January 21, 2009

    Hey, that’s great! Good luck with your new dog, and I’m glad to hear you are considering fostering as well.

  7. Chris on January 22, 2009

    What a beautiful boy Sebastian is. I love springers and the dalmation markings make him an interesting mix. He sounds like a wonderful pet.

  8. the three dog blogger on January 23, 2009

    Cat herding!

    That’s a new one on me. Wish ours would do that instead of just licking him like the crazed loons they are!

  9. Lindsay Stordahl Author on January 23, 2009

    My cats herd my dog.

  10. Michelle Rogers on January 27, 2009

    I wanted to ask Sabrina what breed is the other dog in the picture with Sebastian? I just rescued a mostly black and brown legged dog, who was called a spaniel mix, a collie mix, or some mix of herding dog and she has fuzzy ears that mostly flip over and a ragged looking black coat.

  11. Lindsay Stordahl Author on January 27, 2009

    Looks like a golden retriever to me.

  12. Esther Garvi on February 11, 2009

    I love mixes! My first dog was a Bernese Mountaindog / Belgian Shepherd dog and she was fabulous!

    @Michelle: The other dog looks like a chow-retriever mix.

  13. Jill Peterson on August 22, 2009

    I have a dalmation springer spaniel, her name is smokey jo. She is such a good dog. Loves to play. I wish i could leave a pic for you to see.

  14. Lindsay Stordahl on August 22, 2009

    Feel free to email me a pic at Lindsay@thatmutt.com. I’d love to see your dog.

  15. allison on September 10, 2009

    ohhhh i miss my dalmatian/springer spaniel mix. he was the best dog in the world and i miss him SOOOOO much. not aggressive at all by the way. and he loved chasing birds. he was the PERFECT mix between the breeds

  16. Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 11, 2009

    Aw, I’m sure your dalmatian/springer was a great dog. Feel free to send me a photo of him at Lindsay@thatmutt.com, and I will add his photo to this post.

  17. Sabrina on October 3, 2009

    Hi everyone! Thanks for all the nice comments about Sebastian. He’s still a sweetie, and getting better every day. The pup with him in the picture at the top is his brother Boaz, nicknamed BoBo. He’s a purebred Golden Retriever of the short snout variety. Bo is extremely loyal and we can tell he loves his family to pieces. He has extreme hip dysplasia, so his back quarters are kind of underdeveloped and his front parts are big. Overall, Bo looks good, and weighs about 95 pounds. He loves his springtime clipping!

  18. Lindsay Stordahl Author on October 3, 2009

    Thanks, Sabrina! Sebastian and Boaz are both cute dogs!

  19. Jennifer Boggs on May 21, 2010

    I’m soooooo glad that you have Sebastian’s pic here! I very recently rescued a dog and the Humane Society said it was a dal/springer spaniel mix. At first I didn’t believe this mostly because of Lucky’s short hair, but also because his head looked more like a pit-bulls. But here’s Sebastian looking like he could be Lucky’s brother!! From your posting, it sounds like they have the same temperments as well; he’s such a GRRREAT dog!! He’s actually having surgery today; so nervous!! I’m sure it will be fine (he’s having some “old-man” fatty cysts removed); but as a new mom, I’m anxious…Anywho; glad there’s people like you out there that treat their pets as one of the family and share your information and experiences. Thank You!!

  20. Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 21, 2010

    Awww, he sounds like a cute dog! Good luck as a new “mom”! Glad to hear you rescued a dog.

  21. carrie on January 24, 2011

    I am glad to finally find some one else who has this mix. I too have a springer dalmation mix she is polk a dotted and has the height of the springer. she is very playful but very calm for her being a springer mix. I love this dog she was abandond as a pup in a park . To this day I can not figure out why she lisions great has no aggresive behavior and is a total lover. I dont know what I would do with out her.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on January 24, 2011

      Aww. I’m great you found such a great dog. I’m sure she’s really cute!

  22. DJ on February 4, 2014

    We’re considering getting a dal/springer mix as a companion for our black lab. I’m wondering what kind of winter coat your dogs get. Do they get shaggier for winter or stay sleek? Also, do you think a dal/springer puppy would be compatible with a 6 year old who’s still very puppy-like?

  23. DJ on February 4, 2014

    Also, do you know if mixes tend to have as many problems with their hips?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 4, 2014

      I don’t know the answers to your first questions, but mixed-breed dogs can also have problems with their hips.

      My Lab mix seems to have healthy hips and he is going to be 8 next month.

      • DJ on February 4, 2014

        Thanks, Lindsay

  24. Gillian on March 2, 2014

    I have a spaniel dalmation cross and although hyper and extremely energetic a few good walks daily sorts that right out. He is the softest dog I have ever met. Always comes up for a cuddle as if he is a puppy. He is 1 and 22kgs. Never biten anyone and he was abused by his previous owner with electrical appliances. If dalmation breed is aggressive surely that would shine through on him? He is great with other dogs, cats and children.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 2, 2014

      I don’t think there is such thing as an aggressive breed. I will edit that line out because it is unfair. Every dog is an individual. Your dog sounds awesome.

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