Information on the American Water Spaniel

Information on the American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel is a sporting breed used to flush out and retrieve birds and other small game. It is eager to learn, very trainable and enthusiastic about its work. They make fine companion animals and, because of their size, they fit well in cramped quarters. This breed is a light shedder and the oily coat of the American Water Spaniel needs a through brushing twice a week.

Appearance of the American Water Spaniel

Height: 15 -18 inches
Weight: 25 – 45 pounds
Lifespan: About 12 – 15 years

The American Water Spaniel has a distinctive thick, curly coat. The ears are long and covered with curls and the head is moderately long. Coat colors are a range of browns including liver or chocolate and sometimes black. A small white spot on the chest and white toes are not uncommon. The feathered tail tapers, hanging with a slight upward curve. The nose is either dark brown or black. Eye color should correspond with coat color.

The American Water Spaniel has a double coat which protects it from the elements. The inner coat finer and serves as insulation. This coat is shed in the spring, but comes out easily with moderate brushing. The outer coat is coarse, repelling water and protecting the dog against briars in the uplands.

The American Water Spaniel in the Field

The American Water Spaniel is used as by hunters looking for a dog that can flush out as well as swim and retrieve game. These dogs have a gentle mouth and a fine nose and are used above all as a field dog for hunting quail, duck, pheasant, grouse, and rabbit. Because of its small size, this Spaniel is considered to be a good breed of gun dog for anyone hunting on the water in a small boat or even a canoe.

The American Water Spaniel is an enthusiastic swimmer. Their dense and sculpted coat and rudder-like tail make them wonderful hunters in inclement weather and in difficult waters.

The American Water Spaniel at Home

The American Water Spaniel is easy going and loving, making this a fine family companion that is usually excellent with children. The American Water Spaniel is a highly sensitive, pleasant and willing dog therefore, heavy-handed training methods are not necessary. Obedience training should be calm, firm, quiet, and persuasive, rather then demanding or sharp.

American Water Spaniels will do okay in an apartment as long as they get enough exercise. They love to roam in search of quarry and if lacking in mental and or physical exercise, this intelligent and energetic dog can sometimes be over excited.

History of the American Water Spaniel

The true origin of the American Water Spaniel is a mystery. They originated as an all-around farm and hunting dog in the 18th century in the Midwestern United States. The breed was probably developed from the Curly-Coated Retriever and Irish Water Spaniel – with possible additions of other early spaniels, most likely the English Water Spaniel, the Curly Coated Retriever, the English Spaniel and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

The American Water Spaniel was recognized by AKC in 1940 and is quite rare. He is the state dog of Wisconsin.

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