AKC Group: Sporting
The exact history of this breed is unknown, but it’s generally considered to have originated in the Midwest U.S. and Wisconsin. American Water Spaniels were used for hunting, especially birds from the water and is used for retrieval from both land and water.
Size: 15 to 18 inches, 23 to 45 pounds.
Color: Solid liver, brown or dark chocolate. Sometimes they can have white on their chests or toes.
Life span: 10 to 12 years.
Health problems: Hip dysplasia or eye problems. Some lines have skin problems.
American Water Spaniels are energetic and intelligent. They will adore accompanying you to the beach; they are excellent swimmers. Their dense curly coats help them withstand cold water and weather. They have broad heads and look spaniel-like.
American Water Spaniels are gentle, kind and affectionate. They make excellent companions for the whole family, even other pets. Socialization will help them to overcome their natural timidity and reduce suspicion or aggressiveness to strange dogs. They love to fetch, so much so that they will wile away the whole day if you have the time. They do need a fenced yard and teaching them to come when called is vital. They can become extremely distracted by a scent and follow the trail in the blink of an eye if the opportunity presents itself.
American Water Spaniels should be brushed twice a week. Bathe sparingly, it removes their natural coat oils and dries out their skin. If you find your dog smelly, it’s due to the oil in his coat. American Water Spaniels are easy to train. Never use harsh tones or actions, American Water Spaniels are easily scared. Positive praise and ignoring bad habits instead of punishment is the best way to go.