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american water spaniel


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The American Water Spaniel makes a great family companion and is officially the state dog of Wisconsin







American Water Spaniel


American Water Spaniel



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Since the 18th century, the American Water Spaniel has been an all-around hunting and farm dog from the Midwestern United States.  Probably developed from the Curly-Coated Retriever and Irish Water Spaniel this dog was known for its ability as an outstanding bird dog in lakes, rivers, woods and swamps.  With its gentle mouth and fine nose this dog worked well with both flushing game, retrieving and even pointing out squirrels in trees by barking.



This highly intelligent and trainable dog is very enthusiastic and eager to learn especially when it comes to any form of hunting.  These friendly, energetic, confident, persistent and obedient dogs make great companions to both family and children and are also good guard dogs, which also can be quite easily obedience trained.  Training should be undertaken in a calm, firm, quiet, and persuasive manner, rather then demanding or sharp, as heavy-handed training methods are not necessary with this willing spaniel.  They do get along with non-canine pets and love lots of attention, but at the same time are able to entertain themselves. Some American Water Spaniels have a tendency to drool and even snore.  If found lacking in daily mental or physical exercise these dogs will tend to bark and whine and can sometimes even result in them becoming hyper or over excited.



Height:  36-46cm  (15-18in)

Weight:  11-20kg  (25-45lb)

This active, muscular and hardy breed sports a crisp-textured, tightly curled or wavy outer coat lined with a protective undercoat with colors including liver or chocolate - sometimes with a small white spot on the chest. Their long ears are covered with curls, a nose which is either dark brown or black and eye color that should correspond with the coat color in shades of brown or hazel.  They have a feathered tapering tail which hangs with a slight upward curve and is used as a rudder in swimming.



The American Water Spaniel has an oily coat which may have a strong smell due to the oil, which needs thorough brushing twice a week.  It is advisable to bathe this dog only when necessary as bathing removes the natural oils in the coat and can result in dry flaky skin.  This breed is a light shedder. 


Life Expectancy

12-14 Years


Health Concerns

These dogs are fairly healthy apart from some lines being prone to skin problems. 



They do best with at least an average-sized yard.  These dogs like to roam in search of quarry and it is recommended that they receive lots of physical exercise including long daily walks.


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Gundogs were all bred to assist in the hunting and retrieving of game. A few in this group include the Golden Retriever, Labrador and American Cocker Spaniel  to mention a few


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