American Water Spaniel Breeders
Our newest litter arrived on February 10th. Stone and Sparkle had five boys and two girls.
Click here to see pictures.
Breeder of Merit
As you can see by the banner to the left, we are an AKC Breeder of Merit. What does that mean? Basically it recognizes our commitment to the AKC programs through our activities and successes. To be accepted as a Breeder of Merit we have to meet the following requirements:
- Have at least 5 years involvement with AKC events.
- Earned AKC Conformation, Performance or Companion event titles on a minimum of 4 dogs from AKC litters we bred
- Be a member of an AKC club.
- Certify that applicable health screens are performed on our breeding stock as recommended by the Parent Club.
- Demonstrate a commitment to ensuring 100% of the puppies produced are AKC registered. (We believe that this can have a positive impact on curbing the decline in the number of AWS in the world today. Just like we felt that expanding the recognition of the breed to Europe in countries like Czech Republic, England, Finland, Germany, and Hungary would be a positive step forward for the breed.)
How do we stack up to those requirements?
We have been involved in AKC events since 1989 and have successfully participated in hunt tests, obedience trials and dog shows. The number of our dogs that have earned AKC championship and performance titles far exceeds the minimal requirement of the AKC. We hold membership in multiple AKC clubs; both local and national. Our commitment to breeding healthy dogs has driven us to exceed the rudimentary number of health screens called for by the AWS Parent Club and we have called upon that club to expand the number of health screens used by breeders. Our sales agreement and follow-up program with our puppy buyers demonstrates our commitment to strive for 100% of our puppies being registered with the AKC.
Bred with Heart
As conscientious breeders of AWS we make every effort to assure that our breeding stock is clear of potential health disorders. In the summer of 2015 the AKC began the "Bred with H.E.A.R.T." program. The program gives AKC a new way to engage, encourage and recognize ALL breeders who meet specific health testing standards and who participate in continuing education. We immediately joined the program and are proud of our commitment to it. Here are just some of the requirements breeders must agree to in order to participate in this program:
- Certify that applicable health screens are performed on breeding stock as recommended by the respective AKC Breed Parent Club and be prepared to supply proof of such compliance upon request
- Must agree to comply with the AKC Care and Conditions Policy, including inspection(s) by the American Kennel Club or its duly authorized representative
- Must agree to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding the ownership and maintenance of dogs
- Must agree to complete AKC-approved and/or AKC-provided continuing breeder education courses annually
We screen our stock for thyroid disorders, hip dysplasia, eye abnormalities, heart problems, degenerative myelopathy, and other potential health concerns. We believe that all breeders should register the results of the health and genetic clearances they obtain on their breeding stock with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). The OFA certification numbers for our breeding dogs are available on our website or directly through the OFA website. We back the health of our puppies with a written health guarantee that covers debilitating genetic health defects and many have said is probably the most extensive health guarantee of any AWS breeder.
Temperament is of special concern to us and we do our best to assure that we use only temperamentally sound stock. In addition, because we are now working with third and fourth generation dogs from our foundation stock we have a good idea of what to expect from the puppies that we produce. Staying in touch with puppy buyers and helping to train many of the pups that have been bought from us allows us to stay well informed about our ‘Little Brownies’ family.
Through constant observation, our knowledge of canine behavior, and years of experience, we identify the various personalities of our puppies and use that identification, along with information contained in a questionnaire, to help us match each pup to the individual puppy buyer. In addition, we go to great lengths to provide socialization for the pups while raising each litter. This includes exposure to a variety of people, sights, smells, and sounds. Those looking for a hunting dog might be interested in knowing that all the pups are introduced to birds and bird scent beginning at the age of 6 weeks. Weather permitting, we will even take the litter down to our pond for a dip in the water before they leave for their new homes.
For those females that come into season more than once a year, we do not breed every heat cycle. In fact, we often skip a couple of heat cycles between litters. This helps to maintain the health of our breeding females. Most of our females will only have three or four litters during their breeding life.
Puppies are not allowed to go to their new homes until they reach the age of at least eight weeks and we try to have them all on their way between eight and nine weeks of age. When they do head off with the new family the pups have had their dew claws removed, age appropriate vaccines, are micro-chipped, and wormed. The buyers receive our health warranty, a copy of the puppy’s pedigree, the puppy’s AKC registration papers, and a list of suggested reading material.
Boy or Girl
Which is best?It seems that most people inquire about getting a female puppy with the common misconception that the females have better temperaments, are easier to train, or will not be aggressive. We often get the question: What is the difference in temperament between a male and female American Water Spaniel? We don't feel that there is much of a difference in the temperament of the two sexes. As breeders we tend to keep more females than males, but of the males we have they have just as nice a temperament as the females and are sometimes even more loving. In fact most visitors to our home like our males better than the females. The males tend to be very outgoing and love to have fun! We have owned, hunted over and trained many AWS and neither sex has been consistently better in the field than the other. If you are looking for a companion and not a breeding prospect you may want to consider a male too.
While we have tried to give you a good overview of our breeding philosophy you undoubtedly have more questions. Please feel free to call or write with your questions and we will do our best to address them in a timely manner. If we agree to sell you a puppy - we do not sell to everyone who enquires - you will need to place a deposit with us as a means of securing your spot on "the list." Checks must be made out to Paul or Lynn Morrison for the agreed upon amount.