American Water Spaniel Pictures
- Height:15-18 inches
- Weight:25-45 pounds
- Lifespan:13-15 years
- Group:AKC Sporting
- Best suited for:Families with children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards, hunters, rural/farm areas
- Temperament:Energetic, sensitive, willing to please, alert
- Comparable Breed:Curly-Coated Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel
You may know the American Water Spaniel as the “little brown dog.” This curly-coated breed is the classic “big dog in a small package.” Although this dog looks small and cute, don’t be fooled – the American Water Spaniel (nicknamed AWS) is a tough hunting dog that’s known for having a stubborn streak. A water retriever, this dog can be a hunter’s best friend… as well as a life-long companion for your family.
The American Water Spaniel is also famous for its love of barking, which makes it a wonderful watchdog. It’s just one of the qualities that make them a great family pet. Add a loving nature and a willingness to please, and you’ve got a dog that will offer many years of joy and happiness. Energetic and sensitive, the American Water Spaniel is a good fit for numerous lifestyles. One of the rarer breeds, it may take some work to find one. Read on to find out if this breed is a fit for you.
Energetic and sensitive, the American Water Spaniel is a good fit for numerous lifestyles.
No one is exactly sure of the origin of the American Water Spaniel, but the breed did make its first appearance in the 1860s. These dogs followed settlers that moved to the developing areas of the Midwestern United States. A hunting and retrieving dog, the American Water Spaniel was bred to flush and retrieve game in all conditions and terrain, including water. Although it was seen primarily as a duck and waterfowl retriever, it evolved into a combo of hunting spaniels and the hunting retrievers. Working equally well in water and on land, the AWS is a great swimmer and can sniff out its prey. Thanks to its small size, the American Water Spaniel fits nicely in canoes or other small boats needed to hunt waterfowl on inland lakes.
By the end of the 19th century, the American Water Spaniel had made a name for itself, gaining popularity with sportsmen in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.
You can call the American Water Spaniel’s pedigree a mystery. Developed sometime in the late 1860s, many believe that the AWS is descended from crosses of the Irish Water Spaniel, the Old English Water Spaniel, the Curly Coated Retriever, the Field Spaniel and the Poodle.
Food / Diet
You should feed your American Water Spaniel a dog food that contains a mix of poultry, lamb, fish meal, wheat, and corn. Avoid feeding this breed anything that contains white rice, soy, beet pulp, or horse meat.
You’ll find the American Water Spaniel easy to train, because it is intelligent and eager to please.
You’ll find the American Water Spaniel easy to train, because it is intelligent and eager to please. When training, use positive and gentle reinforcement, rather than strict or harsh discipline, as this can cause distrust.
One thing you won’t have to teach your AWS is how to fetch – it comes already built in. They are born to chase, hunt, and retrieve, and will happily do it all day long. Once your American Water Spaniel masters the basics, enroll your dog in advanced training. With its high intelligence, this breed needs to be challenged and mentally stimulated.
The American Water Spaniel is wary of strangers, and if it is not properly socialized, it will distrust people it doesn’t know. Start socialization early, so the AWS will be exposed to new people and new situations.