American Water Spaniel

Dog Breed Profile
American Water Spaniel

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• High energy level
• Medium exercise needs
• Very playful
• Moderately Affectionate
• Shy towards other dogs
• Friendly around other pets
• Shy friendly around strangers
• Fairly easy to train
• Great watchdogs
• Moderately protective
• Moderate grooming requirements
• Medium tolerance to heat
• Medium tolerance to cold



Happy to spend his time hanging out with his family as much as he loves spending time in the field, the American Water Spaniel is a prefect family companion. This dog breed responds well to training and is eager to please. As long as he gets regular daily exercise suitable to his energy level and mental stimulation needs he makes a wonderful pet. He’s fun-loving and will usually get along fine with other family dogs.

His coat provides protection against the cold, which is necessary for a breed that thoroughly enjoys the water. The American Water Spaniel has got a jaw large enough to carry a goose, and is easily able to propel himself through the water or on land when he needs to.

  • Best suited to being a part of the family as opposed to living outdoors
  • Health conditions that need to be tested for include hips and eyes
  • Grooming needs include at least weekly brushing and occasional trips to the salon
  • The American Water Spaniel is an affectionate and friendly, loving animal that can be fairly easily trained
  • Has a great relationship with family members, young and old, moderately
  • protective and make great watchdogs
  • The average size of a male is 30 to 45lbs and 15 to 18 inches tall
  • The average size of a female is 25 to 40lbs and 15 to 18 inches tall

Care & Health:

The American Water Spaniel has a short and oily coat and needs to brushed every week at least once. You’ll need to check and clean his ears regularly and be prepared for a professional trim every once in a while.

He requires daily exercise and is happiest when he can spend time inside with his family.

Major Health Concerns:


Minor Health Concerns:

–lenticular opacities, CHD and occasionally patellar luxation and PRA

Test for:

–hips and eyes

Life Span:

– 10 to 12 years

Breed History:

Originally from the Great Lakes area of the US in about the 1850s, the American Water Spaniel is likely a descendant of the Irish water spaniel. It’s thought that it may even have been American Indians who developed this breed.

He was the most prized hunting dog in the Midwest, and his talents helped him to hunt though any type of terrain, including even rough thickets. In 1940 the AKC recognized the breed and soon after they began to breed for family pets, but have still remained as mainly a hunting dog. The American Water Spaniel is one of the least known AKC breeds even though there have every only been two hunting breeds originating in the US.

  • Family history is gundog, Water Dog, Spaniel
  • Originally from United States
  • First bred in the 1800’s
  • Original purpose was bird flushing and retrieving
  • Today they are used for bird flushing and retrieving, spaniel field trials