|Group classification: Sporting||Country of origin: United States||Date of origin: 19th century|
|Weight (M): 30 - 45 lb||Height (M): 16 - 18"||Life expectancy: 11 - 13 years|
|Weight (F): 25 - 40 lb||Height (F): 15 - 17"|
eneral Description of the American Water Spaniel
The American Water Spaniel is a dog bred to hunt in any environment. Its medium size, muscular body and curly water-proof coat contribute to its abilities as an all-around hunting dog. The breed is dense in both muscle and bone, but does not have a stout or clumsy appearance. The body is well-proportioned with the length measuring slightly more than the height. The head is broad and full, with the face carrying an expression of alertness and intelligence. The eyes are rounded and set well apart and colored anywhere from yellowish-brown to dark brown. The ears are placed slightly above eye-level and are long and wide, and the muzzle is square with good depth and either a level or scissor bite. The coat is waterproof and can either be wavy or tightly curled with an undercoat. The body, ears, and neck are well-covered with hair. The forehead is covered with short, soft hair and the tail has some feathering. The coat is either of liver, brown, or dark chocolate with possible spots of white on the toes or chest.
American Water Spaniel Temperament
The American Water Spaniel is a very intelligent and trainable breed. It is highly sensitive, so obedience training should be done with a calm hand. If harshly disciplined, the American Water Spaniel could snap defensively; despite this, the breed is generally very good with children. Although it loves attention, the American Water Spaniel is not needy and can easily entertain itself. If not socialized well when young, the breed can become timid and potentially aggressive toward other dogs. Overall, the American Water Spaniel is a friendly, energetic and loving companion.
Caring for an American Water Spaniel
A classic spaniel, the American Water Spaniel needs plenty physical and mental exercise everyday. The American Water Spaniel does best indoors with access to a yard for play. This dog will do fine in an apartment as long as its gets plenty of exercise. This breed has an oily coat that needs brushing twice a week. Bathe the animal only when necessary, as shampoos tend to remove the coat’s natural oils and dry out the skin. Mitral valve disease is a major health concern in this breed; patent ductus arteriosus, pulmonic stenosis and canine hip dysplasia are also sometimes seen.