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American Water Spaniel

Quick facts

American Water Spaniel AKC Group: Sporting
Height: 15-18 Inches
Weight: 25-40 lbs female; 30-45 lbs male
Colors: Brown, chocolate or liver
AKC recognized in: 1940

A thick, wavy and slightly curly coat of fur topped off by two floppy ears is the trademarks of the American Water Spaniel (or AWS). Muzzles are medium and square-shaped, and their tails curve slightly upward from the base – also known as a rocker shape.

These features are all balled up into a rather petite figure. The body itself stands at a mere 15-18 inches on average, and the moderate distance between forepaws and hind paws makes them look a bit longer than most other dogs. This makes it easy to mistake the AWS for a toy breed, especially when you observe the owners leisurely playing around with their pets.

However, all the frills and curls mask a stocky and muscular body – capable of retrieving fur, fowl and fish with great speed and enthusiasm. Mix that in with a respectable degree of hunting intelligence, and you have a unique hunting partner that can double as a companion in a pinch.

Despite these unique characteristics, the AWS itself is not exactly a common breed. This means that the value of a single American Water Spaniel can reach anywhere around $600 to $800 on average – more so if you are looking for trained adults to work with.


American Water Spaniel Summary
Affection three paws
Cold Tolerance three paws
Ease of Training three paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements three paws
Friendliness : Children three paws
Friendliness: Other Animals two paws
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements three paws
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability three paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

The American Water Spaniel is a friendly, intelligent, playful and obedient breed to keep. The problem here is that they tend to be possessive, anxious, stubborn and very vocal if not handled properly.

For starters, the AWS responds well to friendly, gentle training procedures. Such methods will allow you to gain its obedience without having to snap or threaten the dog. Sufficient exercising, proper play schedules and socialization with other humans will be more than enough to keep the negative sides of the AWS at bay.

However, you have to be prepared to spend a significant amount of time with your AWS. This particular breed is very susceptible to separation anxiety, and may end up excessively barking or chewing on your furniture if you leave it alone for more than a few hours a day.

Health and Exercise

The American Water Spaniel has a life span of between 10 and 12 years.

As the American Water Spaniel is a sporting breed, you can expect to give a lot of care and attention to its need for exercise. It will be able to tolerate living in a modest apartment, but you have to make sure that you take your dog out for long walks if you do not want it to start getting aggravated.

The AWS is a pretty delicate breed, as they do have genetic vulnerabilities to heart problems (particularly mitral valve disease), hip problems, allergies and cataracts. As an AWS ages, it will become increasingly susceptible to diabetes, cancer hypothyroidism, epilepsy and follicular dystrophy.

To prevent these problems from getting out of hand, simply feed your AWS a balanced diet, give it lots of exercise and schedule a bi-annual checkup with your local veterinarian. Pretty basic, but this is what makes the AWS a tough breed in the first place.

Visitor Comments

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