American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniel Breed description: Character & Co

American Water Spaniel Breed description: Character & Co

Origin of the American Water Spaniel

The country of origin of the American Water Spaniel is the United States of America. He is the official state dog of the lake-rich state of Wisconsin. Ancestors of the Spaniel are said to have once come from Great Britain and Ireland. The Spaniel's ancestors are most likely to be very old dog breeds such as the Irish Water Spaniel, the Field Spaniel, and the Old English Water Spaniel. The American Water Spaniel was bred in the USA in the 1920s and first registered as a purebred dog in 1940. He is mainly used as a hunting dog on land as well as in the water. He succeeds effortlessly in tracking down and retrieving game.

FCI classification

  • Group 8: Retrievers, Water Dogs, Retrievers

  • Section 3: Water Dogs

Banner: Shutterstock / Erik Lam
American Water Spaniel on a green meadow is in Habacht position, small hunting dog with wavy coat and curly floppy ears American Water Spaniel brown, American Water Spaniel chocolate brown, small hunting dog with wavy coat
Alternate Name -
Origin USA
Life expectancy 13 - 15 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group Water Dogs
AKC group Sporting Group
KC group Gundog Group

Typical character traits of the American Water Spaniel

  • friendly

  • people-oriented

  • intelligent

  • eager to learn

  • alert

  • likes to move around

Due to his friendly nature, the American Water Spaniel is also suitable as a family dog. He is always eager to please his owners and learns quickly. The Spaniel is considered an eager, yet easily controlled hunting dog. An excellent swimmer, he loves to be in the water and is therefore used for duck hunting in the USA.


  • protective
  • energetic
  • educable
  • friendly
  • obedient
  • intelligent


  • Hunting Dog
  • Family Dog
American Water Spaniel, medium brown white dog with curly coat, wavy coat, hunting dog from America, American Water Spaniel

What are typical diseases of the American Water Spaniel?

With the American Water Spaniel, a very robust dog, hardly any diseases occur. Hereditary diseases are not known. In the context of breeding, great importance is attached to hereditarily healthy parents. In rare cases, however, a deformity of the hip can occur, in which case the administration of painkillers is unavoidable. Also rare is progressive retinal atrophy, an eye disease that leads to blindness.

American Water Spaniel breeding - where, how, what?

The breeding of the American Water Spaniel is mainly done in the USA, he is very rare in Europe. Even in its country of origin, the USA, the dog breed is considered to be endangered, only about 3000 Spaniels are said to live there.

In Germany the American Water Spaniel is only bred in one hunting spaniel club, in Grevenbroich. In Austria, only one hunting spaniel club is responsible for the breeding of the spaniel, in Fischamend.

American Spaniel, Water Spaniel, American Water Spaniel Breed Description

The American Water Spaniel is a medium-sized dog that has a sturdy build and strong musculature. The Spaniel's nose varies in color from black to dark brown, and its prominent nostrils indicate a keen sense of smell. The American Water Spaniel has medium-sized brown eyes that give his face a focused expression. Its ears are long and well furnished with hair, and its tail is pointed and of average length. The Spaniel's front and hind legs exhibit a straight course, providing for its powerful gait.

Appearance and Coat of the American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel is a muscular, but not too compact dog. He has a dense, wavy to curly coat that reliably protects him from cold and wet conditions. His coat is brown to chocolate brown, and he may have white markings on his paws and chest. Some time should be allowed for grooming. The Spaniel's coat needs to be combed or brushed daily to remove dirt as well as loose hair.

Size, weight and age of the American Water Spaniel

Males reach a height of up to 46 cm, females usually grow to the same height. Males weigh about 20 kg, bitches weigh about 11.5 to 18 kg. An American Water Spaniel can live up to 14 years.

Fur length medium
Fur wavy
Ear shape Floppy Ear
Tail lang
Anatomy sporty
Size ♀ 40 - 46 cm
Weight ♀ 18 - 29 kg
Size ♂ 40 - 46 cm
Weight ♂ 12 - 18 kg
Suitable For


brown-white Chocolate brown dark brown
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

    Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a slowly progressive death of the retina in dogs.

Other medium dogs

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