The American Water Spaniel, as the name suggests, is a breed of water spaniels that developed in the United States most probably during the period of colonization. They have an average stature, with their entire body covered with curly hair in different shades of brown. They have a roundish skull with an elongated muzzle protruding out of it, ending in a dark brown nose. Other characteristics include low hanging ears, brown eyes, and a straight tail covered with wrinkled hair. Previously known as hardcore hunter dogs, used for retrieving prey from both land and water, these purely-bred, beautiful, adorable breeds could successfully endear themselves as house pets in the long run.
|Also known as||American Brown Spaniel, American Brown Water Spaniel|
|Coat Characteristics||Solid-colored, Dense, Double, Curly|
|Colors||Brown, Coffee, Chocolate, Tan, Liver|
|Type||Sporting Dog (AKC), Hunting Dog, Working Dog, Gundog, Companion Dog, Terrier Dog, Watchdog|
|Life Span/Expectancy||10-12 years|
|Height (Size)||Medium; 15-18 inches (both adult male and female)|
|Weight||Male: 30-45 pounds;
Female: 25-40 pounds
|Personality Traits||Brave, Loyal, Independent, Loving, Playful, Active|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Compatible with New Owners||No|
|Drooling||Moderate (some individuals)|
|Weight Gain Tendency||Average|
|Climatic Compatibility||Medium heat and cold tolerance|
|Litter Size||8 puppies/litter (average)|
|Country of Origin||USA|
|Competitive Registration||ACA, ACR, AKC, AWSC, APRI, CKC (Canadian Kennel Club), CKC (Continental Kennel Club), DRA, FCI, NAPR, NKC, UKC|
|Qualification Information||Breed Standards|
|Clubs and Organizations||The American Water Spaniel Club|
The specific history and origination of the American Water Spaniel are still unknown. However, considering its looks and features, it is widely believed that they have some genetic connection with the English water spaniel that was once brought to the US. Though the latter is already an extinct breed, its description seems like associated to its American counterpart.
The early European settlers who colonized in America brought the English water spaniels with them believing that, their hunter pets would not merely be able to find food for themselves, but also gather the same for their families.
By the end of the 19th century, it eventually became an established breed, also being in Wisconsin. The reason is that these hardy, brown spaniels, not merely made good companions, but were adapted to carry on with retrieving work under any situation. At the same time, they have a comfortable size so as to fit into small boats.
In 1881, a breed club formed for the very first time. Unfortunately, these canines soon began to fade into the background after the contemporary huntsmen started searching for a more specialized canine companion in place of these small-sized, versatile pets. Such a situation nearly resulted in the extinction of the breed eventually.
In 1920, however, this scenario luckily started to change again, when one Fred J. Pfeiffer, a master breeder, took it to the United Kennel Club to get it recognized. Pfeiffer also took the initiative to get the recognition of the American Kennel Club in 1940. These steps, taken by the celebrated breeder, inspired many other admirers of the breed and initiated them to come forward for a common cause. The result of this unified effort was a success, helping the breed from getting nonextant forever.
The American Water Spaniels are intelligent, loyal and affectionate, but mostly one-man dogs, bonding extremely well with the person they love. They are possessive about their territory (owner’s property) and are natural guard dogs as well. However, they have enough adaptability to mingle well with other members of the family, thus emerging as great companion dogs.
Known for their agility in retrieving (especially gunshot ducks), this is an active breed, and also does well with children, except for some lines that still retain their dominating and aggressive demeanor. They are friendly with other pets too. However, they might be shy towards other dogs. The breed has a natural fascination for water.
The AWS enjoys attention, and might often whine if they do not get that enough. They can at times show independent or stubborn disposition or even food jealousy. As hunting dogs, they are alert and make excellent watchdogs as well. Some individuals can end up being vocal if not properly trained.
Known for their excellent trainability, the AWS can briskly pick up all that you can teach. They especially excel in such training sessions that have some variety, rather than daily ‘monotonous’ routines.
Divide 2½ to 3½ cups of dry high-energy kibbles into equal portions for their daily meals.