American Water Spaniel


The American Water Spaniel is one of the medium-sized dogs and has a muscular, strong, high-stepping but by no means cumbersome build, with which it reaches a height of between 38 and 46 cm.

Important to know

The American Water Spaniel is a clever, energetic and lovable dog that seeks closeness with its people and will do anything for them. Although he is very eager to learn and needs your guidance, he also has a mind of his own.

balanced & active


Body & Appearance


Coat care
Suitable for children
This is the American Water Spaniel


The coat of the dogs is wavy to curly and can be found in various shades of brown, such as chocolate brown or leather brown. White fur is also allowed on the paws. They also have a thick undercoat, which makes them resistant to cold and wet.

On the strong, broad head of the elegant dogs sit their lobe-shaped, long and wide floppy ears, which, laid forward, reach to the nose.

The spaniel reaches a weight between 11 and 20 kg and lives between 13 and 15 years.


The American Water Spaniel is a bright, athletic and clever fellow. He has a very balanced nature through which he knows no nervousness, but is still very playful. His people-friendliness, cooperativeness and willingness to please make him the perfect family dog, who defends his people passionately and loudly. He gets along great with children and also gets along well with other dogs or even cats, as long as they are part of his family.

The Spaniel is a hunting dog and therefore needs a lot of exercise. He likes to exercise in the great outdoors and also loves to jump in the water.

If the Spaniel is busy enough, he is also extremely willing to learn.


The American Water Spaniel is an extremely pleasant dog that wants to please you and would do anything for you. However, the hunting dog brings with it the indispensable requirement that you provide him with plenty of exercise. The dogs convince less with speed and more with endurance, so they are excellent companions for jogging, hiking, cycling or of course hunting. With successful education, you can even take your dog without a leash. However, in this case you should know him really well and be able to interpret his body language.
The Spaniel is also excellent for any dog sports, including those that take place in the water. Due to his use as a hunting dog, he is also always enthusiastic about retrieving games.

The ideal home for the American Water Spaniel is a house with a garden where he can run around. Note, however, that the dogs tend to yap, which could become a problem for close neighbors. Consistent education may help, but the Spaniel is not a quiet fellow.

The education of your dog you succeed best with consistency but also a lot of empathy. You won’t get far with harshness. However, the extremely adaptive dogs that want and need your guidance also have a mind of their own that you should appreciate. So here you should find a good balance that leaves your dog enough room for his stubbornness. Also note that the Spaniel may not be the fastest learner, but the things it remembers once, it never forgets.
Also, it is recommended to visit a dog school to get your dog used to contact with other dogs. In addition, teach him to stay alone from time to time while he is still a puppy, as dogs are very affectionate and tend to have a hard time with this.

His easy-going, open and friendly nature makes the American Water Spaniel a good beginner dog. However, be aware that no matter what the weather, he absolutely needs a lot of exercise and is only suitable for you if you can provide it. Otherwise, your dog will be happy to come up with his own activity out of boredom.

Nutrition and care

The American Water Spaniel does not have high dietary requirements. Just note that he is quite greedy and, like all spaniels, tends to be overweight. You should therefore make sure that his food contains mainly meat, little wheat and no sugar. It’s best to keep an eye on weight at all times and adjust his diet if necessary.
When doing activities with your dog, make sure he doesn’t have a full stomach. After eating, it should also rest for a while.

As for coat care, a little more effort is needed. In fact, to avoid matting of the dense undercoat and curly coat, you should brush your dog 2 times a week. Although it is not absolutely necessary, it is also advisable to trim him from time to time, because the fur, especially on the paws, legs and head quickly looks unkempt. Since the spaniel likes to plunge into the floods, regular bathing is not necessary, but only when dirt can not be brushed out.

Also, regularly check your dog’s ears for inflammation.

Since the American Water Spaniel has practically not changed over time, it is still extremely robust. Although eye diseases or thyroid problems may occur from time to time, there are no breed-specific diseases per se. The only thing to note is that too high inbred values should be avoided in the very rare breed.


The American Water Spaniel is probably descended from other spaniel species from England and Ireland. Although there were earlier records of him, his official breeding began in the early 20th century, guided by Dr. Fred J. Pfeifer. The dogs were used for hunting in the USA from the very beginning, especially for ducks. Since they are not too big, they were excellent to take on boats and retrieve from there. However, as hunting gradually turned away from waterfowl, American Water Spaniels also became fewer. Although the dogs have even been named the State Dog of Wisconsin and are more popular than their prevalence would suggest, they are extremely rare to find today, especially outside the United States.


The American Water Spaniel is a clever, energetic and lovable dog that seeks closeness with its people and will do anything for them. Although he is very eager to learn and needs your guidance, he also has a mind of his own. It is important that he needs a lot of exercise, without which he is quickly bored. If you can offer him these, you will gain a loyal friend for life.