The American Water Spaniel: A Complete Guide

The American Water Spaniel is a breed of dog that did originate in the United States. It forms part of the Spaniel family, and you will undoubtedly notice a number of similarities with other variations within the family.

However, even though it does share various characteristics, it does still have its very own nature and temperament which is unique to this particular breed.

Even though it is relatively popular, you should always seek to learn as much as possible about the breed before you go ahead and get a puppy or adopt a fully grown dog.

An American Water Spaniel will have its very own needs that are unique to that breed, so doing your research will prove to be rather essential.

Thankfully, our complete guide will cover all of the main aspects that we believe you should know about before you get to the stage of becoming an owner.

American Water Spaniel Puppies – Before You Buy…

A black American Water Spaniel standing on grass
American Water Spaniel is a special kind of dog.

So, what are the kind of things that you should know about American Water Spaniel puppies before you go ahead and buy one?

Well, we are going to work through those points during the rest of this guide, but at this point, you need to be honest with yourself and whether or not you are capable of training and looking after this breed of dog.

For example, these points and questions could prove to be rather important to you.

  • How much exercise does this breed require daily?
  • Do they require a lot of grooming?
  • Are they a breed that is prone to developing a lot of health conditions?
  • Have you previously trained a dog?

This is not something that is unique to this breed, but it does show you that you have to be upfront with your abilities or the relationship between you and your new friend will suffer.

What Price are American Water Spaniel Puppies?

First, let’s address the potential price that you are going to pay for your American Water Spaniel puppy.

As is always the case, their pedigree is always going to play a significant role in what you pay. The better the pedigree, then the higher the price.

Not only that but you will also pay more if you purchase from a breeder that is registered with the Kennel Club. However, considering how you can then be sure that the breeder is good at what they do, then this is a price certainly worth paying.

The other main contributing factor is location. There is a difference between countries simply because some dogs are more popular in some locations than others.

The American Water Spaniel is going to often cost you in the region of $1200 from a registered breeder. Of course, this may vary somewhat depending on their pedigree.

How to Find Reputable American Water Spaniel Breeders?

A brown American Water Spaniel with fluffy hair
American Water Spaniel is not as well-known as the other breeds of Spaniel.

To locate a reputable American Water Spaniel breeder, you should always start things off by contacting the Kennel Club in your country.

Tell them that you are interested in this breed and ask if they can recommend breeders to contact.

The KC keeps a register of those breeders that meet their stringent standards, and they should always be the first port of call.

However, a second option is to get in touch with other owners and ask the name of the breeder that they used.

This is also good as personal recommendation counts for a lot, and you can also learn a bit more about the breed in the process.

3 Little-Known Facts About American Water Spaniel Puppies

There is so much to love about this breed, and for so many different reasons. To just help to further increase your interest, here are just three different facts about the breed that you may not have previously been aware of.

  • Trained for boats

The American Water Spaniel has the distinction of being the very first dog that was trained in the United States to retrieve from boats. They went even further by making this the very first breed to even be developed for this very specific role.

  • They adore bananas

For some completely unknown reason, the American Water Spaniel loves bananas. If you want to give them a healthy treat, then they will love you if this is what you decide on giving them.

  • They were originally bred for hunting

People have this image of them just being connected to the water, but the American Water Spaniel was bred for hunting. It just so happened that they were better with animals that were in fact around water.

Physical Traits of the American Water Spaniel

One of the first things that you will notice about the physical traits of the American Water Spaniel has to be the similarities with other breeds within the Spaniel family.

You know from the moment that you set eyes on it that it does belong to this group.

They are all some shade of brown from a medium shade through to a dark brown color. Their coat is dense and waterproof and it will either be wavy or tight curls.

This is a stocky dog with powerful hips, and their feet have thick pads and with webbed toes. Their body is relatively small, which is part of their breeding, but each part is muscular.

Their head is larger in proportion to the rest of their bodies, and they have long drooping ears. Their muzzle is of average length, especially when compared to the other measurements of their body. Their tail is relatively short and with a kink in the end as well.

This is an agile dog, which it had to be for its job, and that does come across loud and clear in their physique.

How Big is a Full-Grown American Water Spaniel?

Different factors will always influence the size of a fully grown American Water Spaniel from genetics to how you care for them, and also their sex.

They are regarded as being medium-sized dogs and when it comes to their height, then both sexes fall within the same bracket.

The average size is anywhere between 15 to 18 inches, but their weight is where things are different.

On average, the male is going to weigh anywhere between 30 to 45lbs while the female is between 25 to 40lbs.

What is the Life Expectancy of the American Water Spaniel?

The general life expectancy of the American Water Spaniel is anywhere between 12 to 15 years. There are a number of factors that will influence their life span, and we will cover those key points throughout the rest of this guide.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the American Water Spaniel

A American Water Spaniel running with a bird in its mouth
American Water Spaniels were originally bred for hunting.

This is a breed of dog that is intelligent and is at its happiest when it is carrying out a task.

However, it does crave companionship, and it will suffer from separation anxiety if you do not train them correctly when they are young.

You will also discover that they can be relatively stubborn. Once again, your ability to train them as a puppy will be able to counteract that particular trait before it can get out of control.

Due to the reasons as to why it was bred, this breed is very alert to what is going on at all times. They will also react quite quickly to anything, but with training, they will be extremely obedient. They do enjoy agility tests, so if you can provide them with this, then they will be entertained for a considerable period of time.

They are very protective, and the bond they will develop with you is going to be very strong. That is why it can lead to some issues when it comes to leaving them alone, so training is essential.

Patience can be a bit of a problem as they just want to get on with things rather than waiting around. This sense of being restless has to be counteracted as soon as possible or it could lead to some destructive behavior.

Do note that it loves to be outdoors, so if you live in an apartment, then this is not the dog for you.

The American Water Spaniel’s Diet

This is a breed of dog that is full of energy, so their diet has to reflect that. In this instance, high-quality food is required whether you make it on your own or purchase it.

Avoid giving them grains or cereals, which is why you have to avoid the low-quality food, or they will require even more exercise to work it off so as their weight does not become an issue.

Do not leave food around as they will just eat until it is all gone. Feed them twice a day as an adult and around a cupful at a time. You can provide them with some vegetables and fruit to compliment the dry food part of their diet but only do so in small quantities. As we said earlier, they love bananas.

As they age, you need to consult with your vet to determine the best food for their age to make sure that they receive the correct nutrients.

This is where it becomes even more important than ever before that you feed them the correct things.

How Much Exercise Does an American Water Spaniel Need?

You must remember that this is a breed of dog that was bred for hunting purposes, so they do have a reasonably high energy level.

For exercise, they need to be walked every single day, and it will certainly be beneficial if you have a sealed yard or garden that they can play in. Try to interact with them on a daily basis.

They are also going to thoroughly enjoy activities thanks to their nature, so obedience tests, agility or anything that allows them to expend some of that energy that is building up inside of them will be brilliant.

Do note that not providing them with enough exercise, whether it be physically or mentally, is going to result in them becoming bored.

With that, they can start to whine and bark as well as increase the chances of them potentially becoming rather destructive.

Due to their energy levels, they are not the best breed of dog for apartment living.

American Water Spaniel Health and Conditions

As a breed, the American Water Spaniel is relatively healthy with a reduced number of health conditions that could potentially pass down the family line.

However, you should always make sure that the parents have been tested for various health concerns before you purchase your puppy.

In this instance, the most common health concerns for you to be aware of are as follows:

A number of these conditions can be genetic, so getting confirmation that the parents do not suffer from them will be essential.

My Final Thoughts on the American Water SpanielA American Water Spaniels face

The American Water Spaniel is a special kind of dog, and not just because of its absolute love for water and swimming.

The real shame is that it is not we well-known as the other breeds of spaniel, but hopefully, that is something that is going to change over time.

They are so affectionate towards their owners, and they will certainly guard you and be alert to anything that is going on.

They do also make a fantastic family dog as they are safe around children, so if you are searching for a breed for these kinds of conditions, then this will prove to be the correct one for you.

Oh, and just remember that they do enjoy swimming, so provide them with the opportunity to go ahead and get into the water whenever possible as they are going to adore you for it.

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