American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniel resting. .jpg
American Water Spaniel .jpg

Breed summary


The American Water Spaniel was developed in the United States as an all-around hunting dog, bred to retrieve from skiff or canoes and work the ground with relative ease. This breed is an active muscular dog, medium in size, with a marcel to curly coat. Their head is medium and must be in proportion to the overall dog. The eyes are medium in size and set well apart. Their skull is broad and full and ears are lobular, long, and slightly above the eye line but not too high on the head.



The American Water Spaniel should do well on high-quality dog food, whether manufactured commercially or home-made. A different diet should be given at different stages of dogs (puppy, adult, or senior). According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, an active adult American Water Spaniel weighing 40 lbs requires an average daily caloric intake of 1109 kcal. Dogs that have been spayed/neutered, or that are older, may need slightly fewer calories. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.



Length: Medium

Characteristics: Double coat, curly

Colors: Solid liver, brown, dark chocolate

Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Health care


American Water Spaniel is a healthy breed with above-average life expectancy. As with all breeds, most American Water Spaniels will live long when given proper care and regular veterinarian visits. The American Water Spaniel lives for 10 to 12 years. One of its major health problems is mitral valve disease. A responsible breeder will test breeding stock for health concerns such as hip dysplasia, pulmonary stenosis, eye disorders, cardiac abnormalities, and degenerative myelopathy.





American Water Spaniel respond well to training. But harsh training will eventually screw with their attitude development. The American Water Spaniel with poor behave may even bite out of fear. They require early socialization puppy training classes like other breeds. This will expose the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations between the ages of about 7 weeks and 4 months and help to become a well-mannered adult. American Water Spaniels are happy creatures who want nothing more than to please their owners.



American Water Spaniel breeds are active and require daily exercise. A regular one to two hours of walking, running, or fetching is enough for them. They are outdoorsy athletes who love hunting and swimming, so they need ample exercise. Without sufficient activity, they may express their pent-up energy with recreational barking and excessive chewing. You can break up exercise periods throughout the day — an hour here, a half-hour there. Participating in field trials or obedience, or dock diving events will give this breed a chance to burn off all that excess energy.


Country of Origin: USA

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 166 of 196

AKC Classification: Sporting

UKC Classification: Gun Dog


Exercise Requirements: 20-40 minutes/day

Height: Female: 17 inches; Male: 18 inches

Weight: Female: 25-40 lbs. Male: 30-45 lbs.

Physical traits: Muscular, Medium-sized, Double coated

Personality traits/Temperament: Eager, Happy, Charming

Energy Level: Average

Tendency to Drool: High

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: High

Tendency to Dig: Low

Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 10-14 years


Fun fact

The American Water Spaniel was bred to be an all-around hunting dog, specializing in waterfowl. They are skilled swimmers.