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American Water Spaniel


The origin of the American Water Spaniel is a mystery, although it is said that it’s a descendant of the extinct English water spaniel. Its ancestors probably include the Irish Water Spaniel, Curly Coated Retriever and the Field Spaniel. In east Wisconsin, breeders wanted to make a dog which would be a good hunting dog and retriever. The American Spaniel Club was created in 1881, but the AWS reduced in number after the hunters wanted a more specialized dog. This breed was recognized in 1920 by the United Kennel Club and in 1940 by the American Kennel Club.

American Brown Water Spaniel

Facts About American Water Spaniel

Breed Group Sporting Dog (AKC), Hunting Dog, Working Dog, Gundog, Companion Dog, Terrier Dog, Watchdog
Breed Type Crossbreed
Country of Origin U.S.A.
Other Names American Brown Spaniel, American Brown Water Spaniel, AWS
Size & Height 15-18 inches
Weight 25-45 pounds
Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information ACA, ACR, AKC, AWSC, APRI, CKC
Shedding Low
Hypoallergenic No
Litter Size 8 puppies on average
Colour Brown, Coffee, Chocolate, Tan, Liver
Life Expectancy 13-15 years
Coat Solid-coloured, Dense, Double, Curly, Rough
Price $900

Temperament & Personality

The American Water Spaniel is a friendly dog but acts wary around strangers. The puppy’s impulsiveness remains for a longer time than in other puppies which makes it behaviorally and emotionally slow to mature. They like to receive attention and love from everybody. Keeping it alone for a long time will have a destructive effect on its mentality. These dogs bark a lot, so keeping them in an apartment will require attention.



It is a very energetic dog that loves running and swimming. Because of its strong hunting and retrieving instincts, it can do well in any terrain. Unlike other highly active dogs, the AWS does not need a large space. Moreover, as long as the owner devotes time, it has no problem in living an apartment life. Daily walks and play sessions for a couple of hours will be sufficient for the dog.


Brush the coat once a week because it is not a heavy shedder. Avoid bathing frequently to protect the natural oils of the skin. Check its eyes and ears for infection. Clip the nails carefully using the right tool or by a professional groomer.

Health Problems

Since this is an active and healthy dog, there are no issues of genetic diseases, obesity, hip dysplasia or patellar luxation. But there is a risk of cataract and progressive retinal atrophy.


The dog quickly picks up hunter specific skills like tracking, trailing and retrieving. The owner must be firm and disciplined because the AWS may get stubborn and impulsive. Since they are wary of strangers, they make excellent watchdogs. Early socialization is necessary for them with the ongoing training.

Images of American Water Spaniel


AWS is a high energy dog so its food should have the necessary nutrition. Offer treats only during training. Examine the commercial dog food to ensure it is suitable for the dog. Poultry, fish meal, lamb, corn, and wheat can be a part of its diet. Avoid dog foods having white rice, beet pulp, soy, and horsemeat.


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