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American Water Spaniel


AKC Height:

15-18 inches

AKC Weight:

25-45 pounds


Solid liver, brown, or dark chocolate. A little white on toes and chest permissible.

Life Expectancy:

10-14 years


Sporting Group

American Water Spaniel: The Versatile and Energetic Water Lover

Welcome to the comprehensive guide on the American Water Spaniel, a breed celebrated for its versatility, intelligence, and affinity for water. This page provides a deep dive into the American Water Spaniel’s traits, care, and companionship, showcasing a breed that excels both in the field and as a family companion.


AKC Height: 15-18 inches

AKC Weight: 25-45 pounds

Colors: Solid liver, brown, or dark chocolate. A little white on toes and chest permissible.

Life Expectancy: 10-14 years

Group: Sporting Group

Physical Characteristics

  • Athletic Build: The American Water Spaniel is medium-sized with a muscular and sturdy frame, ideal for its original role as a hunting dog.
  • Distinctive Coat: Their curly or wavy coat, typically liver or chocolate in color, is water-resistant, serving as protection in wet environments.

Temperament and Personality American Water Spaniels are known for their friendly and eager-to-please nature. They are energetic and intelligent, making them quick learners and devoted companions. Their gentle disposition also makes them excellent with children.

Training and Activity Needs

  • Training: They respond well to positive reinforcement training, excelling in obedience and agility. Their intelligence makes them apt learners for a variety of tasks.
  • Exercise: As an active breed, they require regular exercise. Activities like swimming, retrieving, and hiking are ideal.
  • Mental Stimulation: Keeping their mind engaged is as important as physical exercise. Puzzle toys and training challenges are beneficial.

Health and Nutrition

  • Diet: A balanced diet suitable for their energy level and size is essential. Regular consultations with a vet can help determine an optimal feeding plan.
  • Common Health Issues: Generally healthy, they may be prone to certain conditions like hip dysplasia and ear infections. Regular veterinary check-ups are recommended.

Grooming and Care

  • Coat Maintenance: Regular grooming is necessary to maintain their coat’s condition, prevent matting, and manage shedding.
  • General Care: Routine care should include dental hygiene, nail trimming, and ear cleaning, especially considering their susceptibility to ear infections.

Living with an American Water Spaniel

  • Family Compatibility: They fit well into family life, known for their loyalty and affection. They are good with children and other pets when properly socialized.
  • Adaptability: They adapt well to various living situations but thrive with access to outdoor spaces where they can exercise and play.
  • Companionship: American Water Spaniels form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy being involved in family activities.

Responsible Breeding and Adoption

  • Choosing a Breeder: Opt for breeders who prioritize health and temperament, and who can provide health clearances for breeding dogs.
  • Adoption: Adoption from shelters or breed-specific rescues is a worthwhile consideration, as it offers a chance to provide a loving home to a dog in need.

Conclusion The American Water Spaniel is a versatile, energetic, and affectionate breed, well-suited for active families and individuals who enjoy outdoor adventures. Their adaptability and friendly nature make them a delightful companion and a cherished member of the household.


American Water Spaniels require a well-fenced yard with room to run and play. Weekly brushing will help to keep moderate shedding under control.


American Water Spaniels are generally gentle, loyal and eager to please their owners. They make good watchdogs, as they will bark at intruders.

American Water Spaniel Housebreaking

Housebreaking the American Water Spaniel requires consistency on your part. Dogs are creatures of habit, and knowing the tips and tricks of training will make the process so much easier and less stressful.

Puppy Housebreaking     Adult Marking & Retraining

Find a Puppy: American Water Spaniel

If you are looking for a puppy or adult dog, please read our important information on choosing a puppy from a breeder and adopting a dog from a rescue. There are good dog breeders and good dog rescues and there are bad dog breeders and bad dog rescues. Our information will help you to make an informed decision and will give you tips on what to look for and what to avoid.

Pet shops are not the best place to look for a puppy. Dogs from pet shops often come from puppy mills, and puppy mill dogs are often kept in unhealthy conditions. The best way to end puppy mills is to rescue or buy from reputable sources.


The American Water Spaniel should only be fed high-quality dog food targeted toward the dog’s age, whether puppy, adult, or senior. Avoid cooked bones and food with high fat content. Talk to your veterinarian if you have concerns about your dog’s weight.


The American Water Spaniel is a loving and energetic breed, though they can oftentimes be stubborn. When training this breed, remember that firm leadership and consistency is key.


(Click here for Health Dictionary)
Watch for Hip Dysplasia; PRA (Inherited Eye Disorder).