American Water Spaniel

Brown Water Spaniel

The good character of the American Water Spaniel makes him compatible with all. This breed is just beginning to spread outside of Wisconsin. He is increasingly appreciated as a show and companion dog, but still used as a hunting dog. His versatility and simplicity make him an increasingly popular and well-known dog.

Height 38 to 46 cm
Weight 11 to 20 kg
Life expectancy 13 to 15 years
Hair Loss Medium
Excercise Need High
Home country United States (US)

Quick Overview of the American Water Spaniel


  • Pleasant and sweet
  • Affectionate and kind to all
  • Fiery and energetic
  • Very sociable


  • Muscular, strong and distinct build
  • Wavy hair
  • Wide and long ears
  • Dark brown or black nose


  • No particular pathology
  • Generally healthy
  • Rarely ill

Temperament of the American Water Spaniel

Pleasant, gentle, affectionate and kind to all, the American Water Spaniel is full of ardor and energy on the hunt while maintaining excellent control.

He is compatible with children and very sociable. He is a little afraid of strangers but devoid of aggressiveness.

Docile and obedient, his education is relatively easy.

Breed Appearance

American water dog

The American Water Spaniel is average size, with a muscular, strong and distinctive body.

His wavy coat and unique gait make him a dog with a very special physique. He is a typical American specimen.


Between 38 and 46 cm (14.96 to 18.11 inches) for the male
Between 38 and 46 cm (14.96 to 18.11 inches) for the female


Between 13 and 20 kg (28.66 to 44.09 pounds) for the male
Between 11 and 18 kg (24.25 to 39.68 pounds) for the female


His color is brown, dark chocolate or dark red.


His coat is uniformly wavy and can also have very tight curls. The undercoat is very dense.


His head is strong and the stop slightly accentuated. His eyes, slightly rounded, are medium size and generally light yellowish brown to a pretty dark hazelnut.

His ears are broad and long and lobe shaped. His nose is dark brown or completely black.

His tail is moderately long and curved.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 8, section 3 and is #301

Characteristics of the American Water Spaniel

Does this dog suit your lifestyle?

Every dog breed has its own characteristics. However, the actual character of a dog can vary from one to another within the same breed.

Find out if the American Water Spaniel is your ideal dog breed with our quiz.

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Life in an apartment
Good first dog
Tolerates solitude
Tolerates cold weather
Tolerates hot weather
Friendly with children
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other animals
Hair loss
Drooling level
Easy to care for
Robust health
Easy to train
Tendency to bark
Tendency to nibble
Instinct to hunt
Adventurous spirit
Energy level
Level of intensity
Need for exercise

Price and monthly budget

Price you can expect to pay for a American Water Spaniel puppy: between and
These prices are indicative and may vary from breeder to breeder

American Water Spaniel puppies near me

Tips About this breed

Even if he is not really a specialist, he is very meticulous and appreciated as a hunting companion.

He is excels at clearing bush, and even if he is not as good a retriever or fetcher like the Spaniel, he is still effective in this area.

This is why he is difficult to classify and why he causes controversy among the different breed associations.

He must learn to socialize very early, especially with other dogs, but he is generally not dangerous around children.

His education is easy because his temperament is docile and naturally obedient.

He can easily adapt, but his need for exercise is high and must absolutely be met daily.

City life does not really suit him unless the master is willing to devote the time for several outings per day to enable him to spend all his energy.

Health of the American Water Spaniel

He has no particular pathology and is generally in good health.

Rarely ill, his life expectancy is also very appreciable.

His appetite is legendary, but it is necessary to control the quantities to ensure that he maintains a healthy weight and prevent him gaining too much fat.


Inspection of the ears must be carried out rigorously and regularly.

His pretty wavy fleece needs to be brushed every day without exception. No other special care is necessary.

History of this breed

Originally from the United States, the American Water Spaniel is a Wisconsin breed that was established in Wisconsin since mid 19th century.

Unfortunately, documentation is lacking as to his true origins.

This dog was created to serve hunters in swamps, rivers and lakes. Thanks to his medium size, he was small enough not to knock over canoes and skiffs when used and could hunt on land as well as in swamps.

Although his origins remain mysterious, some theories say that the first specimens arrived in American territory on the Mayflower (a 17th century merchant ship), while others claim that they were present in America long before the 17th century.

However, documentation and photographs prove that he already existed in 1870 but under the name "American Brown Spaniel" or "Épagneul marron américain".

Two theories explain the origin of the American Water Spaniel. The first version says that he is the result of a cross between the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Field Spaniel and Curly-coated Retriever.

It is unlikely that this is the case as the Field Spaniel and the Cocker Spaniel have only been distinct since 1880.

The other probability put forward is that he is a cross between the Curly-coated Retriever, English Water Spaniel, Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Irish Water Dog.

The American Water Spaniel was officially recognized in 1940 by the American Kennel Club. He is still trained to work on land and in marshes and to retrieve game from canoes or light boats.

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