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American Water Spaniel

Country/Date of Origin: United States/late 1800s

One of the few breeds native to the US, the American Water Spaniel was obviously created by mixing Irish Water Spaniels and Curly-Coated Retrievers. Not particularly handsome, they tireless workers and adept at flushing game upland or retrieving waterfowl. Recognized by the American Kennel Club since 1940.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Sporting

Breed Club: American Water Spaniel Club

Rescue Club: American Water Spaniel Club Rescue

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Body Type:

  • A long legged medium sized spaniel
  • Height: 15-18 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 25-40 pounds
  • The long tail, unlike that of the Irish Water Spaniel, is covered with hair; It is not altered
  • Long and wide ears set high on the head are heavily feathered and are not altered


  • Intelligent and trainable
  • A natural retriever
  • Affectionate towards people
  • Gets along well with other dogs
  • Noisy; a watchdog that will bark an alarm


  • A dense coat of moderately long close curls. Water-resistant
  • Always chocolate or liver in color
  • Does not have a topknot
  • Hair on the forehead is smooth but the ears are covered with close curls of a longer length than the body hair

Health Concerns:

  • Skin allergies
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • A very rare breed; puppies will be extremely difficult to find
  • Most of the American Water Spaniels are in the midwest

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