Although a very rare breed, the American Water Spaniel has its own state-wide fan club as the State Dog of Wisconsin! A truly dual-purpose dog, bred for companionship and top-notch retrieval ability, the AWS is active, muscular and medium in size. This breed's unique coat can be solid liver, brown or dark chocolate and ranges from marcel (uniform waves) to closely curled.
A Look Back
The American Water Spaniel developed primarily in the Great Lakes region of the United States in the mid 1800's, with ancestors that include the Irish Water Spaniel and Curly-Coated Retriever. They were the first breed developed in this country as an all-around hunter that could retrieve from boats. Breed enthusiasts kept the AWS out of the show ring for a short time in fear of ruining his reputation as a hunter, but the breed became recognized by the AKC in 1940.
Right Breed for You?
An excellent sporting and family dog, the American Water Spaniel possesses great energy and eagerness for the hunt yet is controllable in the field. Similarly, he loves his daily exercise, but also enjoys just hanging out with his family. Friendly and eager to please, the AWS responds well to obedience training. His short coat requires regular brushing.
- Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1940.
- Ranging in size from 15 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder and 25 to 45 pounds.
- Gundog; retriever.
AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.