American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel is an American breed of Spaniel that was developed in Wisconsin, during the 19th century, by mixing other small, European Spaniels. However, they are still a relatively rare breed.

About this Breed

The American Water Spaniel is an American breed of Spaniel that was developed in Wisconsin, during the 19th century, by mixing other small, European Spaniels. However, they are still a relatively rare breed.

They were created as a solution to a common problem that hunters in the United States had: They were looking for a Spaniel that could work just as well in water as on land. Other Spaniels tend to do best on land and won’t readily enter lakes or streams. Even if some of them would go into the water, they lack coats that repel moisture. By breeding selectively to create the American Water Spaniel, dog enthusiasts of the time were looking to combine the size, agility, and personality of other Spaniels, while creating a dog that would have the kind of fur that would repel water and dry quickly. A few breeds that probably went into the creation of the American Water Spaniel are the Poodle, the Curly Coated Retriever, and the English Water Spaniel.

Once American Water Spaniels were perfected, they were used primarily as duck hunters. They had thick, curly fur that repelled moisture and protected them from the often icy Wisconsin waters. One of the most famous characters from the story of American Water Spaniels is a man named Dr. Fred J. Pfeifer, who prevented the breed from going extinct soon after their creation. He began offering the dogs he bred at a reduced price, hoping to entice other people to buy the dogs and fall in love with the breed. His efforts did not go unrewarded—American Water Spaniels were recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1920. Despite his efforts, however, the American Water Spaniel never really became one of America’s most popular breeds. They have remained Midwestern dogs and are still uncommon outside of Wisconsin and the surrounding states.

And it’s a shame, because American Water Spaniels are sweet, intelligent, and biddable. They require a firm hand when being trained, as they perform best when they know exactly what is required of them. They maintain their “puppy” mentality well into adulthood and can be strong willed. That being said, they love children and get along well with other dogs. They are also well suited to all sorts of living situations, including apartment life, as long as they receive adequate time outside.

If people are looking for a small Spaniel and are willing to put forth the effort to find one, American Water Spaniels are a great choice as a versatile family dog.

Height

Male: 15-18in

Female: 15-18in

Weight

Male: 30-45lb

Female: 25-40lb

Fun Fact

The American Water Spaniel is the State Dog of Wisconsin.

Favorite Names

For Males

  1. Buddy

For Females

  1. Trinity

Common Locations

  1. Minnesota, United States
  2. Texas, United States
  3. Louisiana, United States

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