American Water Spaniel
Would you like to own a real heraldic dog? Then you should take a closer look at the American Water Spaniel. Even though this dog breed is rather unknown outside its original home country, you can find a few breeders who are committed to the preservation of these extraordinary hunting dogs.
The American Water Spaniel is a medium-sized, muscular dog designed in every detail for hunting in water and on land.
The quadruped has a compact build and grows up to 46 cm high. Its weight is about 20 kg. The mostly dark or leathery brown coat may have white markings on the paws or chest. It is always wavy or curly and has a dense undercoat and feathering on the paws and ears. His lush coat provides him with excellent protection against extreme weather conditions.
Since this breed was practically not changed in the course of time, its original robustness was preserved. Breed-typical diseases are not known.
The American Water Spaniel is a friendly four-legged dog. He is very attached to his master or family and always wants to please. As a hunting dog, he is very eager and has a strong urge to move.
If you can offer him the right environment, he is a very docile companion who learns quickly. For this, one must also offer him enough "head work". If his human cannot live up to his nature, the American Water Spaniel quickly gets bored and keeps himself busy. Then he also manages to break out of the property without any problems and go "hunting" on his own.
Despite its good-naturedness, the cheerful four-legged friend is also well suited as a guard dog, which defends "its" property loudly. Basically, however, he is friendly to strangers and conspecifics.
The right food
Like all spaniels, the American Water Spaniel tends to be obese. His appetite knows hardly any limits and his pleading look does the rest. He gets by with 250 grams of meat a day. The food can be spiced up with vegetables or pasta, potatoes and rice. If you don't want to cook for your four-legged friend, you can use high-quality ready-made food.
He does not have any special requirements for his diet. However, attention should still be paid to balanced and sugar-free food.
American Water Spaniel Care
The long curly coat and dense undercoat of the American Water Spaniel demand a relatively high level of grooming. He should be brushed daily to thin out the undercoat and prevent matting. In addition, the pelt should be trimmed regularly. Otherwise, the "wild growth" on paws, legs and the mop of hair will quickly make him look unkempt.
His drooping ears need to be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent inflammation.
The four-legged friend loves to swim and does not stop at ice-cold water even in winter. Since regular visits to the river or lake should be part of the employment program of the American Water Spaniel, bathing with shampoo is usually not necessary.
A canoe, a large lake or river and a gun for hunting birds - this or something like this looks like the ideal accessories for keeping an American Water Spaniel. Of course, only the fewest can offer that. That is also not bad, if one does justice to the hunting instinct of the quadruped otherwise. He needs meaningful occupation for head and body. Different dummies for chasing and retrieving are a good alternative to ducks and geese.
For the rather complex coat care, a sturdy brush and a special comb for thinning out the undercoat are recommended. If you don't want to take your pet to the groomer, invest in a high-quality clipper from a specialist retailer. Let an experienced dog owner show you how to trim the coat of your furry nose properly.
You will also need a water bowl and a food bowl. A collar or a suitable harness that can withstand use in water without damage is also part of the basic equipment.
Origin & History
The ancestors of the American Water Spaniel are probably at home in Great Britain. Besides the Irish Water Spaniel and the Field Spaniel, the Old English Water Spaniel is also among the possible ancestors.
As early as 1850, dogs were known in America under the name American Brown Water Spaniel, which look similar to the American Water Spaniel.
Since the year 1920, the breed was purposefully bred by Dr. F. J. Pfeifer. The passionate hunter from the American state of Wisconsin strove for a dog that was fully attuned to hunting. In the woods and along the rivers and lakes, the ever-ready four-legged dog retrieved waterfowl from impassable reeds and small game in the forest. In doing so, he was always dedicated and fulfilled his task even in the freezing cold winter. No matter whether he had to jump from the boat into the icy water or track down the prey in the dense undergrowth - the robust hunting dog was always at his master's service.
These qualities quickly made him known beyond the borders and even hunters in Michigan and Minnesota counted on the strengths of the clever dog.
Over the years, hunting evolved from a livelihood to a pastime. The American Water Spaniel is also a good family dog, but his passion is hunting. The importation of other breeds pushed him further into the background. In 1928, the first American Water Spaniel was recognized by the United Kennel Club. In 1940, the American Kennel Club followed suit. In 1985, the State of Wisconsin named the quadruped its "State Dog."
Although the Spaniel was also recognized as a breed by the FCI in 1995, it is almost unknown outside America and one has to search a long time for a serious breeder.