American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniel: Temperament, Grooming, Lifespan, Price

Last Updated: March 31, 2023

A born hunter, the American Water Spaniel possesses a combined personality of a Spaniel and Retriever. 

This hardworking breed was developed in the 18th century to assist the hunters in icy waters chasing waterfowls, pheasants, and rabbits.

They are mid-size gun dogs with a robust stature covered in a curly brown waterproof coat. 

Besides being a skilled retriever, American Water Spaniels are also affectionate and protective towards their human family and kids. 

Eager to get one for your family too? 

Keep reading as we unveil and share everything you need to know before bringing home this skilled American hunter.

How much does an American Water Spaniel puppy cost?

How much does an American Water Spaniel puppy cost?
Photo Credit: Flickr – Norm and Mary Kangas

Like we always insist, never settle for a poor quality while buying your first pup from business-minded breeders.

American Water Spaniel is a rare breed first recognized by the AKC in 1940 and can cost you between $800- $1500 when obtained from an authorized breeder registered with reputed kennel clubs.

Some of the well-known kennel clubs you can consider to obtain a pure breed are American Water Spaniel Club, Little Brownies Kennel, and AKC for having an impressive work history and owner’s reviews and recommendations. 

If you are a confident pet parent, give them a call to get your first pup.

How to select American Water Spaniel breeders?

Parenting an American Water Spaniel can be your ultimate experience with some conditions applied. 

Now before you think otherwise, here are a few things to consider while obtaining your first AWS pup from breeders.

  • First thing first, never settle for affordable deals from unauthorized dealers.
  • Connect with registered American Water Spaniel breeders on marketplaces of AKC, FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale), KC (British Kennel Club), ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council), or other such authorized clubs near you.
  • Confirm with the breeder about the pup’s ancestry, obtain its health certificate and vaccination updates, and most importantly, do some research beforehand to make an informed investment.
  • As we always recommend, spend time with the pups’ parents to understand their temperament, behavior, and how active they are, this will give you an idea of what you can expect from your AWS puppy when it grows up.
  • Don’t hold back. Clear your doubts and concerns with the breeder.

When does an American Water Spaniel get full size?

On recommended nutrition, daily exercise, and proper pet grooming at home, an American Water Spaniel can get the full size in its 11th month. 

That’s quite fast and happy news for impatient dog parents.

These medium-sized gun dogs must be fed enough protein in their daily diet since they are pups and in measured servings or as directed by the vets or nutritionist. 

If raised with consistent routine and nutrition, the female American Water Spaniels can share a similar height to their male counterparts standing between 15-18″. 

However, their average weight varies till they turn adults. While the male dogs weigh around 40-45 pounds, the females weigh between 25-32 pounds. 

Owning and raising a healthy American Water Spaniel comes with a lot of responsibilities. 

Involve these gundogs in daily vigorous activities and occasional hunting besides feeding high-quality dog food for maximum nutrition absorption. 

This is how you will be able to help your dog gain a healthy weight.

How to care for your American Water Spaniel puppy?

Caring for American Water Spaniel when they are puppies

The crucial factor to care for an American Water Spaniel puppy is feeding. 

These highly energetic puppies are voracious eaters and chewers. 

But excess feeding will turn these pups obese and inactive. 

So follow a vet-recommended diet to feed your pup one or a half cup of high-quality dog food thrice a day. 

Besides daily feeding, offer your pup chewable toys to help them release the stress than destroying your valuables. 

Try spending maximum time with your puppy to build a strong bond and take it out on shorter walks after a few weeks. 

Puppies are vulnerable to the surrounding like human babies, so maintain a relaxing and friendly atmosphere for your American Water Spaniel pup to help it grow as a happy well-behaved dog.

Caring for American Water Spaniel when they grow up

Once your pup turns 9 months old, take baby steps to make it comfortable with the outer world with some simple and unique dog training tips and tricks. 

Socialization is very important for this breed as they are prone to aloofness and shy away from strangers.

These athletic hunting dogs need a consistent routine of vigorous activities to stay fit. 

As they have a high prey drive so make sure to put the leash on while out in public with your young and curious SPaniel puppy to save yourself from embarrassment. 

Besides training, grooming is also an important part of their daily care. 

Brush their double-layered dense coat daily to remove dirt and dander and take extra precautions while clipping the nails of their webbed feet. 

This will help you to take care of your grown-up American Water Spaniel.

How to groom an American Water Spaniel?

An American Water Spaniel needs mindful pet grooming at home to maintain its double-layered coat that tends to mat by trapping dirt and dander when they are in full action in the fields.

They have a waterproof coat that may smell like a wet wolf because of natural oils. 

But you must avoid bathing your dog frequently as that would strip oil off its coat and will make it rough and irritate its skin. 

Bathing once a month is enough to maintain their coat health accompanied by daily brushing for evenly distributing the oil and removing dirt and dander.

This dog has long drooping ears that are prone to trapping moisture especially, after an adventure in the swamps, making those an ideal breeding space for bacteria. 

So, check your American Water Spaniel ears regularly to prevent any infection. 

They also have webbed feet that must be groomed with intense caution by a professional groomer to prevent injury and bleeding.

How much exercise does an American Water Spaniel need?

How much exercise does an American Water Spaniel need?

The key to an American Water Spaniel’s holistic well-being is plenty of daily exercises and your company. 

They are water retrievers with intense prey drive that must be tamed with a consistent daily routine.

AWS has a reserved nature and may shy away from strangers if deprived of early socializing training. 

The best period to introduce your dog to the outer world is when it is almost 7 weeks. 

This will also ease the training for this reserved gun dog.

Unleash your 7 weeks American Water Spaniel pup in your lawn daily to let it jump around freely. 

Start taking your dog out on regular walks or jogging with a leash on and slowly increase its exercise routine by adding new forms and including some brainstorming or fetching games. 

When your dog turns adult, a monthly visit to any nearby swamp will help your AWS’s lead a healthy happy life.

Does American Water Spaniel shed a lot?

American Water Spaniels have a double-layered dense coat of hair that surprisingly sheds less. 

However, their dense undercoat sheds off seasonally, comparatively lesser than other breeds.

These athletic dogs get involved in tiring activities every day that can make them shed a little and a bit more during the spring. 

However, you can manage their shedding with regular brushing of their hair to prevent matting and reduce hair fall. 

Other factors that can contribute to their unusual shedding are dry skin, poor nutrition, and underlying causes that must be treated timely to maintain their coat health.

Are American Water Spaniel hypoallergenic?

Though these gun dogs shed less, they are no ‘non-shedders’ and require daily pet grooming at home to stay well-groomed. 

Not only the American Water Spaniels but no breed is proven 100% hypoallergenic. 

No dogs can keep your allergy flare-ups in control until you keep your pet clean and care for its hygiene. 

American Water Spaniels have a double-layered dense oily coating that naturally traps dirt when in action and produces dead cells that latched with the hair strands if not brushed regularly. 

So don’t forget to brush clean your dog’s coat daily than looking for a true hypoallergenic breed.

Understanding American Water Spaniel Temperament

These robust retrievers are generally happy dogs with a little reserved side that compliments their status as skilled hunters. 

American Water Spaniels are highly energetic and adaptable gun dogs that bond well with their human family.

American Water Spaniel temperament is generally friendly and they like socializing but their natural tendency is to act as a gun dog if they sense any intrusion. 

To bring the best out of these water retrievers, start training them early when they are nearly 6 months and slowly include a vigorous daily routine to keep them fit and happy. 

Being a gundog, they have a high preying drive and energy level that must be tamed with a consistent daily routine, to prevent them from getting aggressive. 

When raised in a friendly atmosphere by a compassionate owner, some are even tolerant to other pets except different dog breeds.

Besides a loyal family pet, they can also accompany you hunting or fishing in the swamps with their inherited retrieving skills. 

However, if you mostly aloof your energetic AWS because of a busy schedule, it will turn destructive and bark constantly to seek your attention.

How intelligent are American Water Spaniels?

American Water Spaniels are an intelligent breed and hence can gel up well with their human families and pets on early training. 

However, they are rated average on obedience intelligence which can be a bit upsetting for impatient owners. 

It has been reported that the breed learns or responds positively to new commands on 20 – 40 repetitions.

So, if you are looking forward to obtaining or adopting an American Water Spaniel, hold some patience and be compassionate toward this robust retriever to shape it as your dream dog.

American Water Spaniel might rank average on their obedience intelligence but, once they start catching up with your commands and instructions, all your effort will sum up into a rewarding experience. 

This smart breed is always eager to please and will try its level best to get adapted to its human pack and make you happy and in some cases might exceed your expectation in learning commands faster. 

However, we suggest not to judge this breed based on perceptions. 

Because sometimes, what seems to be tough for others might work the best for you.

How easy is it to train American Water Spaniel?

How easy is it to train American Water Spaniel?
Photo credit: two stout monks on Visualhunt 

The earlier you start training your American Water Spaniel pup, the easier it would be for this shy dog to bond with you and socialize with people and surroundings. 

These athletic gundogs are smart enough to understand and obey your commands under consistent training and perform well when rewarded with smaller treats in between. 

As they also possess an independent nature, it would be wiser to train them with compassion and not be unnecessarily strict as such behavior can turn them stubborn.

These reserved-nature water retrievers respond well when trained by their master. 

So if you are planning to get an American Water Spaniel, try to invest most of your time training and bonding with your dog for their holistic wellbeing. 

Remember, the comfort level between you two will impact your dog’s temperament and behavior. 

Because of its reserved nature, American Water Spaniel takes time to bond with others but grows close to its parents. 

So leaving them alone for too long can lead to separation anxiety and turn them destructive. 

Try accompanying your AWS through its thick and thin for happy dog parenting.

What type of hunting is best for American Water Spaniel?

What type of hunting is best for American Water Spaniel?
Photo Credit: Flickr – Norm and Mary Kangas

Watching your American Water Spaniel duck hunting in the marsh and swamps is not only a delightful view for you but is equally an enjoyable activity for your dog too. 

They are born retrievers with a high preying drive and enjoy the most when set free in the swamps and lakes. 

The breed has a waterproof coat and webbed feet that make them skilled swimmers in the marsh and hunt ducks and pheasants.

Hunting in the swamps is also an important part of your American Water Spaniel’s vigorous exercise routine to stay fit and stress-free. 

Take your dog swimming once a month or as often as possible as this breed enjoys retrieving in the water more than you think and can even ease your fishing or hunting by retrieving prey to your bait. 

Happy finding your ultimate hunting partner? We are even happier by making your perfect search an inch closer.

American Water Spaniel Lifespan

American Water Spaniels are versatile gundogs known for their retrieving skills on land and water. 

Despite such unique traits, these low shedding dogs are considered rare for some unknown reasons.

Needless to say, these highly energetic dogs thrive on plenty of daily activities and a high-quality diet to live a healthily and sound life.

The standard lifespan of an American Water Spaniel is 10 – 14 years.

Once you obtain an American Water Spaniel pup, make sure to consult a vet to understand its feeding routine and a trainer to learn simple dog training tips at home. 

Under cordial ambiance, you can get a long-living and loving family pet.

Common Health Issues Associated With American Water Spaniel

No dog is born 100% immune and American Water Spaniels are no exception. 

They are a healthy breed but can be prone to some common dog diseases like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, pattern baldness, and genetic disorders like Von Willebrand’s disease.

These highly active and affectionate dogs can also suffer depression and turn destructive if ignored or mostly left alone with strangers. 

To help your precious pet avert such health issues, we suggest adoption only if you are confident enough to raise them properly and devote time. 

Besides daily activities, make sure to feed them right to ensure a disease-free life.

Final Thoughts

Impressive isn’t it? Get your first mighty American gun dog minding all the precautions we have mentioned above. 

They are minimal shedders and low-maintenance dogs that you can safely add to your family as an ideal watchdog and playmate for the little ones.

We hope, our detailed insight on American Water Spaniels has helped you understand this breed better and will greatly benefit you in getting your first dog and its maintenance and grooming. 

American Water Spaniels can be your ultimate dream dog if raised mindfully under a consistent regime and compassion. 

So, what are you waiting for?

Go, get your first pup and share your parenting experience with us below.

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