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Is an American Water Spaniel the right dog for you?

American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel is a medium-sized breed known for its dark chocolate or brown coloring and its wide nose with huge nostrils.

With their wonderful wide-set eyes and curly fur,  long lush ears, and fast-moving bushy tail, it’s no wonder the American Water Spaniel is a popular choice for many Americans. 

Their muscular sturdy body and square-looking muzzle make it look different from other Spaniel dogs. American Water Spaniels are playful and active dogs regardless of whether it’s a little puppy or an old dog.

The dogs make an amazing traveling companion, helpful playmate, or just a good friend.

Breed characteristics 

American Water Spaniel is a medium-sized breed that typically stands 14 to 17 inches tall and weighs 25 to 45 pounds.

They are known for their dark chocolate or brown coloring and their wide noses with huge nostrils.

Life expectancy

When it comes to the dog’s lifespan it can drastically influence our decision whether to buy a certain breed or not. Yet, a lot of factors such as dog’s food habits, exercise, and care are vital to determine their life expectancy. On average your Spaniel may live for 10 to 14 years.

Provide your American Water Spaniel with high-quality nutrition formulated for medium-sized breeds. 

If you’re daunted by all the choices available, consult with your vet to find the right food for your dog. 

Health problems and care

American Water Spaniels are prone to suffer from hip dysplasia, eye disorders, cardiac abnormalities, and degenerative myelopathy. If you’re buying a dog, be sure to work with a responsible breeder who evaluates the parents using the following tests: cardiac exam, hip evaluation, and ophthalmologist evaluation.

Once you bring your dog home, you should plan to visit your vet twice a year to monitor your dog’s health, consult about his care, and treat diseases as necessary. 

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These pets have plenty of energy for hunting, running, exercising, playing, and swimming. 

Nevertheless, some hours of exercise and training each week are sufficient to prevent them from becoming couch potatoes or barking for no reason.

Like many dogs, American Water Spaniels need to burn excess energy. 

To ensure your dog is well-behaved include a short but active training to your Water Spaniel’s daily routine. 

The dogs can be stubborn, but also love to please. They excel at sports that take advantage of their natural athletic abilities such as agility and flyball. 



Spaniels are well-known for their curly-looking coats that require special care. Plan to bathe your dog every six to eight weeks using a hypoallergenic dog shampoo and brush its coat daily with a rubber-tipped pin brush

During shedding season, use a slicker brush to pull dead hair from your dog’s undercoat.  


Trim your dog’s nails monthly. If your dog’s nails are too long, you risk injuries and even foot damage. If you can hear your dog’s nails when walking, it’s time to trim them. 


Because American Water Spaniels have long, floppy ears, they require special care. Check your dog’s ears weekly. Check for signs of wax buildup or infection, which typically have a strong yeasty odor. Clean and dry your dog’s ears weekly.


Brush your dog’s teeth daily. Starting this habit when they are puppies will make it easier. Be sure to use brushes and toothpaste made for dogs. 

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As for temperament, this breed can be a bit aloof with new people. If you buy or adopt an American Water Spaniel puppy, begin its socialization as early as possible. 

By training and socializing your puppy, you ensure your American Water Spaniel will be a happy, well-adjusted companion for years to come.

Cheryl Hearts is a writer and journalist from Boston, Massachusetts. Her passion for writing started at an early age and evolved during the high school years. She enjoyed creating her own stories, so she decided to make writing her career. After earning a degree in journalism, Cheryl started her own blog

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