Origin: Born in the U.S.A., the American Water Spaniel was developed as a working gun dog in the Midwest in the early to mid 1800s. Type was set by 1900 but it wasn't until 1938 that a club was formed and a standard drawn up. Though there are no records to confirm the breed's beginnings, it has been suggested that its ancestors may have included the Irish Water Spaniel as well as the Curly-coated Retriever, old English Water Spaniel and possibly Field Spaniel. An all-around shooting dog, the American Water Spaniel is an efficient retriever of upland game, while his small size and protective colouring make him valuable for duck hunting. He's physically and mentally tough enough to take on the frigid waters of the Great Lakes and small enough launch himself out of a boat or clamber back in without swamping it.
Temperament: Charming and clever, the American Water Spaniel has the typical friendly spaniel character. His desire to please makes him easy to train and in addition, he learns quickly. He makes an ideal companion for the family at home or for the weekend sportsman.
Activity level: This is an active breed with lots of enthusiasm that requires regular exercise to maintain a healthy mind and body.
Height/Weight: The American Water Spaniel measures 15-18 in (38-46 cm) at the shoulder and weighs 25-45 lb (11.5-20.5 kg).
Coat: The closely curled (or marcel) coat is sufficiently dense to serve as protection against weather, water or dense cover.
Colour: The coat may be solid liver or dark chocolate in colour.
Grooming: Weekly sessions with a stiff brush are recommended.