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American Water Spaniel : Puppies, Information, Feeding & Grooming

Good points

  • Equable temperament
  • Excellent working dog
  • Hardy

Take heed

  • No drawbacks known
  • Some water spaniel are aggressive towards birds of all types. Most can be trained to live with a large assertive birds such as a pet cockatoo but smaller or more docile birds will always be at risk if your dog has a strong hunting instinct.

The American Water Spaniel is little known outside its country of origin, where it has found great favour as a working gundog. It is a strong swimmer an excellent waterfowler and an efficient retriver of most game


Height: 15-18in (38-46cm). Weight: dog 28-451b (127-20.5kg); bitch, 25-401b (113-18kg).


Needs plenty of exercise.


Regular brushing and weekly combing. Seek advice on stripping of unwanted hair. Take care that mud does not become caked in the toes.


Thirteen-200z (369-587g) of a branded, meaty product with biSCIJ’: added in equal part by volume, or 13/4-3 cupfuls of a dry food, complete diet, mixed in the proportion of 1 cup of feed to ’12 cup of hot or cold water.

Origin and history

The American Water Spaniel is believed to have originated through the crossing of an Irish Water Spaniel with a smaller spaniel breed and/or with a Curly-coated Retriever.

In some parts of America it is still known as the Boykin Spaniel, after Whit Boykin, one of the pioneers of the breed in Boykin, South Carolina. It was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1940 and has recently become recognized In the United Kingdom.


General appearance. Medium In size, of sturdy typical spaniel character, curly coat, an active muscular dog with emphasis placed on proper size and conformation, correct head properties, texture of coat and colour. Of amicable disposition; demeanour indicates intelligence, strength and endurance.

Colour. Solid liver or dark chocolate, a little white on toes or chest permissible.

Head and skull. Moderate in length, skull rather broad and full, stop moderately defined but not too pronounced. Forehead covered with short smooth hair and without tuft or topknot. Muzzle of medium length, square and with no inclination to snipiness, jaws strong and of good length, and neither undershot nor overshot, teeth straight and well shaped. Nose sufficiently wide with well-developed nostrils to ensure good scenting power.

Body. Sturdily constructed but not too compact or close-coupled. The shoulders are clean, muscular and sloping. The loins are slightly arched and well furnished. The brisket is deep but not too broad. Medium-length, well-boned legs.

Tail. Moderate in length, curved in a slightly rocker shape, carried slightly below level of back; tapered and covered with hair to tip; action lively. .’

Feet. Should harmonize with size of dog. Toes closely grouped and well padded.