American Water Spaniel
California WineSpaniel Sal
Photo courtesy of Michael Forman

Breed Registries:

Note: The breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may also be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.

* — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.


United States


15 to 18 inches (38-46 cm)


Males: 28 to 45 lbs (13-20 kg) - Females: 25-40 lbs (11-18 kg)

Breed Profile:

The American Water Spaniel was developed as a working gun dog mainly in the Midwest United States. An all-around gun dog, he is an efficient retriever of upland game and a great asset for duck hunting. He is physically and mentally tough enough to withstand cold water and small enough to jump out of a boat or climb back in.

The American Water Spaniel's temperament is typically friendly like all spaniel breeds. He is intelligent and has a great desire to please making him very trainable.

Like all sporting breeds, the American Water Spaniel is an active dog that needs regular exercise.

His coat is closely curled and sufficiently dense to protect him against weather, water or dense cover. His coat colour is either solid liver or dark chocolate and he may have a little white on the toes or chest.

Health Issues

If you are considering the adoption of an American Water Spaniel puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Recommended Health Screening:

For the American Water Spaniel, the CHIC* database includes health screenings for the following:

  • Hip Dysplasia;
  • Eye Examination by a board Ophthalmologist, exams every two years until the age of 6; and
  • Congenital Cardiac evaluation.
* CHIC - The Canine Health Information Center - "is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers." To learn more, visit:

Additional Health Resources:

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Breed Standards

Grooming Information

  • Grooming The American Water Spaniel (From the American Water Spaniel Club)
  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Training Tools & Equipment
Choose from a wide variety of items from

Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More