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Is An American Water Spaniel Puppy The Right Choice For Me And My Family?

Aug 17, 2007
The American Water Spaniel is small in size and can be raised in an apartment as long as he has the opportunity for plenty of exercise. Better quarters for this dog would include a properly fenced in exercise area. This is a hunting dog but she will adapt to apartment or home life. She is generally good with children and other pets. She sheds little but does have a hunting dog odor. She trains easily and would make a good watch dog. She can tend to have separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time and can get noisy.

General Appearance. The American Water Spaniel is medium size, muscular, and has a curly continuous wave or marcel effect coat. The coat color is often chocolate, solid liver, and/or brown with a bit of white possible on the chest and toes.

*Approximate Adult Size. The American Water Spaniel stands approximately 15 to 18 inches at the withers (the highest point of the shoulder) and males can weigh 30 to 45 pounds and females from 25 to 40 pounds.

*Special Health Considerations for this breed can include cancer, diabetes, cataracts, skin problems, epilepsy, follicular dystrophy and hip dysplasia (genetic based looseness in the hip joint that can lead to arthritis pain and lameness). The insides of her ears may not dry properly when wet so you may need to manually dry them to help prevent ear infections.

*Grooming. This breed can have an odor due to the amount of water shedding oil in her coat. She should be brushed several times a week and bathed infrequently because it will strip the protective oils from her coat. She is a very light shedder. Her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and a toothbrush designed for dogs. Brushing removes the accumulation of plaque and tartar which can cause cavities (rarely) and periodontal disease. Dog periodontal disease can lead to pain, loss of teeth, bad breath and other serious disease. Also check her nails. To avoid health problems, her toenails also need to be clipped. The toenails of the rear feet grow slower than the toenails of the front feet. Generally a guillotine type trimmers is the best for this chore and competent instructions to do this can be found on the net.

*Life Span. The American Water Spaniel can live from 12 to 15 years with proper nutrition, exercise and health care.

*History. This breed was originated in the United States as a waterfowl retriever and hunting dog around the mid eighteen hundreds. The main location this breed comes from seems to be the Wolf River and Fox River valleys of Wisconsin. Hunters needed a strong, cold water resistant dog that could fit in the small watercraft used for commercially hunted waterfowl of the time. The United Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1920 and the American Kennel Club recognized them in 1940.

*Registries: AKC, FCI, UKC, ACR, APRI, AWSC, CKC, NKC,

*Category: Gun dog.

*Terms To Describe The Breed: Friendly, plenty of energy, controllable, smart, built solid, well muscled,

*SPECIAL GOOD POINTS
Eager to please.
High intelligence.
Excellent physical ability.
Can withstand cold weather and water.
Trains well.
Good watchdog.

*SPECIAL BAD POINTS
Has a mind of her own.
May bark excessively.
Can have separation anxiety.
May be suspicious of strangers.
Can be difficult to find a puppy.
Can be sneaky.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer, editor and website developer for the popular pet site petpages.com. www.petpages.com is a pet information site with free pet ads, dog classifieds, and puppy for sale info. Petpages.com also offers information on cats, fish, reptiles, birds, ferrets, rabbits, mice and even pet bugs.
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