Characteristics of the American water dog

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The American water dog is a breed from the United States. Among its characteristics, we find a medium and muscular body, covered in a nice curly coat. Despite the fragility of its appearance, in the past it was used as a hunting dog.

Before adopting a dog of this breed, it is good that we know its physical characteristics, its character and the care it requires. Ready @? Let’s go there!

Index of contents

  • 1 History of the American Water Dog
  • 2 American Water Dog Characteristics
  • 3 How is an American water dog? Character
  • 4 What care does an American water dog need?
  • 5 Common Diseases of the American Water Dog

History of the American Water Dog

We can also find this breed under the name of American Water Spaniel. The exact date on which he grew up is unknown, but it is known that it appeared as a result of different crosses between European dogs.

Europeans emigrated to America and found themselves in need of adapting their dog breeds to the economic activity of the new land. Hunting was an important occupation, but they needed a dog capable of entering deep rivers to “fish” for hunted prey.

With this intention the American water dog is born. Their objective was to recover the water birds hunted by their masters. Currently, the American Kennel Club believes that there are only 3000 copies of this dog.

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American Water Dog Characteristics

We are in front of a medium and well-proportioned dog, with strong muscles, but discreet. Its body is not very heavy, its legs and tail are in harmony with the size.

He has a wide nose, appropriate for his job as a game collector. The muzzle is square in appearance, while its eyes are round and amber or lemon yellow.

The ears are very characteristic in this breed, long and wide, they fall below the chin. Its coat is formed by abundant curls soft to the touch, forming a double mantle. The hair of the American water dog is chocolate, liver or brown in color with lighter areas.

  • American Water Dog Standards according to the American Kennel Club (English)


Height of between 38 and 46 cm in males and females


Weight between 13 and 20 kg in males and between 11 and 18 kg in females


Curly and soft hair, always with dark tones


Cheerful, energetic and intelligent character


Has some congenital diseases


Estimated life expectancy between 10 and 14 years


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How is an American water dog? Character

Among the dogs of American origin, we will like this if we search an energetic dog with whom to share outdoor adventures.

Training it will be a lot of fun, as they love to follow orders and fulfill the designated activities with their masters. Games, races, search activities, among others, promise a lot of play time between the dog and its adopters.

Sometimes, they can be somewhat stubborn and even unfriendly with strangers. With well-known people and pets, they behave gently and meekly.

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It is an ideal dog if we have big children at home, because they will love to burn all their energy together. This breed is perfect if we are looking for a dog to practice Agility or other test dog activities.

What care does an American water dog need?

We must focus the care of this breed on offer you enough physical activity ; otherwise, this breed can be destructive and barking.

Daily outings to the park, where you can interact with other dogs, are an essential part of your routine. We must complement this with games at home.

To allow him to develop a more confident character, socialization should be started as a puppy.

As for the hair, it needs us to brush it 2-3 times a week, especially in summer, using specific brushes for curly cloaks.

Common Diseases of the American Water Dog

Life expectancy tells us of a race that will be with us for many years. However, it is necessary to pay attention to some diseases that could occur:

  • Hip dysplasia: Like other dog breeds, this one presents problems in the joint that joins the femur with the hip. It causes a lot of pain, lameness and stiffness in the legs. It is congenital, hereditary and degenerative, but we can improve the quality of life of our dog with veterinary treatment.
  • Degenerative myelopathy: It consists of the degeneration of the white matter contained in the spinal cord and the adjacent nerves. It manifests itself in weakness, coordination problems and difficulty walking, among other signs.
  • Vision diseases: This breed tends to suffer from various eye diseases, such as glaucoma, cataracts, progressive atrophy, etc.