American Water Spaniel
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American Water Spaniel
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History The exact origin of the American Water Spaniel remains to be a mystery. However, the breed has been known to be around since mid-1800s. American Water Spaniels are used as hunting and farm dogs, specially in the areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin. One of the theories as to the origination of the American Water Spaniel states that the breed was most likely developed in the Wolf River valleys and Fox River in Wisconsin.
They are believed to be cross-breeds of other Spaniels such as the English Water Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, Curly Coated Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and Tweed Water Spaniel.
Appearance American Water Spaniels have broad heads and well-proportioned features. The colors of their eyes are usually chocolate, dark yellow, or caramel. Their coats are wavy or curly, and are crisp-textured. Even their ears are covered with curly coats of fur. Their tails are slightly curved and are also used for swimming. Male American Water Spaniels are usually heavier than their female counterparts.
Colours The American Water Spaniel can be brown, liver, or chocolate in color. At times, this dog can have a white spot on the toes or chest. As the American Water Spaniel grows older, the spot will decrease in size.
Temperament American Water Spaniels are great as guard dogs. They are also great for hunting, and they can catch birds, fish, rabbits, and ducks, among others. Although American Water Spaniels are pleasant, enthusiastic, and eager to learn, they are also very sensitive. These dogs also love attention, but they have the capacity to entertain themselves when left alone. They also love to roam around and they can get along easily with other animals. They can become temperamental as they grow old. They are also very protective of their owners.
Weight They are generally 36-46 cm in height and weigh between 11 - 20 Kg.
Problems There are quite a number of health problems that are common to American Water Spaniels. These health problems include hip dysplasia, cardiac abnormalities, diabetes, cancer, follicular dystrophy, cataracts, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, and allergies. There are also those who get afflicted with skin problems.
Living Conditions American Water Spaniels can be kept indoors, but their owners must make sure that the dogs are getting enough exercise. The dogs would prefer to live in a property with an outside yard.
Requirements They are an active breed which must be given lots of exercise. The owners must make sure that their dogs are taken out for long walks daily. Aside from that, bonding and playing with the dog is also a necessity in order to avoid excessive barking and possessiveness.
Training Requirements For owners who aren't experienced with handling American Water Spaniels, they should definitely attend obedience classes to know more about training their dogs. The dogs respond well to training that involves variety, as opposed to those that are just routine drills.
Setting aside play time every day for their dogs should definitely be done in order to avoid aggressiveness or timidity as their puppy turns into an adult dog. Harsh methods are not suitable for American Water Spaniels. Their training should be persuasive, calm, quiet, and should not be sharp or demanding. They should also be taught to socialize with other human beings and animals fom an early age.
Life Expectancy They can be expected live for up to 12 to 15 years.
Grooming American Water Spaniels are light shedders and their coats are covered with natural oils. Their coat must be brushed thoroughly two times a week. Although their coats may emit strong smells because of the natural oils it has, American Water Spaniels must be bathed only when it is necessary because bathing them often may strip their coat of the oils and result in the dryness of their skin.
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