In the field, members of the American Water Spaniel breed usually tend to become less vigorous as compared to the English Springer Spaniel dogs. Nevertheless, AWS can be as skilled in retrieval as the Golden Retriever or Labrador breeds. They are known for their versatility in almost all types of terrain. Generally not considered to be the fastest swimmer, they nonetheless exhibit a high level of stamina. They are excellent at agility skills such as flyball.
This dog enjoys being in the spotlight and tends to be rather vocal on occasion. Known to be a one-family dog, they are capable of sustaining a bond with one specific person. However, some AWS tend to assume the alpha dog position; thus, may manifest food possessiveness issues. Although occasionally stubborn and prone to mature from puppyhood slowly, most AWS get on well with children and like playing with them.
AWS can have wavy or curly types of coat which should be brushed on a regular basis. To keep its natural oil from getting removed, they should not be bathed frequently. This breed of spaniel does not shed excessively.
The American Water Spaniel is known to suffer from a few health problems, including eye issues such as progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts, and other concerns like canine hypothyroidism, cancer, cardiac problems, dog allergies, diabetes, follicular atrophy, and epilepsy. They have an average life span of 12 to 15 years.
You will find this breed to be a very active type of dog with sound hunting instincts; however, they still can adapt to living in an apartment as long as they get to receive plenty of daily exercise. Long walks and good runs are highly advisable for them. Your AWS will enjoy water sports as well as periodic off-leash runs in a safe and secure place.