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American Water Spaniel


Overview of American Water Spaniel

The exact origins and history of this breed remain a mystery. But we know that the American Water Spaniel, was conceived of by European settlers, in Wisconsin and Minnesota, who relied heavily on the waterfowl for sustenance. These forward-thinking people, in the new world, wanted an all-in-one hunting companion with an excellent nose as well as an expert at retrieving game, both on land and in the water. To meet the unique challenges of hunting in and around the Great Lakes, it is possible that the Irish Water Spaniel, the Curly Coated Retriever and the now extinct English Water Spaniel played a role in the development of the American Water Spaniel. They are skilled swimmers (some say like seals) and have good endurance for retrieving - this includes fetch! Despite being named Wisconsin's official state dog in 1985, these medium-sized pooches (25-40 lbs) are still pretty rare outside of North America. Their beautiful, dense coats can come in black, brown, red and sable and the texture can range from straight hairs to densely curled locks. Their double coat not only looks beautiful but protects them from the frigid waters and cold weather around the Great Lakes. Daily brushing should keep your American Water Spaniel’s coat looking its best.

Personality of American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel is responsive to training, but they can be stubborn so a little patience goes a long way with these sensitive pups. They tend to be timid and shy, so early socialization with other dogs, people, and experiences is very important to raising a well-mannered pooch. Overall, the key to the American Water Spaniel’s happiness is activity, especially alongside their favorite human. They would do well as a hunting companion (since it's literally in their DNA) or in a sport like flyball. Overall, the American Water Spaniel is a social dog that will fit in well with family life, but does not do well if left alone. They can develop separation anxiety and may vocalize loudly for attention. The American Water Spaniel might be your perfect companion if you’re looking for a dog that loves to swim and is big and strong enough to take down a large goose, but compact enough to jump into your duck skiff without rocking the boat!

Common Health Conditions & Recommendations for American Water Spaniel

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM): is a disease that affects the spinal cord, resulting in degenerative hind limb weakness and possible paralysis. DM is similar to some forms of human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Early symptoms of DM resemble those of osteoarthritis (arthritis), which often occurs secondary to hip dysplasia in many large-breed dogs, making this kind of diagnosis challenging.

Recommendations for Degenerative Myelopathy in American Water Spaniel Dogs:

Mitral Valve Disease (Endocardiosis): is an inherited condition, in some American Water Spaniels, where the mitral valve, between the two left chambers of the heart, fails to seal properly. This results in blood leaks back into the left atrium, resulting in a buildup of blood on the left side of the heart. If this condition progresses, it can result in heart failure.

Recommendations for Mitral Valve Disease in American Water Spaniel Dogs:

  • Hearty Heart - Beneficial aid for maintaining healthy heart function and support for cardiovascular disorders.
  • Turmeric - Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Helps with circulatory health and cardiovascular function.

Hip Dysplasia: is a genetic condition that causes mild to severe changes to the inner workings of the hip joint and can involve one or both sides of the hips.

Recommendations for Hip Dysplasia in American Water Spaniel Dogs

  • Hip Dysplasia Kit - All-natural support for musculoskeletal pain and support for mobility issues.
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