American Water Spaniel

BarbBarcikKeith

Maple Heights, United States

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15×22 watercolor on satin finish Arches watercolor paper. Original unavailable and in the UK.

As of 08-08-17, 7479 views and 36 favorited.

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The American Water Spaniel is a gundog breed of dog little known outside North America.
Appearance Weighing 25 to 45 pounds: females usually 25 to 40; males 30 to 45 lbs (11-20 kg) and standing 15 to 18 inches (36-46 cm) in height. They have a curly to marcell coat that is dense and well-suited to resist cold water and inclement weather. The coat’s color is liver, brown, or chocolate. (A small amount of white on chest or toes is permissible, and spots become smaller in size as pup grows to adulthood.) The American Water Spaniel (AWS) should have a rocker-shaped tail and be somewhat compact in size with well-proportioned features that give the dog an air of balance. Its head should be broad and spaniel-like with no topknot. Eyes are caramel, chocolate, or dark yellow.
History The American Water Spaniel originated around the mid-1800s but its true origin is a mystery. Most experts have come to accept that it was likely developed in the Fox River and Wolf River valleys of Wisconsin. There is no documentation as to the specific breeds that were used to develop the AWS. Doc Pfeifer of New London, Wisconsin, the man credited with obtaining recognition for the breed in the 1920s, believed that the AWS was developed by crossing extinct English Water Spaniel and the Field Spaniel. Others have disputed this claim and it is currently accepted that the breeds involved in the development of the American Water Spaniel include the English Water Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Curly Coated Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Tweed Water Spaniel, and possibly the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

The American Water Spaniel was developed as a hunting dog in the market hunting days of America’s history. Hunters needed a dog that could function on land as well as in the marsh and that could easily fit into a canoe or skiff without taking up much room. The AWS fit the bill and most breed historians note that Midwest market hunters made wide use of this dog. The AWS was not formally recognized as a purebred dog until the United Kennel Club did so in 1920, followed by the Field Dog Stud Book in 1938, and finally by the American Kennel Club in 1940.

Having reached its peak of popularity probably sometime in the 1920s and 1930s, the AWS has become the “Forgotten American” at many times in its history. Still, with the tenacity of spirit that exemplifies this little brown dog, the breed’s enthusiasts have managed to maintain a reasonable population that is not likely to disappear from the scene any time soon.

The American Water Spaniel was likely one of the primary contributing breeds to the Boykin Spaniel. (information from Wikipedia)

  • Complete 05-28-2004 in 5.38 hours spread over 5 days

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Artwork Comments

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