The American Water Spaniel is a solidly built, muscular dog, able to propel itself strongly through water, even when carrying game. It has a long muzzle which helps with this, making sure it can get a good grasp on even the largest of birds. It has a balanced gait with a long reach and good drive.
The Water Spaniel is usually a black or brown dog with a coat that either has uniform waves or a more close curl to it. It has a dense undercoat which protects it from both water and the cold. It has big ears that are covered in thick hair, and a long snout.
As long as it gets plenty of mental and physical exercise, the American Water Spaniel is a fun-loving family dog. It is easy to train and is usually obedient. It is generally well behaved with other dogs in the household, but can bark at strange dogs.
It is a great hunting dog, and for a lot of American history, it was the best hunting companion around. It has a good nose, can traverse dense thickets easily, and its coat is fairly waterproof. This all makes it very good at retrieving game.
The ears of the dog should be checked regularly to make sure that hair is not growing down into the ear canal. As well as barking, drooling and whining can become an issue with this dog.