Monday Loves: American Water Spaniels

This edition of Monday Loves is not going to be about things I am looking to/thinking about buying. I am going to talk about my dog Chip’s breed which is an American Water Spaniel. American Water Spaniel’s are a rarer breed with only about 2,000 in the world. They were breed in the late 1800s to be compact hunting dogs in the Great Lakes/Midwest area. The main animals they hunted were water fowl (i.e. ducks, geese, etc) and pheasants. They have soft moths to easily retrieve animals and have a strong nose to flush them out. Here is the American Kennel Club’s official description of the breed:

” American Water Spaniels are muscular midsize gundogs, not flashy in looks or performance, and recognizable by a luscious brown coat that is either tightly curled or wavy. Bred to work the icy waters and marshy banks of the Great Lakes region, these spaniels are ideally outfitted for the job: The coat is dense and waterproof, the feet are thickly padded, the toes are webbed, and the body is small enough for the dog to hop in and out of a skiff without rocking the boat. The breed’s admirers describe a merry, intelligent, and versatile spaniel suited to a variety of dog sports. As hunters, they combine the working traits of spaniels and retrievers. The key to the American Water Spaniel’s happiness is activity, especially alongside their adored human. An underemployed dog can be barky and destructive. “

While I tend to disagree with the “not flashy in looks or performance” line, the rest is fairly accurate. American Water Spaniels are definitely intelligent and like most dogs can train you if you aren’t careful! 🙂 They tend to be about 30-40 lbs full grown, so a great compact, but not tiny dog.

My American Water Spaniel Chip

A little bit about my dog Chip. She is incredibly well behaved and very smart. She easily picks up new rules and has the ability to adapt pretty easily (even if she’s nervous at first). Her story is a little sad though. She was the dog of a family friend in Sacramento. They were hunters and thus was gun trainer (aka the reason why she’s very well behaved.) When Chip was 7 years old The family received a black lab hunting dog as a gift from their daughter. The new puppy and Chip did not get a long. She used to hid in the corner because the black lab was too rambunctious. The owners made the tough decision to find a new home for Chip and keep the new puppy. Though I definitely don’t agree with the decision, it obviously benefited my husband and I.

We heard that the family was looking for a new home for her on Saturday and we got her on Sunday. It was a big adjustment for me, but she has been nothing but sweet and loving since we adopted her. She learned she couldn’t go into the kitchen (though she definitely tip-toed in when she thought we weren’t looking!), which blankets she could chew on and which ones she couldn’t, and our overall routine. The move down to LA definitely made her uneasy. With the trauma of moving homes, her anxiety was high during this time. In some ways it was good that we moved to my parents’ home first, since she knew that house and was comfortable there.

So to my adorable American Water Spaniel Chip, Mama and Papa love you. 🙂

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