American Water Spaniel dog
If I was considering an American Water Spaniel, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. American Water Spaniels MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored - which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing.
If you simply want a pet for your family, and don't have the time or inclination to take your dog running or hiking or biking or swimming, or to get involved in hunting, or agility (obstacle course), or advanced obedience, or tracking, or a similar canine activity, I do not recommend this breed.
- Separation anxiety. More than most other breeds, American Water Spaniels need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They tend to express their unhappiness through destructive chewing and barking. If you work all day, this is not the breed for you.
- Providing enough socialization. Standoffish by nature, American Water Spaniels need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become shyness or suspiciousness, which are difficult to live with and could even lead to defensive biting.
- Mind of their own. American Water Spaniels are not Golden Retrievers. They can be stubborn and manipulative. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
- Barking. American Water Spaniels are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them.
- Finding one. In the United States, less than 180 new American Water Spaniel puppies are registered each year. Compare that to over 60, 000 new Golden Retriever puppies!
To learn more about training American Water Spaniels to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your American Water Spaniel the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy American Water Spaniel. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
Once you have your American Water Spaniel home, you need to KEEP him healthy - or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
When you're acquiring an American Water Spaniel PUPPY, you're acquiring potential - what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult American Water Spaniels who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual - and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
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