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American Water Spaniel


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Does anyone here have one. I am thinking about getting one in the next few months and was wondering what anyone can tell me about them. I plan on using it for both duck and pheasants. Any info would be appreciated.



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Have a friend that had them about 15-20 yrs ago. He then switched to German Shorthairs and still does GSP's. He liked them but said they stunk to high heaven when wet due to the oily coat. Since it's an "off" breed just make sure to do your homework and try to see the parents hunting to at least have an idea of what you might be getting.


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One of the biggest hurdles you'll have is finding lines that are relativley free of hip dysplasia. I'm not sure what kind of head way has been made with this breed in the last 10 years, but in the early to mid 90's the incident rate was close to 80% in those that were screened, and that probably was only 25-30% of the total population of the breed. Just really research the lineage you're considering. Don't except a blanket "my dogs don't have any hip problems" statement from a breeder. Make sure at least 2 and even better 3 generations have been OFA'd.

With that said, I've known people who've owned them, I've hunted behind them, and even judged them in NAHRA events. I think they are nice compact hunting dogs for those who need a smaller dog. They do an admirable job in the upland field and are pretty cold hardy in the duck blind. My cousin used to have them and hunted them VERY hard and they were everything he looked for in a dog, problem was they both had hip dysplasia and were more or less done hunting by the age of 7. He since has switched to labs. One of my old bosses also had one who was a mediocore hunter, (mostly his fault for lack of training) but it too also had dysplasia. I judged a couple of them that were in the process of getting their NAHRA Master Hunter title and were incredible little dogs, and I know that one of them had clear hips. He was being used extensivley as a stud dog, so there should be some of his progeny out there.

Good Luck in your search, I hope you find the dog you are looking for. Let us know if you are successful in your quest.

Good Luck!


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Thanks for the info. I will be sure to research the hips. The breeder I am probably going to go with breeds these extensively and has contact info for most of the pups he has sold over the years. I will probably contact quite a few of them now knowing that.



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