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American Water Spaniel
Estados Unidos FCI 301 . Water Dogs

Perro de Agua Americano

The American Water Spaniel always delivered to work, He is obedient and easy to train..



The American Water Spaniel It is a breed of dog originating in United States, little-known outside of North America.

Aunque los orígenes exactos del American Water Spaniel remain a mystery, los expertos coinciden en que probablemente se desarrolló en la primera mitad del siglo XIX en los valles de los ríos Fox y Wolf de Wisconsin, an American state in the Great Lakes region.

During the conquest of the West in the 19th century, European settlers who moved to the Midwest regions of the United States brought their hunting dogs with them to help meet their food needs. Over the years, used various Old World breeds to create a new dog perfectly adapted to the peculiarities of hunting in the Great Lakes region. They needed a versatile animal with an excellent sense of smell, able to work both on land and in water, and expert in recovering downed waterfowl. También querían que su compañero fuera lo suficientemente compacto como para llevarlo en un pequeño bote o canoa, y que pudiera soportar las frías temperaturas del agua de Wisconsin.

It is not possible to know with total certainty which races were used to achieve this, but experts believe they were the English Water Spaniel (now extinct), the Irish Water Spaniel, the Curly-coated Retriever, the Poodle and the Sussex Spaniel or other type of Spaniel. Native American dogs were also used in the various crosses.

El pequeño animal marrón así creado se conoció en su momento como American Brown Spaniel. Tenía un grueso pelaje rizado que lo protegía del agua fría y de las temperaturas invernales. They were used to hunt and retrieve waterfowl, but also for hunting on land, like grouse, quail and pheasant, así como el conejo ocasional. At the end of the 19th century, el American Brown Spaniel se había hecho un nombre en la región de los Grandes Lagos y gozaba de cierta popularidad entre los cazadores de Wisconsin, Michigan y Minnesota.

However, el número de ejemplares de esta raza comenzó a disminuir rápidamente a principios del siglo XX, due both to the reduction of the duck population in these areas and to changes in hunting practices. In fact, hunting became at that time a leisure activity, more than in a true feeding medium. It also, hunters began to prefer new European hunting dogs that were larger and more specialized in a specific type of hunting, already were Retrievers, Pointers or Spaniels.

Fortunately, the American Brown Spaniel tenía un ferviente admirador en el Dr. Fred J. Pfeifer, based in New London, Wisconsin. Firmemente convencido de que este perro debía ser preservado y reconocido, Pfeifer created a kennel dedicated to the breed, Wolf River Cattery, and set out to save it from extinction. No escatimó esfuerzos para ofrecer sus cachorros a todos los rincones del país, mostly through various advertisements.

The American Water Spaniel is probably one of the main races that contributed to the development of the Boykin Spaniel.

The recognition and dissemination of American Water Spaniel

The efforts of Fred Pfeifer and other enthusiasts who joined him paved the way for official recognition of the breed by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1920, with the name of American Water Spaniel. It was Pfeifer's own dog, called Curly Pfeifer, the first representative of the breed to be registered with the organization. The breed was also recognized by the Field Dog Stud Book in 1938 and by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1940.

The breed took much longer to be recognized in other parts of the world. Like this, acceptance by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) did not occur until 1979, followed shortly after by that of British Kennel Club in 1981. The Canadian Kennel Club it is also among the organizations that recognize the race.

Distribution and popularity

In United States, the American Water Spaniel sigue siendo extremadamente raro hoy en día, with a world population estimated at about 3.000 specimens, la mayoría de ellos en el Medio Oeste americano, especially in the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota y Michigan, where it is still very popular with hunters. The race occupies the position 165 (of something less than 200) in the breed classification of the American Kennel Club (AKC) depending on the number of annual registrations in the organization, and the situation has been comparable at least since the beginning of the 21st century. Obviously, el hecho de que sea una de las dos únicas razas deportivas desarrolladas en Estados Unidos (along with the Chesapeake Bay Retriever) no parece ser suficiente para hacerla popular entre el público estadounidense.

In the rest of the world, la raza es aún más confidencial.

In France, for example, There are less than 10 registrations per year in the Livre des Origines Françaises.

In Great Britain, el número de nacimientos registrados en el Kennel Club es incluso nulo la mayoría de los años.

Physical characteristics

The American Water Spaniel it is a compact dog, medium in size and well muscled. Designed to work in the icy waters and swampy shores of the Great Lakes region of the United States, they are perfectly equipped for it: the pads of its feet are thick, their toes are webbed and small enough to jump off a small boat without capsizing it. It also, their hips and hind legs are strongly developed, which gives it some propulsion force and prevents it from jamming. Like this, es capaz de abrirse paso incluso en terrenos de caza húmedos.

The head is well proportioned to the body. Las orejas están caídas. The eyes are long and wide, and they can be hazel colored, brown or amber. They contribute to a cheerful expression and a smart look. The nose is black or brown and the nostrils are well developed, which reminds us that this dog was designed to sniff out game. The nose is dominated by tight lips.

The American Water Spaniel has a dense undercoat that greatly protects it from water, extreme temperatures and branches. The top layer is of medium length and can have even waves or tight curls. La densidad de esta última puede variar de una zona del cuerpo a otra. In all cases, the head is covered with short, straight hair and the tail is moderately bushy.

It also, its top layer is naturally very oily to be waterproof and avoid scratches from vegetation. Thus, their fur has a strong odor, and can sometimes leave a greasy stain when rubbed against a wall or furniture.

The coat of the American Water Spaniel es siempre uniforme y de color hígado, chocolate or black, although a small amount of white hairs are sometimes found on the fingers or on the chest.

Last, sexual dimorphism is quite marked in this breed, since the males are, average, considerably heavier and more massive than females.

The standard the FCI is the same as the American Kennel Club. This indicates that the American Water Spaniel has a size ranging from the 38 to 45 cm and weigh in 13 to 20 kg. Some reaching a height of 50 cm and a weight of 23 kg. This not disqualifies them but costs them points.

Character and skills

Like most hunting dogs, the American Water Spaniel está lleno de energía y entusiasmo, and you need a good dose of daily exercise and mental stimulation to be balanced. As long as its owner meets your needs, either making them hunt, taking them for a run or letting them play with the children, son excelentes perros de compañía.

In fact, he's basically a jolly dog, friendly and loving, eager to please their owners and who likes to spend time with them. You may also become especially fond of the person who dedicates the most time and attention to you., but he is still very friendly with the rest of the tribe.

Usually, have a strong affinity with the youngest, to the point of being a recommended dog breed with children. Inexhaustible, they love spending time with them, entertain them and participate in all kinds of activities with them, either on land or in the water. However, it is important to teach children to interact with them in a respectful way, to avoid any accident. In any case, ningún perro, whatever race he is and no matter how friendly he is, should be left unsupervised with a young child.

Puede jugar todo el día y, At night, snuggle into your family's lap for a hug.

Sociable and affectionate with his family, the American Water Spaniel It, on the other hand, tímido y receloso con los extraños, without showing aggressiveness. As a result, It may take several introductions before you finally decide to befriend someone you regularly meet..

Nor does he feel very comfortable with his companions, and can sometimes be territorial and aggressive towards them. However, if you share your home with one of them or with a cat, considers you as a full member of your family, por lo que normalmente no hay ningún problema. Esto es aún más cierto si está acostumbrado a estar con él desde una edad temprana.

The same cannot be said for a possible coexistence with a rodent or a bird., aunque se inicie cuando aún es muy joven. In fact, el instinto de caza que le hace perseguir a estas especies cuando las encuentra durante sus paseos podría llevarle en cualquier momento a hacer lo mismo, y así acabar con dicha convivencia.

Letting him live with a dog or cat is not without interest in any case., because his proximity to his masters makes him easily suffer from separation anxiety if he stays alone for more than a few hours. So it's likely to bark excessively, which can quickly become a source of tension with neighbors. The presence of a little companion can keep you busy and ease your anxieties., although the best is, Obviously, have your family at home as often as possible. In any case, este perro no está realmente adaptado para personas que generalmente pasan sus días fuera de casa.

Developed to be a tough hunting companion, the American Water Spanieltiene energía de sobra: one or two short walks around the neighborhood a day are not enough to meet your exercise needs, y entonces tendría todas las posibilidades de desarrollar diversos problemas de comportamiento.

Although it depends on the age and health of each, en general hay que prever no menos de una o dos horas de actividad al día para que el perro se mantenga en movimiento. Lo mejor es dividirlo en varias oportunidades repartidas a lo largo del día, for example combining two or three walks, jogging sessions or bike rides with a good period of play. Of course, if any of these activities offer the opportunity to bathe, Will be delighted, since it is a water-loving breed of dog.

Giving him plenty of opportunities to exercise is the best way to avoid a number of potentially problematic behaviors., as it has a strong natural tendency to bite, dig and jump.

It also, as soon as your need for exercise is satisfied, that is to say, en cuanto el día está lleno de salidas que son otras tantas oportunidades para hacerle gastar, can live in an apartment, although obviously it is far from being an ideal environment for him. In any case, if you spend a lot of time indoors, it is important to provide all kinds of balls, juguetes para morder y otras distracciones que le permitan quemar energía a lo largo del día.

The fact is that the American Water Spaniel it's a country dog ​​at heart, mucho más feliz cuando tiene acceso en todo momento a un gran espacio al aire libre donde puede gastar su energía. However, although he loves to play and spend time outdoors, está fuera de lugar ponerle allí y hacerle pasar la mayor parte del tiempo lejos de su familia, since you need prolonged and daily contact with her.

It also, si la casa tiene un jardín, it is advisable to make sure that it is well fenced, to avoid any leak. In fact, this dog has a pronounced hunting instinct and is a wanderer at heart: if given the opportunity, he is likely to run off hunting small critters or just exploring the surroundings.

However, how he usually responds well to withdrawal orders once he has been properly trained, it is possible to walk without a leash in nature. On the other hand, in places where the presence of other dogs is very likely or even safe, it is better to wear him systematically on a leash, to avoid any risk of dog fighting.

Last, it is not likely that the American Water Spaniel be the best friend of the neighbor. In fact, although he is calm and affectionate with his family, he is very awake and barks a lot, sometimes for no apparent reason. This makes for an excellent watchdog., especially since his barks are quite loud, but also a potential source of trouble. However, this propensity to bark can be mitigated by addressing the problem in the context of their education.


The American Water Spaniel can be stubborn and independent at times: he likes to do what he wants and may try to impose himself by behaving as a dominant, both with their masters and with other dogs. Thus, you need to have an experienced and solid master in front of you, able to show your dog who decides and to keep a steady hand throughout his life, because at any time you can try to question the established order.

However, he is also an intelligent dog and eager to please his caregiver, en cuanto le reconoce como líder de la manada. Therefore, responds well to an education that is firm, smooth and consistent, and this can give excellent results when in good hands.

To get it, it is best to opt for short and motivating training sessions and not skimp on the use of positive reinforcement techniques: compliments, petting, candies, etc. On the other hand, it is advisable to avoid the use of punishments, que podrían afectar a este perro sensible y degradar la confianza que debe tener en su amo.

Aprender a devolver la llamada debería ser una de las prioridades de su educación si se le permite vivir sin correa. Otherwise, su instinto de caza le haría huir pronto cuando pasaran pequeños animales similares a las presas.

In any case, this instinct obviously makes it a good potential to be used for hunting. Todavía es necesario un poco más de formación sobre las diferentes técnicas de caza para explotarlo plenamente.

Another aspect to address in the context of your education is barking, because he tends to be very barking. The ideal is to make him distinguish between what he deserves to bark and what he does not, as well as simply teaching him to stop immediately when asked.

Last, like any dog, the American Water Spaniel needs to be thoroughly socialized from a young age, facing all kinds of people, animals, places, situaciones y estímulos, to hone your social skills and allow you to grow balanced. Esto es tanto más necesario cuanto que tiende a ser tímido, distrustful or even aggressive towards people or dogs you don't know.


The American Water Spaniel is generally robust and healthy, lo que se explica en particular por el trabajo de selección que estuvo en el origen de su creación y los múltiples criterios que tuvo que cumplir en ese momento.

Entre estos destacaba la resistencia al frío y a la intemperie, and its double layer perfectly fulfills the objective: la protege maravillosamente del frío (both on land and in the water) and from the elements, but also from the heat, even if in case of a heat wave you should be able to take refuge in the shade, or even in an air-conditioned place, in general it is able to adapt to almost any type of climate.

His good general health does not prevent the American Water Spaniel are particularly prone to certain diseases:

  • theHip Dysplasia, joint malformation that can be caused by a hereditary cause causes pain, limp then causeosteoarthritis afrom a certain age;
  • Dermatitis sensitive to growth hormone,alopecia (hair loss)caused by a lack of growth hormone (somatropina).Este último es secretado por la glándula pituitaria, an endocrine gland that secretes many hormones and is necessary for coat growth. Affected people have varying degrees ofalopecia., pero por lo demás son saludables.Los veterinarios aún no saben si esta condición es genética o no.La caída del cabello a menudo comienza en la pubertad y los hombres entre 1 and 5 years are the most affected., it comes in the neck, torso, thighs and abdomen, and the underlying skin is noticeably darker due to increased pigmentation.This condition can be treated with injections of growth hormones, pero es costosa y difícil de obtener.La esterilización a veces puede resolver el problema en los hombres.En cualquier caso, in the absence of treatment, alopecia and hyperpigmentation can spread throughout the body, with the exception of the head and feet.How hereditary transmission is suspected,
  • The symmetric alopecia, causing a gradual loss of hair that usually begins between the 6 and 9 months of the puppy and progresses until the affected areas are completely bald, these are the neck, the back of the thighs and the tail.There is no treatment to date, but this condition does not significantly affect the lives of the affected people;
  • The waterfall, which is an increasing clouding of the lens of the eye, causing increasing difficulty in seeing, even blindness The disease can be inherited, generalmente ocurre en la vejez y se puede tratar con cirugía.
  • Retinal dysplasia, an abnormal development of the retina that often has a hereditary cause and results in the appearance of retinal folds. They bother the dog's sight in a more or less pronounced way, según el grado de severidad.Este último no progresa de forma creciente, because the disease is not progressive, there is no cure, but the other senses can compensate for the visual impairment.
  • The progressive retinal atrophy, incurable inherited disease that causes loss of photoreceptor cells in the retina of the eye, gradually leading to the total blindness of the animal;
  • Entropion, which can be of hereditary origin and corresponds to the turning of an eyelid towards the inside of the eye, causing severe irritation of the eyeball (Red eyes, tearing, etc.). However, esta condición se puede tratar quirúrgicamente;
  • The epilepsy, sometimes an inherited disorder causing sometimes impressive seizures cannot be cured, but lifelong treatment can allow affected people to lead near normal lives;
  • The Hypothyroidism, una deficiencia de hormonas producidas por la glándula tiroides que puede causar todo tipo de síntomas leves.El tratamiento de por vida ayuda a prevenirlos;
  • Allergies, que pueden ser hereditarias y tener todo tipo de orígenes: foods, domestic products, pollen, dust, insects, etc. La causa puede ser difícil de identificar y, Therefore, la alergia difícil de tratar.
  • Theear infectionsbecause the sloping shape of the past favors the accumulation of moisture and dirt.

It also, an individual used for hunting is also more exposed to the risks involved in this activity: injuries, parasites,spikelets,etc.

Taking into account that several diseases to which the breed is predisposed are or may be hereditary, going through a serious breeder who carefully selects his breeders is essential to maximize the chances ofadopt a puppythat not only has he benefited from good socialization since his first weeks. , but also that it gets rid of any hereditary ailment.

The American Water Spaniel Club of America participate in the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC), a database ofcanine health.Any breeder worthy of the name must, Therefore, obtener un número CHIC para sus perros, which requires transmitting the results of the health tests of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and those of the eye tests of the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF)., Lo que sea sus conclusiones.El hecho de que un perro tenga un número CHIC no es, therefore, una garantía de buena salud, pero los resultados de sus pruebas son accesibles públicamente en el sitio web de CHIC: This allows anyone considering theadoption of a puppycheck your results and also those of your parents.

The breeder will also be able to present the results of additional genetic tests carried out to the parents or the puppy to detect some other diseases as well., in addition to providing a certificate of good health established by a veterinarian, así como los detalles de las vacunas. administered. to the little one.

Una vez que este último se ha trasladado a su nuevo hogar, keep in mind that their bones and joints are especially fragile until they reach adulthood., es necesario evitar ejercicios físicos demasiado intensos o prolongados mientras aún es joven y en pleno crecimiento, under penalty of causing injury or even deformity, so potentially life-long consequences.

It also, even if he seems to be in perfect health, any dog ​​should be examined by a vet at least once a year for a full checkup, this can allow detecting a possible problem as soon as possible, and you can also take the opportunity to have your vaccination reminders done at the same time., your teacher should make sure to renew your deworming treatments throughout the year whenever necessary, so that also at this level you are never unprotected.This is even more important as you spend a lot of time outdoors.

Life expectancy

12 to 13 years


The curly coat of the American Water Spaniel needs to be brushed once or twice a week to prevent tangling and to help evenly distribute sebum, the natural oil that protects your skin. This dog sheds relatively little throughout the year, but much more in spring and autumn, so it is necessary to opt for a greater frequency of brushing during these times to remove dead hair and prevent it from accumulating throughout the house.

Some hunters choose to shear their pets regularly to prevent foliage and branches from sticking to their fur.. Un perro de compañía puede dejarse con el pelaje sin recortar, or cropped and ears shaved for a more polished look.

It must be taken into account that the upper layer of the American Water Spaniel is naturally rich in sebum. This can cause some discomfort in everyday life., like a certain smell or grease marks in the house, when rubbed against a wall or furniture.

However, it only needs to be washed when it is very dirty or smells bad. In effect, un baño demasiado frecuente conduciría a la pérdida de los aceites naturales que protegen su pelaje, lo que provocaría irritaciones al hacer que su piel estuviera más seca. In any case, es esencial utilizar sistemáticamente un champú especialmente diseñado para perros, since the pH of your skin is different from that of human skin. It also, a good habit to adopt is to systematically rinse the dog with fresh water after each visit to salt water or algae, to avoid any irritation.

También es útil secarle las orejas después de cada baño o de estar mucho tiempo en un lugar húmedo, porque su forma caída le predispone a la otitis. They should also be inspected and cleaned every week, to prevent moisture or dirt build-up that can cause infection.

Like any dog, it is also advisable to check your eyes and clean their contour every week, allí también para evitar cualquier infección. Esto es especialmente útil ya que es propenso a varias enfermedades a este nivel, some of which can be treated.

The weekly maintenance session is also an opportunity to brush your teeth, making sure to use a toothpaste designed for canines. This helps prevent tartar buildup and the risks that come with it.: bad breath, oral diseases, etc. Ideally, do it more often, incluso todos los días si es posible.

The nails of the American Water Spaniel generally require less attention, as their high level of activity means that they generally wear out naturally and do not need to be trimmed manually. However, it is better to make sure every one or two months. In any case, as soon as rubbing is heard when walking on hard surfaces, it's time to take care of them. Otherwise, podrían estorbar, but also break it or even hurt it.

coat care, the ears, the eyes, your dog's teeth and nails is not something to be taken lightly. If they are not done correctly, no sólo podrían ser ineficaces, sino que también podrían perjudicarle. Así que no dudes en aprenderlas de un veterinario o de un peluquero profesional la primera vez, to learn how to do it. It also, it's better not to wait to start: the sooner the dog gets used to these different manipulations, more easily accept them throughout your life.

Last, a brief visual inspection of its coat and different parts of its body each time you return from a long stay abroad (for example, during a hunting day) allows you to quickly detect a possible wound or the presence of a parasite, a spike, A spike…, and act accordingly to avoid taking too large proportions.


The American Water Spaniel was developed to be a versatile hunter. Specialized in hunting waterfowl, this talented and resilient swimmer is delighted to jump into the water to retrieve the downed game, tanto que podría considerarse un Retriever como un Spaniel. On land, they are mainly used to hunt grouse, quail, pheasants and rabbits. Still popular with hunters in the Midwest, where are they from?.

In addition to his athletic qualities, his intelligence also allows him to excel in many sports and dog activities such as agility, obedience, flyball, canicross, field trial, tracking… and of course hunting competitions.

How much can you exercise?, it is also a wonderful pet. It is the ideal companion for an experienced owner, que tenga un jardín y que sea lo suficientemente activo para satisfacer su importante necesidad de actividad (or that I can delegate this task in part to the children) and that he is present enough at home to avoid being alone too long. His distrust of strangers and loud barking also make him an excellent watchdog..

Last, a veces se le encuentra como perro de terapia confiado a una persona que sufre algún problema, a use where your gentle and affectionate temperament can work wonders.


The American Water Spaniel es una raza de perro poco común, so very few puppies are born per year. La gran mayoría de los criadores se encuentran en Michigan y Wisconsin ((UNITED STATES)UU.), and they usually have waiting lists of a few months to a year. They usually offer their puppies between 600 and 1.000 $ (between 500 and 900 EUR).

Es muy difícil encontrar un criador fuera de Estados Unidos.

Siendo a menudo la importación desde el extranjero la única opción posible para adoptar un American Water Spaniel, transportation and administrative costs are added to the purchase price, sin mencionar el coste de la eventual inscripción en el registro nacional del país de adopción. It also, it is important to respect the regulations regarding the importation of a dog from abroad.

Characteristics "American Water Spaniel"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a dog of the breed "American Water Spaniel" you know certain factors. Not all breeds of dogs are apt to live in an apartment, you must take into account his character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Adaptation ⓘ

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friendly dog ​​ⓘ

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hair loss ⓘ

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Affection level ⓘ

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Need for exercise ⓘ

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Social need ⓘ

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Home ⓘ

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Toilet ⓘ

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Friendly with strangers ⓘ

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barking ⓘ

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Health ⓘ

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Territorial ⓘ

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Cat friendly ⓘ

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Intelligence ⓘ

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Versatility ⓘ

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Child friendly ⓘ

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Surveillance ⓘ

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joy ⓘ

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Images “American Water Spaniel”

Videos “American Water Spaniel”

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 8: Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs
  • Section 3: Water Dogs. With working trial.


  • FCI – Group 8: Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs – Section 3: Water Dogs
  • AKCSporting
  • CKCSporting Dogs
  • ​KC – Gundog
  • UKCGun Dogs

FCI breed standard "American Water Spaniel"

FCIFCI - American Water Spaniel

Alternative names:

    1. American Brown Spaniel, American Brown Water Spaniel, AWS (English).
    2. American Water Spaniel, Epagneul d’eau américain (French).
    3. American Water Spaniel (German).
    4. (em inglês: american water spaniel) (Portuguese).
    5. American Water Spaniel, Spaniel de Agua Americano (español).
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