English Water Spaniel: The Ultimate Dog Guide


The English Water Spaniel has long been a cherished companion for those who appreciate its unique characteristics and abilities. This guide will delve into everything you need to know about this special breed.

English Water Spaniel (Dog Guide)
Size and Weight Medium-sized, 18 to 20 inches tall, weighing between 35 to 45 pounds.
Coat Type and Color Curly, dense coat, typically in liver or chocolate shades, sometimes with white markings.
Temperamento Friendly, affectionate, intelligent, and responsive to training.
Origin England, primarily bred for waterfowl hunting.
Preocupación por la salud Hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, ear infections.
Vida útil 10 to 14 years with proper care.
Exercise Needs High; requires regular walks and playtime.
Dietary Needs Consult with a veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations.
Aseo Regular brushing to prevent matting and occasional trims.

Physical Characteristics of the English Water Spaniel

Size and weight ranges

The typical English Water Spaniel stands at about 18 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 35 to 45 pounds, making them a medium-sized breed.

Coat type and color variations

Their curly, dense coat is designed for waterwork, often coming in liver or chocolate shades. This breed may sometimes have white markings.

Distinctive features

The breed’s almond-shaped eyes, curly ears, and distinctive coat pattern set them apart from other spaniels.

Temperament and Behavior of the English Water Spaniel

Natural instincts and tendencies

Being a spaniel, they have a natural instinct for retrieving and love playing in the water. Their keen sense of smell also makes them excellent hunters.

Interaction with humans, children, and other pets

This breed is known for its friendly and affectionate nature. They generally get along well with children and can coexist peacefully with other pets.

Training responsiveness

The English Water Spaniel is an intelligent breed, often responsive to training. However, early and consistent training is essential.

History and Origin of the English Water Spaniel

Evolution of the breed

Originating in England, this breed has been around since at least the 18th century. They were bred primarily for waterfowl hunting because of their keen sense of smell and love for water.

Historical significance in hunting and other roles

Aside from hunting, these dogs were often used as companions and show dogs in earlier times.

Recognitions by major kennel clubs

Today, the English Water Spaniel is recognized by many major kennel clubs, though it’s rarer than other spaniel breeds.

Health and Wellness of the English Water Spaniel

Common health issues and genetic predispositions

Some health concerns include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and ear infections due to their floppy ears.

Vida media

With proper care, these dogs can live anywhere from 10 to 14 years.

Diet and nutrition needs

A balanced diet is essential for this active breed. Always consult with a veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations.

Exercise requirements

Being an active breed, daily exercise is crucial. Regular walks and playtime can help keep them healthy and happy.

Training and Socialization of the English Water Spaniel

Basic obedience training recommendations

Start training early, focus on positive reinforcement techniques, and be consistent.

Techniques for specialized training (e.g., water retrieving)

Training them for water retrieving can be both fun and rewarding, given their natural inclination. Always ensure safety first, introducing them to calm waters before venturing into deeper or faster-moving bodies of water.

Importance of early socialization

Early socialization helps in making them well-rounded dogs, accustomed to various environments, sounds, and people.

Handling behavioral issues

Seeking advice from professional trainers or behaviorists can be beneficial if behavioral issues arise.

Care and Grooming of the English Water Spaniel

Coat maintenance and grooming techniques

Their curly coat requires regular brushing to prevent matting and occasional trims to keep it neat.

Bathing frequency and skin care

Bath them only when necessary to prevent drying out their skin. Ensure they are thoroughly dried after a swim to avoid skin issues.

Dental, ear, and nail care

Regular teeth brushing, ear cleaning, and nail trimming are essential to keep them in top health.

Activities and Competitions for the English Water Spaniel

Participation in dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally

Their intelligence and agility make them suitable candidates for various dog sports.

Water retrieving and hunting training

Given their history, they excel in water retrieving events and can be trained for hunting competitions.

Dog shows and breed standards

Participating in dog shows can be a rewarding experience for both the dog and the owner, showcasing the breed’s unique qualities.

Adoption and Purchase of the English Water Spaniel

Considerations before getting one

Think about your living situation, activity level, and commitment before bringing one into your life.

Finding reputable breeders

Always research and find breeders who prioritize health and temperament over mere looks.

Rescue organizations and adoption options

Considering adoption is always a noble choice. Many organizations have English Water Spaniels looking for a forever home.

Living Conditions for the English Water Spaniel

Suitable home environments

They thrive in homes with ample space to play, preferably with access to water bodies for their water-loving nature.

Interaction with other pets and animals

Usually, they get along well with other pets, especially if introduced at a young age.

Outdoor vs. indoor living

While they love outdoor activities, they are also content living indoors as long as they get their daily dose of exercise.

Environmental Considerations for English Water Spaniel

Climate Adaptability

The English Water Spaniel’s coat is designed primarily for cooler, water-bound environments. While they can handle a variety of climates, it’s essential to ensure they are not exposed to extreme heat for prolonged periods.

Water Safety

Given their affinity for water, owners should ensure that when allowing them to play or work in water, the environment is safe. Slow-moving streams or calm lakes are ideal. It’s also wise to introduce them to water gradually, ensuring they are confident swimmers before venturing into deeper areas.

Unique Traits of the English Water Spaniel

Vocal Tendencies

The English Water Spaniel can be a vocal breed. While not overly yappy, they have a distinctive bark when alerting their family of strangers or potential threats.

Chew Tendencies

As with many breeds, the English Water Spaniel can have a tendency to chew, especially during their puppy years. Providing them with durable toys and proper training can curb unwanted chewing habits.

Traveling with the English Water Spaniel

Car Travel

When traveling by car, it’s essential to ensure the English Water Spaniel is safely secured, preferably in a well-ventilated crate or using seatbelt harnesses. This not only keeps them safe but also reduces the risk of distractions while driving.

Flight Travel

If you’re planning to fly with your English Water Spaniel, consult with the airline regarding their pet policies. Most airlines require a health certification and a suitable crate for the dog’s comfort during the flight.

Fun Facts about the English Water Spaniel

Historical Fame

While the English Water Spaniel is not as well-known today as some other breeds, historical records suggest that it was quite popular in England during the 18th century, often featured in paintings and literature of the time.

Distinctive Bark

Owners and enthusiasts often remark that the English Water Spaniel has a distinctive bark, different from other spaniel breeds. It’s melodic yet assertive, capturing the breed’s lively and alert nature.


The English Water Spaniel is indeed a remarkable breed with a rich history, exceptional traits, and a loving nature. Whether you’re considering one as a companion, a working dog, or a showstopper, ensuring you understand their needs will lead to a fulfilling relationship for both the dog and owner.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

Read More About Me >