Birdiness is a prized attribute in any gundog. Introducing puppies to birds is one of the first bits of preparation that can go wrong, and a stressed introduction to birds is an easy way to ruin your pup. Ideally, you’ll be able to expose your puppy to birds as young as possible (around 12 weeks), but if you’ve rescued an older dog, these tips still apply.
by Laura Bauer
The American Water Spaniel was bred in the Midwest for hunting birds from boats. Wisconsin hunters needed a versatile, hearty dog that could withstand cold temperatures and would easily fit in a skiff. It is generally thought that the Irish Water Spaniel and the Curly-Coated Retriever, along with other smaller spaniels, are the ancestors of the American Water Spaniel.