Specially developed for hunting, the American Water Spaniel is a lively breed that thoroughly enjoys the outdoor life. However, their high intelligence mixed with a need to have and provide companionship has proven them highly capable of a life beyond ordinary petdom. Many individuals working in unique fields have also found unique purposes for their American Water Spaniels. Though not commonly used as service animals, the breed loves to be of use and they have many ideal physical and temperamental characteristics for a very fulfilling work life. Whether working indoors or outdoors, the working partnership that develops with an American Water Spaniel is rewarding for both the dog and the owner.
For photographers, getting the perfect shot is everything. However, sometimes getting that shot requires a little extra help. Because the breed is so used to working in the field with all types of waterfowl, ground birds and other animals, the American Water Spaniel has proven priceless to wildlife photographers. Though they are generally used to retrieving them, an American Water Spaniel can also be trained to merely flush birds from their hiding spots. As the photographer lays in wait, the dog is sent out to locate a hidden animal or move a flock of birds. This allows a photographer to get their chance at obtaining the perfect shot of an animal in motion.
Another setting that the American Water Spaniel has proven itself to be of great benefit is in children's therapy camps. Oftentimes, these camps provide physical and emotional rehabilitation in the form of swimming and waterplay. It is not uncommon for younger children to be intimidated by pools and water related activities making it very hard to get them to participate. However, the help of the water loving Spaniel often effectively encourages and inspires children to forget their fears. As a medium size breed, there is no worry about the American Water Spaniel accidentally knocking over a child with its mass. At the same time, they are not so small that they are too fragile to work around children. The breed's temperament can complement children's activity levels perfectly.
Since they love to dote and be doted on, the American Water Spaniel can also be a great companion animal for those who are homebound but still fairly mobile. They are of manageable size and do not impede the movement of wheelchairs and other aids. Plus, their zest for life ensures owners will stay active and not slip into a sedentary existence. They make good watch dogs and will bark earnestly in situations that call for alarm. In fact, many dogs are now trained to watch for or sniff out seizures and other serious medical conditions that require emergency intervention. Though the American Water Spaniel sheds very little, a short weekly grooming session can offer a chance for a dog and its owner to nicely bond.