The American Water Spaniel is a breed that has a number of rarities to its credit. Not only is it one of five dog breeds ever developed in the United States, it also has only three bloodlines left in the entire world. The American Water Spaniel has also caused more than its fair share of controversy in the American Kennel Club. This is due mostly to the breed's versatility. Two clubs, the American Water Spaniel Club and the American Water Spaniel Field Association are both recognized by the AKC. While one side stands firm that the breed is a spaniel, the other insists it is a retriever. A dog competing in hunting trials or in shows will have their classification determined by their parent club.
The American Water Spaniel loves to swim and was bred for the task of retrieving from small boats. Because of this, special and unique traits can be found on the breed. This includes such things as webbed paws that make moving through the water easier and a double coat that is virtually waterproof. While this double coat works to protect the dog from freezing water temperatures, it also keeps them perfectly cool in the summer. Beyond the average grooming routine of an occasional bath, shaving the American Water Spaniel can leave them incapable of adjusting to a comfortable body temperature.
Assuming anyone has ever even heard of the breed, finding an American Water Spaniel outside of the United States is virtually impossible. To locate a Water Spaniel in the United States itself means concentrating on the states around the Great Lakes. Developed in Wisconsin in the late 1800's, the breed has stayed predominantly in the same area for almost a century and a half. While there may be over fifty thousand of just one breed of dog registered at any time, there may be less than two hundred of the American Water Spaniel. Waiting for a Water Spaniel pup can have an individual on a waiting list for up to a year; longer if one is waiting for a female.
A number of dogs have their odd and bizarre traits but one of the weirdest for a breed is the American Water Spaniel's love of bananas. While no one can say for sure just what inspires their adoration for the slender yellow fruit, many believe that it simply has the right consistency for the soft mouthed Spaniel. A banana might also seem like a tasty delicacy, perfectly sweet for a treat loving pooch; however, a dog's sense of taste is rather poorly developed. This leads many to believe that the banana more likely has a scent that the American Water Spaniel finds simply irresistible.