American water spaniel is an active muscular dog, medium in size with a marcel to curly coat.
FCI-Standard N° 301 / 22. 01. 1999 /GB
AMERICAN WATER SPANIEL
ORIGIN : U.S.A.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 14.02.1995.
UTILIZATION : The American Water Spaniel was developed in the United States as an all-around hunting dog, bred to retrieve from skiff or canoes and work ground with relative ease.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 8 Retrievers, Flushing Dogs, Water Dogs.
Section 3 Water Dogs.
With working trial.
GENERAL APPEARANCE : The American Water Spaniel is an active muscular dog, medium in size with a marcel to curly coat. Emphasis is placed on proper size and a symmetrical relationship of parts, texture of coat and colour.
A solidly built and well-muscled dog full of strength and quality. The breed has as much substance and bone as necessary to carry the muscular structure but not so much as to appear clumsy.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS : Is slightly longer than tall, not too square or compact. However, exact proportion is not as important as the dog being well-balanced and sound, capable of performing the breed’s intended function.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Demeanor indicates intelligence, eagerness to please and friendly. Great energy and eagerness for the hunt yet controllable in the field.
HEAD : The head must be in proportion to the overall dog. Moderate in length. Expression is alert, self-confident, attractive and intelligent.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Rather broad and full.
Stop : Moderately defined, but not too pronounced.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Dark in colour, black or dark brown. The nose sufficiently wide and with well-developed nostrils to insure good scenting power.
Muzzle : Moderate in length, square with good depth. No inclination to snipiness.
Lips : Clean and tight without excess skin or flews.
Jaws/Teeth : Either scissor or level bite.
Eyes : Medium size, set well apart, while slightly rounded, should not appear protruding or bulging. Lids tight, not drooping. Eye colour can range from a light yellowish brown to brown, hazel or dark tone to harmonize with coat. Disqualify yellow eyes. Yellow eyes are a bright colour like that of lemon, not to be confused with the light yellowish brown.
Ears : Set slightly above the eye line but not too high on the head, lobular, long and wide with leather extending to nose.
NECK : Round and of medium length, strong and muscular, free of throatiness, set to carry head with dignity, but arch not accentuated.
BODY : Well developed, sturdily constructed but not too compactly coupled.
Topline : Level or slight, straight slope from withers.
Loins : Strong.
Chest : Well-developed brisket extending to elbow neither too broad nor too narrow. The ribs well-sprung, but not so well-sprung that they interfere with the movement of the front assembly.
Flanks : Not showing tuck up.
TAIL : Is moderate in length, curved in a rocker fashion, can be carried either slightly below or above the level of the back. The tail is tapered, lively and covered with hair with moderate feathering.
FOREQUARTERS : Forelegs medium in length, straight and well-boned, but not so short as to handicap for field work or so heavy to appear clumsy.
Shoulders : Sloping, clean and muscular.
Pasterns : Strong with no suggestion of weakness. Front dewclaws are permissible.
HINDQUARTERS : The whole rear assembly shows strength and drive. Legs from hock joint to foot pad moderate in length, strong and straight with good bone structure.
Hips : Well-developed.
Thighs : Well-developed.
Hock joint : Slightly rounded, should not be small and sharp in contour, moderately angulated.
Hocks : Parallel.
FEET : Size of feet to harmonize with size of dog. Toes closely grouped, webbed and well-padded.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : The American Water Spaniel moves with well-balanced reach and drive. Watching a dog move towards one, there should be no signs of elbows being out. Upon viewing the dog from the rear, one should get the impression that the hind legs, which should be well-muscled and not cowhocked, move as nearly parallel as possible, with hocks doing their full share of work and flexing well, thus giving the appearance of power and strength.
HAIR : Coat can range from marcel (uniform waves) to closely curled. The amount of waves or curls can vary from one area to another on the dog. It is important to have undercoat to provide sufficient density to be of protection against weather, water or punishing cover, yet not too coarse or too soft. The throat, neck and rear of the dog well-covered with hair. The ear well-covered with hair on both sides with ear canal evident upon inspection. Forehead covered with short smooth hair and without topknot. Tail covered with hair to tip with moderate feathering. Legs have moderate feathering with waves or curls to harmonize with coat of dog. Coat may be trimmed to present a well-groomed appearance; the ears may be shaved; but neither is required.
COLOUR : Colour either solid liver, brown or dark chocolate. A little white on toes and chest permissible.
SIZE AND WEIGHT : 15 to 18 inches for either sex. Males weighing 30-45 lbs. Females weighing 25-40 lbs. Females tend to be slightly smaller than the males. There is no preference for size within the given range of either sex providing correct proportion, good substance and balance is maintained.
FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
Aggresive or overly shy.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.