English Water Spaniel
Dog Breeds

English Water Spaniel

Characteristics of English Water Spaniel

Country of originGreat Britain
The sizeAverage
Growthabout 50 cm
Weight13–18 kg
Ageno data
FCI breed groupDoes not exist
English Water Spaniel Characteristics

Brief information

  • An extinct breed of dog;
  • The ancestor of several modern types of spaniels.


The English Water Spaniel is a breed with history. The first records about it date back to the 16th century! Even William Shakespeare mentioned these dogs in his famous tragedy Macbeth and in the play Two Veronians. Moreover, he especially emphasized the helpfulness, intelligence and diligence of these animals.

The 1802 Sportsman’s Cabinet magazine has a brief description of the Water Spaniel: “A curly, rough-coated dog.” The text is accompanied by the image of a dog. However, until the 19th century, there is practically no information about the breed, and the existing records are extremely scarce, but only they allow us to form at least a rough impression of this dog.

In The Countryman’s Weekly of 1896, there is a slightly more detailed description of the English Water Spaniel. So, according to the publication, the dog weighed about 30-40 pounds, that is, no more than 18 kg. Outwardly, she looked like a cross between a poodle, a springer spaniel and a collie : stocky, strong, with thin paws. The most common and popular spaniel colors were black, white and liver (brown), as well as their various combinations.

The English Water Spaniel worked on water bodies: he could stay in the water for a long time and was quite hardy. According to The Countryman’s Weekly , his specialty was waterfowl hunting, most commonly duck.

Interestingly, in the stud book of the English Kennel Club of 1903, in the section “Water and Irish Spaniels”, only about fourteen representatives of these breeds were registered. And in 1967, the English writer John Gordon noted with regret that the two-hundred-year history of English water spaniels is over, and no one has seen dogs for more than thirty years. Indeed, from the first half of the 20th century to this day, the breed is considered extinct.

Nevertheless, despite the very limited data on the breed, the English Water Spaniel still left a mark on the history of dog breeding. He became the ancestor of many breeds, including the American Water Spaniel , Curly Coated Retriever , and the Field Spaniel. Many experts are also convinced that the closest relative of the English Water Spaniel is the Irish Water Spaniel. The history of its origin has not yet been established. In almost all studbooks, they were classified as one group of breeds. However, some researchers deny their connection.

English Water Spaniel – Video

The English Water Spaniel

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