American water spaniel, breed of medium-sized sporting dog developed in the American Midwest. It stands about 17 in. (43.2 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs between 30 and 40 lb (13.6–18.1 kg). Its dense and closely curled coat ranges in color from solid liver to dark chocolate. A sturdy, muscular dog, the American water spaniel is a versatile scent hunter, flushing, or springing, game birds rather than pointing them. It is a strong swimmer and retrieves both on land and water. It is also used for hunting rabbits and other small animals. See dog.