The American Water Spaniel Cairn Terrier Mix, is a mixed breed dog resulting from breeding the American Water Spaniel and the Cairn Terrier. Both of these dogs can be friendly but personalities differ, so you never know. The American Water Spaniel sometimes known as the American Brown Spaniel or AWS is known for being friendly, energetic, and intelligent. All dogs need proper socialization and that will be a big factor in how they interact with others. What does this mixed breed look and act like? Is it more like the American Water Spaniel or the Cairn Terrier? Those are the questions we will try and answer below. Continue reading below to see pictures, videos, and learn more about the beautiful American Water Spaniel Cairn Terrier Mix.
While we really recommend that you acquire all animals through a rescue, we understand that some people might go through a breeder to get their American Water Spaniel Cairn Terrier Mix puppy. That is, if they have any American Water Spaniel Cairn Terrier Mix puppies for sale.
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All hybrid or designer dogs are tough to get a good read on as there isn’t much history to them. Breeding specific dogs like this has become common in the last twenty years or so even though I am sure that this mixed breed found it’s share of dogs to the shelter due to accidental breeding. We will take a closer look at the history of both parent breeds below. If you are looking at breeders for new, designer dogs please beware of Puppy Mills. These are places that mass produce puppies, specifically for profit and don’t care at all about the dogs. If you have a few minutes, please sign our petition to stop puppy mills.
American Water Spaniel History
The American Water Spaniel was bred and created in the Fox and Wolf River valleys of Wisconsin throughout the middle of the 19th century. The American Water Spaniel ancestors consist of the Irish Water Spaniel, Curly-Coated Retriever, Field Spaniel, and the now-extinct Old English Water Spaniel.
The American Water Spaniel was bred to be a dynamic hunting dog. Their coat, which is dense and curly works to protect them from cold water as well as rough plants in the woods, they are natural swimmers. Being that they aren’t that big, their size makes it easy travel with.
As larger retriever breeds became more popular than the AWS, this gal started to fall out of favor. Doctor F. J. Pfeifer of New London, Wisconsin, is given the credit of saving them from not being around anymore. He created their standard and bred and sold them. They were recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1920 and the American Kennel Club in 1940. A dog by the name of "Curly Pfeifer," was the first registered dog.
Cairn Terrier History
Bounding out of the highlands comes the Cairn Terrier, a descendent one of Scotland’s oldest known line of working terriers dating to the 1600s. He was originally bred to rid the land of vermin, mostly rodents but also larger prey such as otters and foxes. Three present-day Scottish terriers — the Scottish, the West Highland White, and the Cairn — all were descended from an established breed called the Scotch Terrier, which in 1873 became two distinct terrier breeds, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier and the Skye Terriers. These terriers came from the same stock in the Scottish highlands but ultimately developed as two different breeds. Later, the Scottish, West Highland White, and Cairn terriers all descended from the same stock and originally were differentiated only by color.
Fun fact: Most Cairn terriers are left-pawed. Research has shown that this trait correlates to a strong sense of smell — a major advantage in locating prey. The dog we now know as the Cairn Terrier was originally called a Short-haired Skye Terrier when entered into The Kennel Club competition in the U.K. in 1909. Breeders of standard Skye Terriers objected, and the name Cairn Terrier, alluding to the stone piles along the moors where the dog chases his prey, was accepted as a compromise.
The Cairn Terrier gained AKC recognition in 1913, although at this time many breeders in both the U.S. and U.K. were crossing Cairn Terriers with West Highland White Terriers. In 1917, the AKC barred any Cairn of mixed heritage as demonstrated by a white coat. The British standard followed in 1923, when it was rewritten to prohibit all-white dogs.
Fun fact: A Cairn Terrier portrayed Dorothy’s “little dog,” Toto, in the classic film The Wizard of Oz (1939)
American Water Spaniel
Height: 15 - 18 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 25 - 45 lb.
Lifespan: 13 - 15 years
Height: 9 - 10 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 13 - 14 lb.
Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
The American Water Spaniel and the Cairn Terrier are known for being courageous and protective. They are also very loving dogs. The AWS is known for being obedient and trainable. It can also be protective at times.This dog will require a very strong and firm owner who makes sure to assert that they are the alpha and not the dog. They are cautious, yet non-threatening with strangers, and are affectionate towards family and children. Early socialization helps take care of any bad habits that could develop. She responds well to positive reinforcement, like all dogs. She should be rather affectionate and enjoy spending lots of time with you. Don’t plan on leaving her alone for long periods as he won’t do well alone. She wants to be with the “pack.”
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems as all breeds are susceptible to some things more than others. However, the one positive thing about getting a puppy is that you can avoid this as much as possible. A breeder should absolutely offer a health guarantee on puppies. If they won’t do this, then look no more and don’t consider that breeder at all. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur. We obviously recommend that you look for a reputable animal rescue in your area to find your new mixed breed. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
The American Water Spaniel mixed with the Cairn Terrier might be prone to joint dysplasia, eye disorders, cardiac abnormalities, degenerative myelopathy, among others.
Note that these are just common problems in both breeds.
What are the grooming requirements?
Even if you know the breed, sometimes it is hard to tell if it will be a heavy shedder or a light shedder. Either way, Get ready to invest in a good vacuum if you want to keep your floors clean! Give them baths as needed, but not so much that you dry out their skin.
What are the exercise requirements?
Plan on taking them for extremely long walks and hikes to keep their energy level down. This mix will more than likely have a high energy level. This exercise will keep them from being destructive. A tired dog is a good dog. A tired dog is a good dog though. Never tie your dog up outside - that is inhumane and not fair to him.
What are the training requirements?
This is an intelligent dog that will be a little bit challenging to train. They are going to want to take the alpha position and need someone with a firm, strong, hand that can let them know their place. The best thing you can do is break the sessions into shorter daily sessions to keep their attention span higher. It might have a prey drive and be disposed to running for and chasing small prey, but if handled properly this can be managed. All dogs respond best to positive reinforcement. So make sure to praise her when she does well. She is an intelligent dog who loves to please, and loves a physical challenge. The more exercise she gets the easier she will be to train. Proper socialization is imperative to all dogs and puppies. Make sure to take her to the park and doggy day care to get her around as many people and dogs as possible.
"A lot of times diet is done on a per-dog basis. Each one is unique and has different dietary requirements. Most dogs in the U.S. are overweight. A mix like this one that is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia should really be on fish oil and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements as soon as possible. A good diet to look into is Raw Food Diet. A raw food diet will be especially good for the Wolf background.
Overfeeding any dog is not a good idea as that can really exacerbate health problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia.
I good diet to look into is Raw Food Diet. A raw food diet will be especially good for the Wolf background."