Do American Water Spaniels make good guard dogs?

No. The rare American Water Spaniel lacks suitable size for physical deterrence and the requisite wariness of temperament necessary to discern threats around their household or family.

Are American Water Spaniels the right size to be guard dogs?

Medium-sized but undistinguished physique offers no intimidation factor for confrontations. Sturdy and athletic enough for retrievals but not deterrence.

Does a American Water Spaniel have the right temperament to be a guard dog?

Cheerful, outgoing, people-oriented disposition. Eagerly social even with unfamiliar visitors rather than exhibiting wariness. Lacks impulse for territorial behavior guarding “pack”.

Can you train a American Water Spaniel to be a guard dog?

Enjoys learning new behaviors to please “pack leader” but diminished capacities unsuitable for specialized guarding roles. Too trusting of strangers approaching territory and family.

Have American Water Spaniels ever been used as guard dogs?

Developed as versatile water retrievers able to work from small boats. Concentrated breeding pressure on affability and trainability, not protective territorial instincts. No history as guard dogs.

What are the Pros and Cons of using a American Water Spaniel as a guard dog?


  • Friendly with everyone
  • Eager to learn and train


  • Too small to physically deter
  • Overly trusting of strangers
  • No protective instincts

The rare American Water Spaniel’s small size, undistinguished appearance and overly trusting temperament undermine any capacity they might have to serve in guard dog or meaningful watchdog roles.

Final Thoughts

The AWS remains closely concentrated in the Great Lakes region near its founding in Wisconsin. Rarity elsewhere reflects lapses as both hunter and household guardian beyond the midwestern US.

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