Miniature Pinscher vs American Water Spaniel - Breed Comparison

Miniature Pinscher is originated from Germany but American Water Spaniel is originated from United States. Miniature Pinscher may grow 16 cm / 6 inches shorter than American Water Spaniel. Miniature Pinscher may weigh 15 kg / 33 pounds lesser than American Water Spaniel. Both Miniature Pinscher and American Water Spaniel has almost same life span. Both Miniature Pinscher and American Water Spaniel has same litter size. Miniature Pinscher requires Low maintenance. But American Water Spaniel requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Toy dog
Gun dog
United States
Height Male:
25 - 30 cm
9 - 12 inches
36 - 46 cm
14 - 19 inches
Height Female:
25 - 30 cm
9 - 12 inches
34 - 44 cm
13 - 18 inches
Weight Male:
3 - 5 kg
6 - 12 pounds
11 - 20 kg
24 - 45 pounds
Weight Female:
3 - 5 kg
6 - 12 pounds
11 - 18 kg
24 - 40 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 6
4 - 6
Small dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Min Pin, Zwergpinscher
Amerikanischer Wasserspaniel • AWS • AM Water Spaniel
Colors Available:
rusty, chocolate, Black and Tan
Liver, Brown, Dark Chocolate
Short and smooth
DOuble, Wavy and Curly, thick
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Sweet, Territorial
Alert, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Stubborn, Territorial
Low maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


The Miniature Pinscher hails from Germany. It appears to be an ancient dog breed, going back hundreds of years and being used to kill vermin.

He is a distinct breed and much older than the Dobermann Pinscher. Development of this small dog started way back in 1895 when the Pinscher Klub was formed. It was renamed the Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub and the first breed standard was also written.

By 1929, the Miniature Pinscher Club of America was formed.

The American Water Spaniel was developed in the United States. He is the state dog of Wisconsin and was developed there in the 19th century. The bloodlines of this spaniel are varied but certainly include the English Water Spaniel and the Irish Water Spaniel. Even though they are the state dog of Wisconsin they were almost extinct when Dr. Fred J. Pfeifer rescued the breed. The numbers had fallen after World War II because hunting was now a recreational sport and not needed to provide food for the family. He then started a breed club and wrote a breed standard, both of which were recognized by the United Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club. When first developed the American Water Spaniel was known as the American Brown Spaniel. It was bred with a curly, thick coat so that it cold be sustained in Wisconsin winters and cold water. It was bred to hunt grouse, water fowl and prairie chickens as well as furry land animals. Pfeifer advertised his dogs for sale everywhere using a mailer that read: “, "The American Brown Spaniel is distinctively an American production. Hunters have known this type for years and it was through their efforts that this dog was propagated.... For years we have bred only selective stock, breeding for gameness, stability, courage, intelligence, and beauty. They are dogs to admire and trust under all conditions whether in the home circle or in the field with the outdoor man."[2]

In Wisconsin, around the wolf River and the Fox River, hunters were looking for a water dog that could also hunt on land. They needed a dog that could work a variety of fowl and game but who was small enough for a skiff and strong enough for the artic water temperatures of Wisconsin in the Winter. So, in addition to the spaniels named above, other breeds such as the Curly Coated Retriever, the Poodle, Native Indian dogs and the Sussex Spaniel were intermixed. When first developed the American Water Spaniel was known as the American Brown Spaniel. It was bred with a curly, thick coat so that it cold be sustained in Wisconsin winters and cold water. It was bred to hunt grouse, water fowl and prairie chickens as well as furry land animals. The American Water Spaniel was then itself used to develop another new breed, the Boykin Spaniel. In 1985 Wisconsin declared the American Water Spaniel to be the official state dog. Even so there remain only a few thousand dogs in existence. Though recognized by the AKC, they are neither spaniels nor retrievers and remain unclassified. Because of this they cannot compete in AKC field trials, but they do compete in AKC hunt tests. Though rare, the American Water Spaniel is a great hunting dog, retriever and companion.


This bright, alert little dog stands at 25 to 30cm and weighs in the region of 3 to 5 kg.

The body is lean and muscular with strong, straight legs. He has a short, sleek coat with no undercoat. The coat is black and tan, chocolate or a rusty shade. The ears are erect but sometimes they are half erect and half floppy, the little nose is black and the tail is usually docked. If you allow your Min Pin to breed, you can expect 2 - 6 puppies.


The Min Pin is a bright, feisty, alert toy breed, full of personality and full of spunk, making him an excellent watchdog too.

He isn’t aggressive towards his human family but he is full of attitude and can be aggressive with other dogs. He may be small but he isn’t a lap dog, being way too active for that, loving to be involved in a game or going for a walk.

He is loving with his human family, but training and socialization can make him a better pet, obedient and amicable. He is intelligent too so he learns easily. He gets along well with children but only when those children have been taught to be kind ad gentle with all animals, but particularly with teeny weenies like himself.

The American Water spaniel is a midsized, muscular dog. There is nothing flashy about his looks or his work performance. He is however a consistent, competent swimmer and hunter. His brown coat is wavy or tightly curled, waterproof and dense. His feet have thick pads and webbed toes. The AWS is intelligent, happy, and easy going. He is a very versatile hunting dog on land and in water. The breed has not changed much since it originated in the 19th century. They can be liver, chocolate or brown. The eyes should be the same as the color of the coat. They have broad skulls with wide, long ears and an undocked tail.

They have a square, medium sized muzzle and wide nose. They have a bite that is level or scissors. The legs of the muscular American Water Spaniel are medium in length and the tail is full, with a medium length, curved and feathered. The dewclaws might or might not be removed.

Health Problems

Min Pins are robust little dogs and can enjoy good health when looked after properly. They can reach 15 years of age and even more.

Just like with any other dogs though, they’re prone to certain health conditions. Your Miniature Pinscher is highly unlikely to get any of these diseases, but it's good to be aware of some of them.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy, known as PRA for short is an eye disease where there is gradual deterioration of the retina. You will no doubt see your dog being affected with night blindness – not being able to find their way around as they usually do.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease is a hip joint problem that often affects toy breeds. The blood supply to the head of the femur is decreased and you’ll notice your pet limping. It’s not an ailment reserved for old dogs either but can be found in puppies that are just 4 months of age.

Hypothyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid gland and can lead to skin conditions with your dog as well as lethargy, hair loss and obesity.

The American Water Spaniel is a hardy, healthy breed without a lot of the genetic concerns of other breeds. Some of the concerns of this breed include vision, cardiac, hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy. They might also have skin issues and metabolic disorders.

Caring The Pet


Grooming is easy and you will simply need to brush him twice a week as his coat is short and smooth. There is really no need to bath the Min Pin and you could even take a damp cloth and wipe him down to avoid using a shampoo which could dry the skin.

Always check his eyes and ears for infection and check for fleas and ticks too. His nails will need to be trimmed, more so if he doesn’t wear them down naturally.

Check your dogs teeth. Small dogs are more prone to dental disease and you want to brush his teeth 2 or 3 times a week with special canine toothbrush and toothpaste to avoid dental problems.


The amount your Miniature Pinscher eats will be determined by his age and his activity levels.

When you buy commercially manufactured food, you will need to buy food that is recommended for small, energetic dogs. You don’t want to feed your pet dry kibble day after day, so a tasty, nutritious treat is to add finely chopped up boiled chicken, brown rice of pasta and some cooked vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and spinach into his kibble.

All dogs, but particularly little dogs, love simple food that is consistent like what has been mentioned. They don’t do well on strange, exotic kinds of foods as it upsets the stomach. Make sure he has cool, fresh water available to him at all times, night and day.


Feeding the American Water Spaniel is no mystery. They need a high quality dry dog food with an eye toward calorie consumption. Some AWS have a tendency to become obese. Treats are important to the AWS in training but can add to the obesity concerns.


Like other isolated breeds that were bred true, the genetic issues we see in many other popular breeds are not seen as much in the American Water Spaniel. They do however have a few issues to contend with.

Eyes: These issues appear to be inherited with progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts. Many AWS that develop cataracts do so at a very young age, usually under a year. Metabolic: Diabetes, hypothyroidism, glandular disorders and epilepsy. Baldness and Cardiac Issues. Orthopedic: Hip dysplasia. There is no evidence to suggest any elbow dysplasia. Additional concerns are hypothyroidism, allergies, epilepsy, diabetes and glandular disorders which Of course, the American Water Spaniel is an athlete who loves to be outdoors. He loves to swim, run and hunt. He needs daily exercise, or he can become loud and destructive. They thrive on having a job and they are not happy if they don’t have one. They are good at agility, obedience, dock diving and field trials. They also enjoy flyball and barn hunt.


The Miniature Pinscher is such a sporty, fun-loving, confident little dog that is also fearless for his small size.

He thinks he is a ferocious, big Dobermann Pinscher at heart and is ready to guard and protect his family with everything he’s got.

He is full of energy too and always ready for his daily walk and other forms of exercise and games.

He may be small, but he doesn’t want to be a lap dog, as he is too active for that. He can be highly entertaining and he promises to make you the most devoted and loving little family pet.

Bred to work the American Water Spaniels are loyal to their people, want to please them, but are not so great with strangers. They are stubborn and love to be the center of attention. They are often one person or one family dogs. They need an owner who is the pack leader and willing to put in the time to train them. However, they are a versatile breed and need variety in training and activities rather than repetitive activities. They are prone to resource guarding, slow maturation and dominance. These negative traits are dissipated with a strong leader, good training and a lot of daily activity. They are sensitive as well as stubborn. Do not use a punishment-oriented training with them. They will respond out of love and loyalty or not at all. This is a breed that wants to be the alpha over the people and will do so if you let him. Keep them fenced as being hunters they love to wander and will leave home whenever they can.

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