SMALL TOWNS PREVIEW: Tracing the water spaniel’s New London roots

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 10:19 AM CDT
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NEW LONDON, Wis. (WBAY) - Only a handful of hunting dog breeds have American roots. One breed can be traced back to New London.

In this week’s Small Towns, Jeff Alexander takes us to the birthplace of the American Water Spaniel.

The breed dates back to the mid-1800s. It became a favorite of hunters in the Fox and Wolf River valleys.

The dog has endurance and can work in water and on land.

However, the water spaniel was left behind when other breeds came to America.

“Once the larger retriever dogs started coming in from England and Europe and things like that, our little brown water spaniel kind of lost popularity,” says Christine Cross, New London Public Museum Director.

New London doctor F.J. Pfeifer is credited with saving the breed in 1940. The American Kennel Club official recognized the water spaniel.

Thursday on Action 2 News at 6, we’ll show you water spaniels in action and hear from the owners as the American Spaniel Club holds its annual hunt test.

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