GL American Water Spaniel Club logoLast updated on: March 6, 2018

Training hunting spaniels since 1993

an AKC licensed club     

Who we are...

The Great Lakes AWSC is a field training group operating primarily within southern lower Michigan and helping spaniel owners to train their hunting or hunt test dogs.

The Great Lakes AWSC is an open society focused on training the AWS and other spaniels but encouraging participation in a multitude of dog events that are available to them. Our members take part in dog shows, obedience trials, retriever tests, agility trials, therapy work, and much more. Our members own a variety of breeds including American Water Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniels, and Curly Coated Retrievers. These owners have come to value the camaraderie and information that we share with one another.

In focusing on all aspects of the breed there are many objectives that the founding members set for the club. Following is a brief list of those found in the organization's constitution.

Group trainingA group of members attending one of our early training sessions

  • to further the advancement of hunting test breeds

  • to do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of hunting tests and to encourage sportsmanlike conduct at such events

  • to conduct hunting tests and any other event for which the club is eligible under the Rules and Regulations of The American Kennel Club.

  • to disseminate knowledge, conduct classes in and promote the training of purebred dogs

The Great Lakes AWSC strongly believes in the concept of the total dog and urges its members to consider function, structure, health, and temperament when carrying for their companion.

Water TrainingFunction is where much of the Great Lakes AWSC's efforts are directed. It is at our numerous training days where it offers members and non-members the chance to learn more about field training. These events are held monthly from early spring through late summer with emphasis on "training the trainer" to successfully train his or her dog. The Association believes it takes birds to make a bird dog and has provided over 600 birds a year to help make these fine spaniels into solid bird dogs.

The Great Lakes AWSC knows that for a field dog to reach its full potential it must be of sound temperament and health. Information on health, temperament, and potential genetic connections to these areas are found in the pages of the group's newsletter, on this website, and discussed at many of its events.

Structure is the final piece that completes the picture of the total dog and this piece is as critical as all the others. The Great Lakes AWSC supports its members who participate in conformation events and who work to maintain sound structure in the American Water Spaniel.

The Great Lakes AWSC formed in 1993 under its original name of American Water Spaniel Field Association of America which was soon shortened to simply the American Water Spaniel Field Association or AWSFA. Through the cooperation and efforts of its members this little club has grown into a solid and sound field organization.

If you are interested in joining the Great Lakes AWSC you may print a copy of the membership application and mail it in. Don't worry, we do not require sponsors for membership only your agreement to our principals as outlined on the application.

What We Do

Principally the Great Lakes AWSC provides information sharing regarding our breed of choice, the American Water Spaniel, training opportunities, training seminars and information shared through our newsletter and much more. Starting in March and continuing into late summer we hold field-training days incorporating a "train the trainer" approach. Through the guidance of many talented individuals, including professional trainers and AKC Hunt Test judges, these sessions provide something for everyone from novice to experienced dog handler. In keeping with the true nature of a spaniel, and especially that of the AWS, we do our best to provide training for both upland and waterfowl work. These training days can be found around the Great Lakes area in states like Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin.

Land trainingA little work in the field goes a long way toward preparing the dog for the upcoming season

What We Offer

In many ways the Great Lakes AWSC is a family offering camaraderie and support to spaniel enthusiasts. Its members have access to a wealth of knowledge that will help them build and maintain a lasting relationship with their canine companion, as well as, to network with others of like interest with who they can share experiences that are, at the same time, unique and common. So, whether you are a novice or a professional, a hunter or a companion dog owner, the group has something for you.

How to Reach Us

Contact information for our club's officers and director are found on our contact page.

Need more information?

Contact our Secretary by email or by writing to the address listed below.

Great Lakes AWSC c/o Sandy Collins
2780 Hummer Lake Rd., Ortonville, MI 48462