Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniel description

The origins of the Irish Water Spaniel still remain unclear. Some believe that Persian dogs who were introduced to Ireland contributed in developing the breed as similar dogs were used to flesh waterfowl as from the 17th century. Some others prefers to stick to the fact that the modern Irish Water Spaniel breed has been developed in the 19th century by a sport passionate, Justin McCarthy.


Irish Water Spaniel characteristics

A Irish Water Spaniel measures between 20 to 23 inches and weighs from 20 to 30 kilos. These characteristics make him the tallest of all the Spaniels. The Irish Water Spaniel is endowed with a waterproof coat. The main physical attributes of the Irish Water Spaniel is his tail, looking like a whip, and his curly hair.


Irish Water Spaniel grooming

The coat of the Irish Water Spaniel requires regular grooming. It is recommended to comb the hair of your dog regularly in order to prevent the hair from matting. Doing so, will also help the owner noticing fleas and ticks, which usually hide in the dog's thick coat. The Irish Water Spaniel's coat requires trimming every 10 weeks on average.

In between full grooming sessions, it is advised to trim the dog's hair around the ears and between the dog's pad in to prevent infection.


Irish Water Spaniel temperament

Irish Water Spaniel are very affectionate towards their owners. They generally do well around children. Like most retrievers, Irish Water Spaniels enjoy retrieving toys and swimming.

Some Irish Water Spaniels are shy towards strangers therefore, an early exposure of the puppy to different situations and people is highly recommended.

Even though the Irish Water Spaniel is part of the gun dog group, the puppy can be accustomed to smaller animals.


Irish Water Spaniel training

Irish Water Spaniel are generally fast learners. Their training requires diversity as these intelligent dogs tend to get bored very quickly. Positive reinforcement training is often recommended with puppies as it makes dog training more entertaining for both parties.

Socializing should also be part of the Irish Water Spaniel puppy as many older dogs are wary around strangers. Accustoming the puppy to different situation should reinforce his confidence and make him grow into a more balanced dog.

Due to their great stamina Irish Water Spaniels require a fair amount of exercise. They will particularly enjoy going on long walks. Irish Water Spaniels generally perform well in agility classes.


Irish Water Spaniel food habits

It is important to control the diet of your Irish Water Spaniel as this particular dog breed tends to gain weight easily.


Irish Water Spaniel health

Irish Water Spaniels have a life expectancy of about 12 years. The Irish Water Spaniel breed is subject to Hip dysplasia.