Irish Water Spaniel

  • SIZE: 6
  • GROOMING:: 5
  • BREED: Irish Water Spaniel
  • COLOR(S):Rich, dark, solid liver.


 The Irish Water Spaniel presents a picture of a smart, upstanding strongly built sporting dog. They are large dogs, riding high on their long thighs and low hocks. They are the tallest of the spaniels. Hidden in a forest of tight, curly ringlets for fur are two dark hazel eyes. They have a strong, square body and a whip-like tail, earning them the nickname of “Whip Tail”, “Rat Tail” and “Rat Tail Spaniel”. Irish Water Spaniels have a wonderful temperament and a unique appearance, making them an enjoyable breed. They have a greatly intelligent, quick learning, fun-loving personality that have earned them the title of "clowns of the spaniel family." Owners insist that this breed has a sense of humor. Irish Water Spaniels love water and will often take a flying leap into any body of water they encounter. Irish Water Spaniels excel in retrieving wildfowl. They are good guard dogs and excellent retrievers. Irish Water Spaniels are reserved with strangers, however, making them good watchdogs as well. They are not friendly with other dog breeds, and need socialization for most of their lives. 


 Irish Water Spaniels are responsive, playful, and inquisitive. They have a quizzical appearance, and interested in what’s around him. Irish Water Spaniels are friendly and fun with family, often having a sense of humor. They are discerning with strangers, however, and will look them over. They are not friendly with other dogs, and need to be socialized and trained to overcome this. They get along fine with children, are gentle, faithful and loving. They love exercise, and absolutely love to swim. Irish Water Spaniels are intense, intelligent and self-willed. They can be shy or snappy in new situations or around new people.


 Dense, tight ringlets on neck, body and top part of tail; longer, curling hair on legs and topknot; face, rear of tail, and back of legs below hocks smooth. Weekly grooming for Irish Water Spaniel with a steel comb is necessary to keep their curly coat mat free. However, it is not as much work as one might think. Pay special attention to behind the ears. Some stripping of unwanted hairs is necessary, as is trimming around the feet. 


 Hip and elbow dysplasia, and thyroid problems. Other health concerns include coat and skin problems, seizures, sensitivity to sulfa drugs, and food allergies. 


 Regular daily exercise is a necessity for Irish Water Spaniels and they should also be given the opportunity to swim as much as possible. Needs firm handling from an early age, as well as training and socialization for life. 


 At home the Irish Water Spaniel needs a fenced yard. They may not be an ideal first-time buyer\'s dog, as they need strong leadership early on. They are not very friendly with other dogs as well, making an experienced dog owner essential. The best owner for this breed would be a dog-experienced, active owner living in a rural or suburban home.