Irish Water Spaniel: Dog Breed Description

The Irish Water Spaniel is considered a fairly rare breed and the tallest of the entire spaniel family. This breed of dog was bred in Ireland in the middle of the 19th century to search for game not only in the water, but also in the field. This breed was extremely popular in the second half of the 19th century, but then it was gradually replaced by the Labrador. As a result, the Irish Water Spaniel has become an extremely rare dog that is very difficult to acquire.


An ancient and energetic breed, the Irish Water Spaniel is an active hunter and reliable companion. He has a strong physique and is full of violent vitality. True hunting dogs, they are brave, alert, and inquisitive. Irish Water Spaniels often have a peculiar sense of humor and are the undisputed clowns in the spaniel family.


Irish Water Spaniels have a high level of intelligence, they are completely confident and loyal to their owner. They require constant attention and are a good family dog. This is a breed that really enjoys being with humans. The Irish Water Spaniel is best suited for families with older children. Provided proper socialization and acquaintance, he quickly finds a common language with other pets. In general, this is a fairly quiet dog that will bark only in those cases when it is really necessary. The Irish Water Spaniel is always ready for protection, he is wary and distrustful of strangers. As a rule, it does not show aggression. Dogs of this breed are cheerful and show an active interest in the surrounding reality.

Wool and care

A distinctive feature of the Irish Water Spaniel is its coat. The entire body of the dog is covered with steep, small curls, and the tail, muzzle and lower part of the hind legs are smooth and short hair. Usually the dog’s coat is slightly crispy to the touch, brown in color. The outer, curly coat is the same length with a dense undercoat that provides excellent insulation from cold water. To protect the eyes of the dog, a kind of forelock is used, which descends from the head. Molting is practically absent. Dogs of this breed require rather difficult care. In addition to daily thorough brushing to prevent tangling, regular professional trimming is an absolute must. In order not to damage the natural protective properties of the coat, bathe your dog only if absolutely necessary and using a mild shampoo. Dysplasias of the hip and elbow joints, hypothyroidism, and eye problems are typical for this breed. The Irish Water Spaniel may occasionally slobber.


With a passionate desire for praise, the Irish Water Spaniel proves to be a very capable learner. However, even he can show independence and stubbornness from time to time, therefore it is recommended to conduct early socialization of the dog and take a course of general obedience. Solid, fair and consistent training methods work best with this breed. However, it should be borne in mind that the monotonous repetition very quickly bothers the dog, so the lessons should be structured in the form of short and varied lessons. It is important that a dog of this breed is very clearly aware of the degree of leadership among family members, otherwise, it may refuse to obey commands.


The Irish Water Spaniel requires a significant amount of daily physical activity. He loves to swim, take part in all active family activities, hunt and walk for a long time. Therefore, a dog of this breed is not recommended for keeping in a city apartment. Since these spaniels are very fond of being outside the home, they are more suitable for suburbs or housing in the countryside. It is best if the Irish Water Spaniel has a large fenced yard at its disposal.

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