Irish Water Spaniel Breed Summary
Energetic, Intelligent, Adoring, Devoted and Happy
These dogs are a fairly ancient breed and are also one of the tallest Spaniels of all! It's thought that they were originally bred to retrieve waterfowl as well as other game in challenging marsh-land terrains. They have a lovely dark liver coat, made up of tight ringlets which cover the entire body!
Additionally, they have lovely personalities, being kind and affectionate in nature! They also have a great sense of humour and are a comical joy to be around. On top of this, they are very adaptable, happy just as much chilling out at home as they are in the field!
Fun Fact: Often these dogs are used as detectors for the police due to their fantastic scenting abilities!
|Kennel Club Group||Gundog|
|Lifespan||9 - 15 Years|
|Height (at the withers)||Males 53cm - 58cm, Females 51cm - 56cm|
|Weight||Males 25kg - 30kg, Females 20kg - 26kg|
|Coat||Coats consist of a Mass of Tight and Dense Ringlets that Coves Most of their Bodies. Coats are also Oily to the Touch.|
|Colour||Liver, Liver Puce|
|Eye colour||Medium Brown or Dark Brown|
|Common health issues||Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Eye Scheme, Cancer, Thrombocytopaenia, Addison’s Disease, Cushing’s Disease, Diabetes Mellitus|
|Other Names||IWS, Whiptail, Shannon Spaniel, Rat Tail Spaniel, Bog Dog|
Irish Water Spaniels absolutely love 'hoomans'. In fact, their one great desire in life is to please their owners! They form very strong bonds with their families and for this reason don't enjoy being left on their own for too long. If this happens, it can result in them developing separation anxiety which can lead to destructive behaviour. For this reason, they need someone to be around most of the day to give them all the love and attention that they deserve. Additionally, they are very active and would best suit a family who already lead an active lifestyle that they can easily slot into. They will need lots of training and mental stimulation but for a family that has had experience with similar breeds, they will make a fantastic pet with the potential to provide you with years of joy!
These cute dogs have a very ancient history behind their tails and are thought to date back to 4,000 BC, in Persia, where they were originally known as 'Water Dogs'. However, the first reference to the 'Irish Water Spaniel' was in Ireland during the mid-1800s. But some believe that the breed came from abroad, potentially France, Italy or Spain, via fishermen who bought their dogs with them to Ireland! In fact, the ancestry of the breed can be traced back to just one dog called Boatswain, owned by Justin McCarthy in the 1800s. They became particularly popular in the early 1860s after an exhibition in Birmingham and soon became highly prized dogs across most of England and Ireland. This is because they are extremely good hunting dogs. Even today, the breed remains a popular choice as family pets, additionally as therapy and detector dogs as well!