Irish Water Spaniel


A medium to large, highly active breed that is still a working dog. They are intelligent, quick to learn, alert, and inquisitive. They have endurance and a bold temperament. They love people, especially their family. Loves swimming, water and mud.

Minimum Exercise:

Exercise/Activity Level: High. 2 hours a day or more. Will become naughty and destructive otherwise. A high energy breed that requires much physical and mental stimulation.

Size: 20-24 inches

Weight: 44-66lbs

Colour: Liver (reddish or purplish dark chocolate brown)

Town or Country: Country breed with high exercise needs.

Low Allergy: Yes

Best Suited for: Country dwelling, highly active families or people with lots of space and energy, living close to water, who aren’t especially houseproud and relish the idea of doing field activities. Maybe suitable for strong-minded first time owners.

Group: Gundog

Originally From: Ireland

Original Purpose: Working. To hunt, flush and retrieve snipe and wildfowl. Today used for all types of game shooting activities, agility, obedience, drug sniffing.

Living Space: High, indoors and out. Large fenced garden is a must.

Coat: Short, thick, curly and oily

Grooming: High. Need regular grooming to prevent mats forming. Must be checked regularly for ticks and fleas. Require washing every few months to keep the coat odour free. After a thorough combing, they should either be washed or allowed to swim which puts the curl back into their coats. The coat will need to be trimmed from time to time. The hair must be trimmed around the ears and between the toe pads.

Children: High. Size and love of rough and tumble means they are best with older children.

Sociability with strangers: Medium to high. Can bark to warn of strangers.

Sociability with animals or other dogs: High. Usually fine, especially if socialised well at an early age.

Trainability: High. Loves to learn and training should be fun to keep them entertained. Active agility and field sports training is recommended.

Noise Level: Medium. Does bark to warn the family of dangers.

Known Health Issues: Skin and coat problems, hip dysplasia, auto immune disease and various cancers, especially lymphosarcoma.

Lifespan: 1-14 years

Special Needs: This dog is slow to mature. Expect to have a very large ‘puppy’ for at least 2 years. Bonds intensely and can suffer separation anxiety

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