Whilst the exact origins of the breed remain obscure,
the earliest reference to the type of Irish Water Spaniel we know today
was in the 1830’s. Originally bred as a wildfowling dog to work on the
marshes, bogs and rivers of its’ native Ireland it is a versatile
Originally bred as a wildfowling dog, working on the
marshes, bogs and estuaries of its native Ireland, the Irish Water
Spaniel can be adapted for many forms of work. They are responsive,
equipped with an excellent nose, eyesight and hearing.
Irish Water Spaniels have natural instincts that make
them suitable for all types of shooting; they have been used as drug
and explosives detector dogs; they have competed in agility, working
trials and obedience and worked as PAT and therapy dogs.
Irish Water Spaniels are slower to mature than some
other breeds, they can be headstrong and wilful, needing a firm but
fair and patient owner who will need to gain the dog's respect before
it will give of its best. If over trained they become easily bored and
At home the Irish Water Spaniel is known for its
endearing nature and companionable qualities. It is endlessly
resourceful in its ability to play and amuse itself and others.
They are good family and housedogs.