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About the Breed

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 gundog and it 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 also been used as drug and explosives detector dogs; they have competed in agility, flyball, working trials and obedience and worked as PAT and therapy dogs.

IWS 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 stubborn.

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 an energetic breed, who make good family and house dogs.

Irish Water Spaniel Dog 1933
Irish Water Spaniel Breed Standard

General Appearance:   Smart, Upstanding, Strongly built, Compact.

Type:  Gundog, Vulnerable, Native breed

Size:  Large

Coat Length:  Medium

Grooming:  More than once a week

Home Type:  Large

Garden Size:  Large

Lifespan:  10-12 years

Temperament:  Head strong but loving to the right owner

Medical Issues:  Hip dysplasia

The IWS is  generally a healthy breed, however there are issues that affect dogs including IWS and these issues should be considered before breeding or buying a puppy.

Irish Water Spaniel Breed Health Water Jumping
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