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.
General Appearance: Smart, Upstanding, Strongly built, Compact.
Type: Gundog, Vulnerable, Native breed
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