AKC Group: Sporting
Originating in Ireland, the Irish Water Spaniel is thought to be a descendant of the Poodle and Irish Setter or other Irish Spaniel breeds. Mainly used for hunting birds, the Irish Water Spaniel was a popular hunting dog until the Golden Retriever came into favor.
Size: 21 to 24 inches tall; 45 to 65 pounds
Color: Solid liver
Life span: 10 to 12 years
Health problems: Allergies, skin conditions, thyroid problems, autoimmune disorders, hip dysplasia and epilepsy.
Irish Water Spaniels are fun-loving, clownish dogs. Bold, highly intelligent, they are quick to learn. On the downside, they can be obstinate and sensitive. Personalities can vary widely from each individual, but, for the most part, Irish Water Spaniels are eager to please, love to play and love to be on the go. Their energy levels tend to decrease as they age. They tend to lean towards protectiveness. They adore water. They get along well with children, especially those they grow up with. With your guests, expect him to be wary. They can be aggressive towards other dogs, so early socialization is crucial. To train him, you’ll need to be firm especially when you get to obedience matters. Professional training in which you’re involved can make everyone’s life easier.
Irish Water Spaniels are a large breed that have a cuddly appearance thanks in part to their dense, poodle-like coat. The coat consists of tight curls over some body parts and looser curls over others. They have a curly topknot and long ears that frame their faces. Take a good look at their feet; yes, they are webbed. (They aren’t excellent water retrievers for nothing!) Grooming will require work to keep his coat in good condition. He needs to be brushed several times a week and clipping often. You’ll need to trim his bottom hair and ensure his ears are clean and dry.