Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish Water Spaniel is a breed of dog that originated in Ireland and is known for its unique appearance, friendly personality, and hunting skills. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Irish Water Spaniel from its physical appearance and temperament to grooming needs and training requirements.


The Irish Water Spaniel is a large breed with males standing at 22-24 inches tall while females stand at 21-23 inches. They weigh between 55-68 pounds which makes them larger than most spaniels. Their coat has tight curls which can range in color from liver to dark brown or puce with their distinctive topknots being a distinguishing characteristic of the breed. The breed’s eyes are a piercing hazel color which add an air of intensity to their gaze.


Irish Water Spaniels are known for their loyalty towards their owners making them excellent family pets but they do require consistent socialization as puppies so they can interact well with children. As a working dog, they have strong hunting instincts although modern-day IWS does not get used much anymore due to conservation efforts on birds though some hunters still work with these dogs or compete in field trials.. These dogs also possess high levels of intelligence making them ideal candidates for obedience training or trick learning exercises.

Health Problems

Overall, Irish Water Spaniels have few health problems compared to other breeds since it was never heavily bred like say Labs were/are – overbreeding has led ot several issues among those lines.. However like all breeds there still may be concerns when it comes down things like hip dysplasia and epilepsy something any breeder should test for before selling pups out.


Like any healthy dog they need daily exercise ranging from walks around your block multiple times throughout the day up until hiking mountains if you’re an active person living outdoorsy lifestyle! Like many sporting dogs,the activity level required depends on their age and energy level. When IWS puppies they require plenty of play time as they grow, but adult dogs need a bit more space to run around – so always have a long leash available if you don’t have access to a large outdoor space.

Special Grooming Needs

The curly coat of an Irish Water Spaniel requires regular maintenance – daily brushings are required in order to avoid matting or tangling since neglect can lead to painful skin irritations. Due to the unique curls of their coats, it’s important that Irish Water Spaniels are brushed with slicker brushes specifically made for this breed instead of using other type. Regular bathing will help control shedding and keep your pet clean after excursions outside.


Irish Water Spaniels love learning new skills and show tremendous interest while being trained – something breeders & trainers utilize heavily for hunting purposes! Basic obedience training is essential since these pups enjoy problem-solving exercises early in life so start as early as possible; Be sure also introduce them towards many different positive experiences throughout socialization periods from puppyhood up through adulthood.

Compatibility with Children/Pets

IWS get along well with children although constant supervision may be necessary if young ones aren’t taught how treat animals gently and appropriately though most kids over the age of five know how better than no.. Socializing an IWS properly means introductions should gradually happen over time rather than just plopping your pup into a room full strangers suddenly appear like enemies! Cats/other small pets who live indoors could potentially clash due prey drive levels should definitely be monitored until both parties get used coexisting within same environment..

Personality quirks

One thing that stands out about Irish Water Spaniels compared all spaniel breeds? They tend thrive off human interaction often attempting mimic owners behavior – which can sometimes hilarious resulting in some pretty goofy moments around the house!

Famous Examples

Whilst not quite having as many famous representatives the Irish Water Spaniel has appeared in some movies and TV shows over time including “Lassie” on television which we’ve already mentioned. An important figure associated with breed is “Terhune,” a famous canine writer from days gone by who owned several of these dogs.

In conclusion, The Irish Water Spaniel is an intelligent, energetic dog that loves their owner more than anything else in this world making them perfect companion animals for those willing to invest time & energy into raising well-rounded happy pets! With consistent training and socialization from puppyhood up through adulthood combined with proper nutrition can make owning one feel rewarding experiences unlike any other!

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