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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Irish Water Spaniel

Group: Gundogs (Group 3)
Club: Victorian Gundog Club Inc (Group 3)
Contact: Ms Leanne Tormey
Phone: 0421 358 301

About the Irish Water Spaniel


Background The Irish Water Spaniel is acknowledged to be a very old breed, but as is the case with so many Irish dogs and horses, it is impossible to separate fact from folklore, and the exact date of origin cannot be established. It is believed to be a descendant of the old Portuguese Water Dogs and Spaniel root stock that came to Ireland from the Iberian Peninsula.  The lineage can be traced back to the period, centuries ago, when the large and important Spaniel group was divided into the Land Spaniels and the Water Spaniels. The Water Spaniels included both the Irish and English varieties of water dogs. The Irish Water Spaniel was developed in Ireland from two different strains that were in existence prior to the 1850s - the Southern County Water Spaniel and the Northern County Water Spaniel. Both were distinct types in size and colour, however today’s Irish Water Spaniel more closely follows the Southern type.  By 1889 dog shows were providing a special class for Irish Water Spaniels. They were quickly adopted by both Irish and English sportsmen thanks to their boldness and daring retrieves, extreme hardiness in the cold North Sea waters and superior disposition. The earliest record of Irish Water Spaniels in Australia is 1891, although their breeding and where they came from is unknown. In the early sixties two dogs and two bitches were imported from New Zealand, and by the early 70s registrations stood at 25.

Average Lifespan When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. Irish Water Spaniels live from between 10 to 12 years of age.

Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament Beneath its livery of brown curly ringlets, with topknot of twisted curls hanging down over its eyes, you will find a true Irishman - full of life, with a comical nature and great intelligence. The Irish Water Spaniel enjoys human companionship and will want to become a member of the family. It is deeply affectionate to those it knows but can be reserved with strangers.

Compatibility with other pets Needs to grow up with the animals it might live with.

Care Requirements The coat with its crisp curls does not present the problem that might be expected; however, it should be thoroughly combed with a wide toothed comb at least once a week. Eyes, ears and toenails should be checked regularly. A good swim or spray down will bring back those lovely curls. Irish Water Spaniels do not shed loose hair and can therefore be recommended for people who may suffer from allergies associated with dog hair.  Irish Water Spaniels are very amenable to obedience training and have acquitted themselves extremely well in obedience, agility and retrieving trials throughout Australia.

Please Take Note Although this breed is easy to train and very quick to learn, it can become easily bored so avoid overtraining.

Ideal Owner/s Families and individuals - especially those wanting a dog that is a little bit different.

In Conclusion Now you know a little about the Irish Water Spaniel and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.

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