Dog Health & More
Whether he's splashing after ducks or showing off in the agility ring, canines in the Irish Water Spaniel dog breed do everything with a sense of fun. Created in Ireland as a water retriever, he's rare these days, but makes an excellent companion for active and experienced dog owners — especially if they live near a body of water.
Additional articles you will be interested in:
The Irish Water Spaniel is often mistaken for a large brown poodle because of his distinctive top knot and the curly hair that covers his body. While back in the deeps of time a Poodle ancestor may be lurking in his family tree, the Irish Water Spaniel is most definitely not a Poodle. Rather, he might be described as what the standard Poodle once was: a versatile hunting, pointing, and retrieving dog. Not surprisingly, given his name, the Irish Water Spaniel is known for his strong swimming skills and excels at retrieving waterfowl as well as upland game such as quail, pheasant, and grouse.
Not content with his striking looks and hunting talents, he's an entertainer as well. The IWS is known for his clownish behavior. He often makes a game out of a simple task and always seems to be having a wonderful time.
Irish Water Spaniels are highly intelligent, active, willing and energetic. The centuries of breeding that have contributed to their retrieving skills have also instilled in them a desire to please. This makes an Irish Water Spaniel relatively easy to train. That said, he has a mischievous streak that can cause him to be a challenge at times to deal with. The breed can do well in obedience work, but that mischievous, fun-loving personality may surface unexpectedly during competition and wreak havoc with your goals for that day.
The Irish Water Spaniel is a relatively quiet dog for the most part. He seems to reserve his barking for times when it's necessary to warn his family. His alert and inquisitive temperament makes him an excellent watchdog. While he's usually devoted to the entire family, he may choose a particular person as his favorite.
The Irish Water Spaniel's dense coat does require some commitment to grooming on a regular basis. It must be brushed two to three times a week to prevent mats from forming. The natural oils in his water-repellent coat attract dirt and debris and hold it in the coat. Brushing helps to distribute the oil through the coat and removes any debris.
An interesting characteristic is their webbed feet, which come in handy when they're swimming. Irish Water Spaniels love to swim and will plunge into any nearby body of water if given half a chance. And they may not be ready to leave the water when you're ready for them to. If you can provide this breed with opportunities to swim, do so! It's great exercise for this high-energy dog.
The Irish Water Spaniel can be the perfect companion for an active family with the time to socialize, train, and exercise him. He'll be a devoted, loving member of the family and will entertain all with his clownish and mischievous attitude toward life. Your Irish Water Spaniel can be a hunting companion, conformation, obedience, agility, or rally competitor or just a friend and loving companion for everyone in the family.