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Irish Water Spaniel

November 04, 2022 12 min read


The Irish Water Spaniel is a medium-sized dog that was developed in Ireland by breeders who wanted to create a hunting companion for duck hunters. Its long coat and webbed feet make it an ideal water dog, but these traits also give it some drawbacks. The Irish Water Spaniel is not hypoallergenic, which means those with allergies should avoid this breed..

Irish Water Spaniel Breed overview

The Irish Water Spaniel is a medium-sized dog with a long, straight coat. It has a thick, dense undercoat and an outer coat that's moderately long, though not too curly. The breed also features an abundant ruff around the neck and back of its legs. The head is wedge-shaped with pronounced cheekbones and large round eyes that are brown or hazel in color. The muzzle is short and square-shaped; it has loose skin that hangs from the face and forms wrinkles over the whiskers when you smile at your pet.

Irish Water Spaniels have short legs with webbed feet which allow them to swim better than most dogs can! Their tails are often docked to keep them out of the way when swimming but this practice isn't common anymore due to veterinary associations' ethical concerns about tail docking as well as animal welfare organizations' concerns about cruelty toward animals without adequate pain relief during surgery procedures like amputation (or tail docking).

Characteristics of the Irish Water Spaniel

  • The Irish Water Spaniel is a medium-sized dog with a strong, sturdy body.

  • The Irish Water Spaniel has a long, flat, curly coat that can be any color, including white and orange.

  • The Irish Water Spaniel has a thick, wavy coat that is usually black but may also be brown or gray in color.

  • The curly coat of the Irish Water Spaniel is long and wavy on the back of the legs and tail as well as on its head and face (especially around its eyes).

History of the Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish Water Spaniel is a medium-sized dog with a curly coat. It has a long head, with small, dark eyes and ears that hang close to the head. The tail is also curled over the back in an almost "O" shape. This breed was originally used for hunting and retrieving birds and small game, although it is now more likely to be found in homes as companion dogs or show dogs than out hunting in the field.


Irish Water Spaniels are a healthy breed. Their average lifespan is 12-15 years, but they can live up to 20 years. Life expectancy depends on age, diet and other factors.

Height and Weight of Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniels are among the medium-sized breeds. They stand between 15 to 20 inches in height and weigh between 30 to 40 pounds. Their sturdy body makes them an ideal companion for hunting, retrieving and swimming.

Irish Water Spaniels have a long history of breeding work as they were first used as water retrievers at home by fishermen and farmers who used them to retrieve fish from lakes, rivers and streams. They have waterproof coats that protect them while they swim through cold water after a hitched fish or other game.

Irish Water Spaniel Appearance and Color Variations

The Irish Water Spaniel is a medium-sized dog weighing anywhere between 15 to 25 pounds. They have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, but it’s not uncommon for them to live up to 15 years.

These dogs have a long, double coat with water-resistant hair that changes color seasonally and with the weather. Their coats come in shades of wheaten or liver, which are often interspersed with white markings on their faces, chests or legs.

Irish Water Spaniel Personality

You will quickly see that Irish Water Spaniels are loyal, affectionate, playful and gentle dogs. They are highly intelligent and easy to train making them great for first-time dog owners. Irish Water Spaniel dogs are friendly with children, other pets and strangers.

Irish Water Spaniels make good watchdogs as they bark when someone is at the door or when they hear something suspicious outside of your home.

Irish Water Spaniel Temperament

The Irish Water Spaniel is a playful, energetic and intelligent breed. This breed needs plenty of exercise, so it's best to have a yard for the dog to play in. The Irish Water Spaniel is good with children but may be too energetic for very young kids. This breed does not bark excessively, making it a good choice for apartment dwellers or people looking for a quiet companion.

The Irish Water Spaniel loves human attention and loves to be around its family members at all times. Although this breed isn't known for being aggressive toward other dogs or animals, it still has the potential to snap or bite if provoked or frightened—so make sure that you socialize your dog well before taking him on walks outside your home so he can learn how to interact with other pets and people in public places!

What’s the price of Irish Water Spaniel?

The average price of an Irish Water Spaniel is $1795. The average puppy price is $0 and the average adult price is $1150. The average female price is $1200, while the average male price is $1000.

Pros of Irish Water Spaniel

  • Irish Water Spaniels are great with children. They're known as a breed that is usually good around kids and will often ignore the little ones, even if they're not used to them. This can be helpful in homes with small children who are new to dogs or have not yet learned how to treat animals properly.

  • Irish Water Spaniels get along well with other pets. They don't tend to fight with other animals, even when there's no one around who can intervene if things get out of hand—which means it's also less likely for your dog to hurt itself in a scuffle!

  • Irish Water Spaniels are good watch dogs because of their loud barking and friendly demeanor towards strangers (as long as they don't feel threatened). If someone comes into your yard uninvited, this breed will let you know right away by letting out its signature bark so you'll know something isn't right around here!

If you live alone but want some company while at home then an Irish water spaniel might be perfect for apartment living since they don't require much space or maintenance like large breeds do!

Cons of Irish Water Spaniel

As a breed, Irish Water Spaniels are not for everyone. They can be high maintenance and require an owner willing to provide them with exercise, grooming and attention. If you have time to spend on your dog, an Irish Water Spaniel is a great option. If you're short on free time, however, it may be best to look elsewhere.

They are also not good guard dogs or watchdogs because they tend to get along well with strangers and other pets in the household. The only reason I would recommend keeping one as a guard dog would be if they were raised around children—in which case they will probably be protective of them from an early age because that's what puppies do!

Things to know if you own a Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniels are very active dogs, so if you're looking for a couch potato, this is not the breed for you. They need plenty of exercise and will happily work to please their people.

IWSs can be very good with children, but they may nip or bite if they're not socialized early in life.

They also tend to chase other animals when they're outdoors, so keep them on leash when going anywhere near another animal's territory (like your neighbor’s cat).

Irish Water Spaniels are known as excellent watchdogs because once they know something isn't right (barking), it won’t stop until someone comes over and investigates what happened!

Diet and nutrition of Irish Water Spaniel

Obesity is a common problem with Irish Water Spaniels, so they need a diet that is high in protein and low in fat. It's also important to watch their intake of food, as they are prone to obesity and may overeat if not monitored.

With hip dysplasia being one of the most common health problems for Irish Water Spaniels, it's important for owners to pay attention to nutrition if they want their pets to live longer lives. In fact, studies have shown that dogs that are fed higher levels of calcium and phosphorus have significantly reduced occurrences of hip dysplasia compared to other breeds.


Irish Water Spaniels are a low-maintenance dog breed. They are easy to groom and keep clean, shedding very little, and can be bathed as needed.

They should be brushed regularly to keep their coat healthy, but otherwise they do not require much in the way of care.


The Irish Water Spaniel needs a daily walk, or at least the opportunity to run around in a yard. He loves to play, but his energy level isn't always suited to long hikes with you. A good ball toss or fetch will keep him happy for hours.

Irish Water Spaniels are not terribly active indoors and can be just as happy sleeping on the couch as they would be running laps around your living room. If your dog is going to live inside full time, it's essential that he have access to an outdoor area where he can get some fresh air and exercise every day. These dogs are prone to weight gain if allowed free access to food and treats indoors; it's best if you give them plenty of opportunities for exercise outside so they burn off all those calories!


Training an Irish Water Spaniel is a rewarding task. As a result of their high intelligence, they are often easy to train but may also be stubborn at times. They enjoy having a purpose and being able to show off their skills.

It’s important that you begin training your dog early on in life so that he or she will grow up knowing what's expected of them in all situations. Positive reinforcement is best when training your dog as it encourages them to listen without fear or anxiety while building trust between the two of you. If your Irish Water Spaniel isn't listening, don't get frustrated; instead try changing up your approach or find another way for him/her to get what needs doing done! You can even try putting them through some fun games such as hide-and-seek with treats thrown around before hiding behind something long enough for him/her find where it landed ;)


Irish Water Spaniels need to be brushed regularly, and they need to be bathed regularly. They also benefit from grooming and trimming throughout the year.

The hair of this breed is not long or curly, but it tends to shed quite a bit. In order to keep your dog healthy, you should brush them every day so as not to let excess fur build up. You can choose an electric brush or a slicker brush for this purpose; however, if you have never done it before, ask someone who has experience with this type of grooming before attempting it yourself.

Where bathing is concerned: Irish water spaniels have double coats that protect them from cold weather and rainwater; however, this means that they do not feel comfortable in hot weather unless they are kept clean! Bathing them frequently ensures their comfort while also keeping their skin free from parasites such as fleas or ticks which could harm both parties involved if left untreated (itchy dogs will scratch themselves until they bleed).

How often should you bathe an Irish Water Spaniel?

  • You should bathe your Irish Water Spaniel once or twice a month, depending on the dog's lifestyle.

  • Use dog shampoo, not human shampoo.

  • Use a dog brush to brush out their fur before bathing them. This will help get rid of dirt and dead hair so it doesn't wash down the drain when you're rinsing off the soap later on.

  • Conditioner is optional, but it will make their coat super soft after they're done being washed! Just apply it after drying off with a towel (or blow dryer if you have one).

Are the Irish Water Spaniel dogs good for families?

The Irish Water Spaniel is an ideal choice for families. This dog breed does well with children, other pets and strangers. The Irish Water Spaniel can also get along with other dogs, as long as they're introduced properly.

Dose Irish Water Spaniel get along with other pets?

  • Irish Water Spaniels are social dogs, and they tend to get along well with other animals.

  • Irish Water Spaniels can get along with both cats and dogs, as well as each other.

  • They can also coexist peacefully with birds and other small pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs.

Do Irish Water Spaniel bark a lot?

Irish Water Spaniels are good watchdogs, as they bark a lot. They're not very quiet dogs, so if you live in an apartment or don't want to be constantly disturbed by your dog's barking, don't get an Irish Water Spaniel.

However, if you need a dog that will alert you to the presence of strangers or other potential threats and will act as a deterrent against them (which is what most guard dogs do), then this breed would be a good option for you.

Are Irish Water Spaniels aggressive?

Irish Water Spaniels are very friendly and affectionate dogs. They are good with children and other pets, but they can be aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex. This is not a guard dog or watchdog, so you don't need to worry about it becoming territorial or aggressive when strangers come around. However, if you have an Irish Water Spaniel that barks at every noise he hears outside of your home (such as neighbor kids playing), then this could be a problem for you since it might annoy people who live close enough to hear the barking.

Are Irish Water Spaniels high maintenance?

Irish Water Spaniels are not high maintenance dogs. This is because they have a very low grooming requirement and do not require much grooming to stay beautiful. They do not shed as much as other dogs, which means you will not find hair all over your home. While Irish Water Spaniels are known for being good swimmers, they are also great housemates that do not make a lot of noise when indoors.

Do Irish Water Spaniel shed?

Irish Water Spaniels shed year round. They are not hypoallergenic, meaning that they will shed hair even if they are bathed regularly. However, they do shed less than other breeds, meaning you will have less shedding in the house than with a Labrador or German Shepherd. Irish Water Spaniels shed much more than other dogs when they go through a moult (a period of heavy shedding), which occurs twice a year for most dogs and lasts 3-4 weeks each time.

How smart is a Irish Water Spaniel?

The Irish Water Spaniel is a very intelligent dog, but not as much as some other breeds. They can be trained to obey commands and do tricks, but they will require a lot of patience and time on your part.

They can learn most basic commands in about three weeks, but you should not expect them to do any tricks for you unless they have been trained specifically for this purpose (though some dogs may enjoy the activity).

Are Irish Water Spaniels good walking dogs?

Not all breeds make good walking dogs. If you're looking for a dog that will walk with you, a breed's personality and temperament are key factors to consider. The Irish Water Spaniel (or "IWS") is an excellent choice for someone who loves to exercise and enjoys their time outdoors. These dogs have very strong energy levels, though they also have a calm and gentle side when it comes to being indoors.

Can Irish Water Spaniel swim?

The Irish Water Spaniel is a water-loving breed, so yes, it can swim. It's important to note that this dog should not be left alone in the water or allowed to swim without supervision. The Irish Water Spaniel is a competent swimmer and will be able to float on its back for long periods of time. However, it's best for owners to make sure their dogs stay close enough to shore when swimming because they may have trouble getting out of deep water if necessary.

Irish Water Spaniels come from Ireland and were bred as gundogs in the marshlands there around 1850 by fishermen who used them as retrievers during duck hunting season. They would retrieve ducks that fell into the water and then bring them back up onto land where they could be retrieved by hunters waiting nearby with nets or bags ready! They're good swimmers because they need lots of practice at retrieving things out of water - whether it be ducks or sticks - which gives them plenty opportunity over time (and generations) at becoming strong swimmers indeed!

Do Irish Water Spaniel like to cuddle?

Irish Water Spaniels love to cuddle and will be happy to curl up next to you on the couch or bed. They need human companionship, so they don’t do well if left alone for long periods of time.

Are Irish Water Spaniels clingy?

Irish Water Spaniels are a social breed that love to be around their families. They can easily become a one-person dog, so they don't do well with people who work long hours or travel often.

Irish Water Spaniels are also very affectionate and will want to cuddle up on the couch with you. If you have children, this makes them an excellent family dog because they get along well with other animals and children alike.

Are Irish Water Spaniels good house dogs?

Irish Water Spaniels are generally good in the home, but they can be quite active and need to get out of the house for regular walks. They're also fairly social animals and enjoy interacting with children and other pets. However, Irish Water Spaniel puppies are notoriously high-energy and may require some training to help curb their energetic nature.

Despite their sweetness, Irish Water Spaniels do have a strong prey drive—a trait that's shared by most dogs bred for hunting—so it's best to keep them away from small animals such as rodents or rabbits while they're still young so they don't feel tempted to chase after them when they get older.

Are Irish Water Spaniels hypoallergenic?

Irish Water Spaniels are not hypoallergenic. They shed a lot and their fur can get everywhere, which is why they're not a good choice for anyone with allergies or asthma. Their shedding also means that people with a sensitive nose should stay away from them—they smell like wet dogs all the time!

If you're looking for an allergy-friendly dog breed, we recommend checking out our list of the top 5 hypoallergenic dog breeds here: https://www.petloversdaily.com/top-5-hypoallergenic-dog-breeds/.


If you're looking for a loyal, energetic, and playful companion dog, then the Irish Water Spaniel might be the perfect fit. These dogs are known for their love of water and swimming skills. They also make great guard dogs because of their protective nature and independence.

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