Facts about Irish Water Spaniel Puppies

Are you unsure how to care for Irish Water Spaniel puppies, or just want to learn more about this breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a dog and want to know if this is the right breed for you?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Irish Water Spaniel Information and History

This is an old breed. Dogs similar to the modern day breed existed more than 1300 years ago. The breed as we know it today was developed in Ireland by Justin McCarthy in 1830s.

A dog named Boatswain is considered as having been the first of the breed and lived to be almost 20.

It's not known from what breeds it was developed, but there are several theories. One of the breeds most commonly considered as its foundation is the Standard Poodle.

Because of its excellent retrieving skills, the Irish Water Spaniel was used as a hunting companion in England, Ireland, and the United States (it was first brought to U.S. in 1870s).

Today, the breed is considered rare.

Physical Characteristics of Irish Water Spaniel Puppies

This is a medium-size dog that looks very similar to the Standard Poodle.

It has a muscular, slightly rectangular body with a deep chest, and large webbed feet. It also has a strong head with a long muzzle, long drop ears, and dark hazel eyes.

The tail is smooth and looks like a rat tail (the breed is also known as the Rat Tail Spaniel).

The coat is soft and curly. It's shortest at the face, neck, and the tail. One of the breed's most distinguishing characteristics are a topknot of long, loose curls. The coat color is liver-brown.

    Height Weight
  Male 22 - 24 inches 55 - 65 pounds
  Female 21 - 23 inches 45 - 58 pounds


The Irish Water Spaniel is an active, alert, intelligent, and inquisitive breed. It's fun-loving and mischievous. It's considered a quiet breed and barks only when necessary.

These dogs are fast learners but may exhibit an independent and stubborn behavior.

Many are reserved with strangers and shy in new situations. They can greatly benefit from puppy socialization training.

They are eager to please, devoted to their families and, with proper training, get along well with other pets. When trained, they make good watchdogs.

The Irish Water Spaniel is an excellent swimmer and will love all activities involving water.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

These dogs will do best with an active owner living in the suburbs.

They are best suited for families with older and considerate children.

Some Irish Water Spaniel breeders will interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

The Irish Water Spaniel is an active breed and needs a lot of exercise.

It can work off the excess energy by running off leash in a safe area.

If your yard is not fenced, consider getting an electronic dog fencing. It will prevent your pet from escaping. There are a lot of good products that are cheap and easy to install.

These dogs will also enjoy going for long walks, jogging, and any game that involves retrieving. They are also excellent swimmers and can get plenty of exercise from this activity.

At a minimum, take your pet for one or two long walks every day.


First, the good news. These dogs don't shed much and are good for those suffering from allergies.

The bad news, this breed requires a lot of grooming and care.

Brush daily to prevent matting. As far as trimming the coat, regular professional trimming is a must.

Bathe only when necessary and use mild shampoos to protect skin and coat oils.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, the Irish Water Spaniel is susceptible to complications caused by parasites such as dog ticks, fleas, and puppy worms, including tapeworms, roundworms, and heartworms.

Additional health concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia, food allergies, hypothyroidism, and entropion. Visit dog health problems to learn more about these diseases.

To reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems, buy only from reputable Irish Water Spaniel breeders (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

No matter how small the risk of health problems is, any puppy may get sick or injured. Many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, but there are many others that will not, and you may handle them on your own.

To save time and money, learn how to diagnose and treat dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for a healthy Irish Water Spaniel puppy is between 10 and 12 years.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Irish Water Spaniel rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this dog behavior and obedience training guide.

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Irish Water Spaniel Puppies » Dog Breeds

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