Irish Water Spaniel Dog Breed

Irish Water Spaniel Dog Breed - 2
  • Origin: Ireland
  • Group: Sporting
  • Weight: Male: 25-30 kg Females: 20-26 kg
  • Height: Male: 55-61 cm Females: 53-58 cm
  • Colors: brown, liver color
  • Training: Relatively easy
  • Care: periodic brushing is recommended
  • Temperament: Alert, fast, funny, active, intelligent
  • Health: Attention to hereditary diseases
  • Puppies: 4 to 12
  • Average age: 10 to 12 years


This breed descends from the ancient Spanish South Country breeds and was developed in the middle of the nineteenth century. The Irish Water Spaniel was recognized by the Kennel Club in 1862. It is also known as the Spaniel with rat tail.

Irish Water Spaniel’s Food

The daily recommended diet for this dog is at least two average meals containing all nutritional foods, including proteins that can be assimilated from meat.

The amount of food depends on the dog’s age and activity, so if you fail to establish a diet yourself it is best to consult a veterinarian.

Food and activity should be kept under observation periodically because the animal can gain weight quite easily. He will consume more than is the case if he is provided with food as he says “to be, not to be a Flemish puppy.”

How much he likes food and how well he does it he sees in his work. If he is happy and full of energy, it means he gets them. This is one of the many signs that can be seen. The other is fur, its quality and its shine.

Irish Water Spaniel’s Aspect

He is a medium-sized, robust dog, the tallest Spaniard. It has a proportional head, a long, strong nose, a large and wide nose. The eyes are quite small, dark-brown.

The ears are very long, lobed (leafed), trapped down, left by the head and covered with long and curly hair. The tail, the characteristic of the breed, resembles that of a rat, is short, right, tapered, worn below the back line and covered with fur, only 8-10 cm from the base, and the rest is hairless or short.

This dog’s fur is similar to that of a sheep, has loose curls, and can be soft or sore. The hair is short and straight on the face, neck and a part of the tail, to the top.

The height is 52-60cm and the weight is between 20-30kg.

Irish Water Spaniel’s Behavior

He is an intelligent, active, bold, energetic, lively, cheerful, quite quiet and sometimes stubborn dog.

He is devoted to the master, accepts the children but is shy, reserved for strangers or new situations.

They must socialize little to understand other dogs or other animals in the household.

Irish Water Spaniel’s Training

It is good to have this dog trained early and by an experienced, authoritative person.

Training must be firm, consistent, balanced, varied, determined to achieve the desired results.

Irish Water Spaniel’s Features

Irish Water Spaniel can be stubborn and independent. It requires proper socialization to prevent the development of extreme behaviors (either very timid or very aggressive). Some specimens may be aggressive with other dogs.

This dog’s coat should not be brushed too often to make it fluffy. If this happens, it has to be washed or taken to swim to redo the loops.

If necessary, the fur will be cut by a specialist. These dogs do not lose their hair. He is not prone to hereditary affections.

It is used to hunt large wild birds and as a pet.

Irish Water Spaniel’s Diseases

Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the coxfemoral joint that results in pain and consecutive arthritis.

Epilepsy is a nervous system disorder that develops between the ages of 2-5 years.

Megaesophagus is a condition characterized by a decrease to disappearance of muscular contractions at the esophageal level. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not work properly.

In the absence of a sufficient amount of thyroid hormone, the illness can occur. Entropion is an eyelid affliction involving the twisting of the free edge of the eyelids.

Genes at the free edge of the eyelids irritate the surface of the eyeball, leading to more serious problems. Irish water spaniel is also prone to skin allergies and ear infections.

The average life span of the Irish water spaniel is 10-12 years.

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