Irish Water Spaniel Dog Breed Information, Images, Characteristics, Health

Basic Information - Irish Water Spaniel for Sale

Gun dogs
Height Male:
51 - 59 cm20 - 24 inches
Height Female:
51 - 59 cm20 - 24 inches
Weight Male:
25 - 30 kg55 - 67 pounds
Weight Female:
25 - 30 kg55 - 67 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 12
Other Names:
Rat Tail, Southern Irish Water Spaniel
Colors Available:
Dark Brown, Liver
Longish hair - thick and very curly
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Moderate Maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:

History - Irish Water Spaniel for Sale

The Irish Water Spaniel is one of the larger spaniel types and also one of the oldest.

He is sometimes referred to as the Southern Irish Water Spaniel. Hailing from Ireland, the precise origins of the dog aren't altogether sure. It is believed that the dog came from other dogs from Persia and there are references to these water dogs from as early as 1600.

The modern breed was developed in Ireland in the 1830s. The breed's purpose is that of a hunter of waterfowl and he swims strongly.

The Irish Water Spaniel was recognized by the AKC in 1884. In 1890 the Irish Water Spaniel Club was formed.

Description - Irish Water Spaniel for Sale

A peculiar feature of this dog is its hairless tail which is partly covered in curls which the rest is all but hairless, giving him the nickname of Rat Tail or Whip Tail.

Looking much like a Poodle with his tight oily curls, the Irish Water Spaniel is a medium to large sized purebred dog, a robust, compact built dog with a skull which is shaped like a dome.

The muzzle is longish, the eyes dark brown and intelligent looking and the ears are long and floppy.

His hair is thick and curly and it sheds very little so that the dog is regarded as being hypoallergenic. The medium length coat is a dark brown, liver color with fairly tight curls that may even tend to cover the eyes.

It is interesting to note that he has webbed feet, which is useful for when the dog swims.He stands at roughly 51cm to 61cm and weighs between 25 to 30kg.


Temperament in any dog is affected by socialization and the way the human owner raises the dog. The Irish Water Spaniel is a water loving dog, being active and energetic.

He is an intelligent dog and easy to train and socialize. When trained he becomes such an obedient dog. He has also got a light-hearted side to him and is actually known to be quite amusing and clownish, providing plenty of laughs for you.

They make good family dogs, getting on well with children in the home as well as with other pets. They're also able to make good guard dogs, taking the protective roles seriously. He isn't an aggressive dog but he has a warning bark that can be a good warning to intruders.

Health Problems - Irish Water Spaniel for Sale

A generally healthy breed, the Irish Water Spaniel, just like with most other dogs, can fall prey to some of the more common dog ailments of which hip dysplasia is one.

Bone and joint problems like this can lead to lameness even in young dogs.

Eye diseases are also a problem, and cataracts can form in the eye, particularly when the dog is older and create a cloudy look to the eye. It's not painful for the dog.

Hypothyroidism, a treatable hormonal disorder is another disease worth being aware of.

Caring The Pet - Irish Water Spaniel for Sale


Your Irish Water Spaniel requires quite a bit of grooming that will involve his coat, his nails, his teeth and his ears. The double coat doesn't shed much so it can be easily maintained by brushing the coat twice a week.

It can help your water spaniel to look good by sending him in to a doggy grooming parlor to have his curls neatened. This is a dog that loves water and swimming, and you will need to check the inside of his ears for dampness, wax build-up and debris. This can all combine to cause nasty ear infections.


The dog is energetic and will need to be exercised. Take him for walks, play ball games with him and allow him to go on hikes with you or to go swimming. He loves being involved in all your activities as he is a social, active dog.


Highly energetic, it will be important to feed your Irish Water Spaniel with food that enhances his energy levels. There are some good quality commercially manufactured dog foods on the market. Choose one that caters for active, athletic dogs such as the Irish Water Spaniel.

Dry kibble is more recommended to prevent canine tooth decay. Mix in some home cooked foods from time to time such as cooked chicken, rice, pasta and vegetables and try to include some raw meat every now and then as well. Make sure he has constant access to fresh, cool water.

Characteristics - Irish Water Spaniel for Sale

Your active Irish Water Spaniel just loves water so you can count him in whenever you go swimming. That is one characteristic of the Irish Water Spaniel – he just loves to be involved in all the action you're busy with.

He makes an ideal family pet for an active family, and he will be a loyal and devoted pet who will provide a lot of fun to your family with his mischievous side.

He is confident, independent and strong willed so first time dog owners should bear this in mind. He is essentially just a fun loving, busy dog and if you make sure to exercise him well and make sure he is a participating member of your family, he'll be your most loving and devoted friend.

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