Irish Water Spaniel Dog Breed Information
Irish Water Spaniel Coat
The most distinguishing characteristic of the Irish Water Spaniel is the coat. The majority of the body is covered with tight ringlets of hair. The tail, face, and ends of the rear legs have smooth short hair. The coat is crisp in texture and solid brown in colour. The curly outer coat is lined with a dense under coat that serves as insulation from frigid water. To cover and protect the eyes a top-knot of curls hangs down from the head. This breed sheds little to no hair.
Irish Water Spaniel Character
A breed of ancient lineage, the Irish Water Spaniel is an active, energetic, and willing companion. They are strongly built and have rugged endurance. A true sporting dog, they are bold, alert, and inquisitive. Irish Water Spaniels are often referred to as the clown of the Spaniel family.
Irish Water Spaniel Temperament
Irish Water Spaniels are highly intelligent, confident, and devoted. They demand attention and are a "whole family" dog. This is a breed that truly enjoys human contact. They are best suited for families with older considerate children. If properly introduced, they will get along well with other pets. They are generally quiet and bark only when necessary. The Irish Water Spaniel is protective, reserved, and wary with strangers. However, they are not aggressive. This breed displays a joyous exuberance and zest for life.
Irish Water Spaniel Care
This breed is high maintenance and requires extensive grooming. To prevent matting they must be brushed daily. Regular professional trimming of the coat is an absolute must. Bathing should only be done when necessary using a mild shampoo to protect the natural oil of the coat. The Irish Water Spaniel is prone to elbow and hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and eye problems. This breed may slobber and drool.
Irish Water Spaniel Activity
The Irish Water Spaniel requires an inordinate amount of daily exercise. They enjoy swimming, retrieving, family activities, hunting, and a long walk. This breed is not recommended for apartment dwelling. Their love of the outdoors makes them better suited for the country or suburbs. They do best with a large yard.
Irish Water Spaniel Health and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Irish Water Spaniel is around 10-12 years, and although a relatively healthy breed in general there are a few health problems to look out for. This includes allergies, skin conditions, thyroid problems, autoimmune disorders, HD, and epilepsy. You should ask about vWD when considering an Irish Water Spaniel, and you should also ensure that the parents of the Irish Water Spaniel puppy have OFA and CERF certificates.