Irish Water Spaniel
This tallest of AKC spaniels, standing 21 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weighing 55 to 65 pounds, straddles the line between “medium” and “large” dogs on our scale of size. Among its distinguishing characteristics are a crisply curled, liver-colored, waterproof coat; a tapered “rat tail”; and a cleanly chiseled head crowned with a topknot of long, loose curls. The IWS moves with a smooth ground-covering gait, enabling him to put in a long day’s work in the field.
The Irish Water Spaniel is a dog of very ancient lineage, and there is evidence of Irish Water Spaniel-type remains going back as far as the 7th and 8th centuries AD. "Boatswain," the famous sire of many outstanding gun and show dogs, is often credited as having been the first of the breed as it is known today.
Irish Water Spaniels possess the traits of top-notch gundogs: brains, trainability, ruggedness, and an eagerness to please. They’re the clowns of the spaniel family and, as one expert puts it, “will do ordinary things in extraordinary ways to achieve that which is asked of it.” The breed is often described as bold and dashing, but they can be wary with strangers. Early training and socialization are necessary for an IWS expected to coexist with small children and other pets.
Coat & Grooming: Regular weekly grooming and the occasional bath will help keep them clean and looking their best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. Their strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.