Irish Water Spaniel Dog Breed Description, History, Grooming, Health Issues and Living Conditions

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Description: The Irish Water Spaniel breed is the largest of the Spaniel breed. With the large head and a long square muzzle, that tapers off to a large nose that is liver in colour. They can have either a level bite or a scissor bite. With almond shaped brown eyes that are slightly small, in proportion. The Irish Water Spaniel ears are set low, are long and close to the head which is covered in a gorgeous loose curled fur. The chest is narrow, but deep. The Irish Water Spaniel has straight front legs, with the hindquarters, a little higher. This breed has webbed feet, which are a round shape and covered with hair. The Irish water Spaniel has a low-set tail. They are 20-23 inches in height, with a weight of 45-65 pounds. This breed has a unique coat that is made up of long loose curls on the body and shorter on the face and tail. This breed has a dense undercoat that insulates the dog in cold water. This breed also has a topknot of curls on the top of their head.

History: Justin McCarthy from Dublin in Ireland is the creator of the Irish water Spaniel. It is believed the gene pool of the Irish water Spaniel comes from; Poodle and Irish setter, or a Portuguese water dog, and poodle or curly coated retriever and poodle. As there is no record, to truly tell how the mix was created for this breed, it can be a combination of any of these dogs. Today the Irish water Spaniel resembles the brown standard poodle. This breed is versatile, being able to work both on land and water for the hunter. The Irish Water Spaniel dog has an exceptional ability to swim in the coldest waters that other dogs simply couldn't work. This breed is a soft mouthed dog. In the 1800s, the Irish water Spaniel was popular in America for duck hunting. This breed lost popularity. When the easy care Labrador Retriever became more popular. The Irish water spaniel was recognized by the AKC in 1884 and is considered a rare Breed of dog.

Temperament: The Irish Water Spaniel is highly spirited, with great intelligence and a good capacity for learning. This is a quiet dog, when given the right physical and mental exercise, and a consistent leadership. The Irish water Spaniel is good with other pets, if introduced properly. The breed should be socialised well as puppies to prevent excessive shyness around strangers. It is a good family dog, and does well with children. You must understand the leadership role, which is required for this breed. The dog will love to be working hard, either hunting or in the obedience ring. This breed is an excellent swimmer and has great stamina. This is not a dog for the meek or timid owner, as the dog will become stubborn, timid or overprotective, without the correct leadership.

Health issues: The Irish Water Spaniel breed can have hip dysplasia, eye entropion, ear infections and hypo-thyroid.

Grooming: An Irish Water Spaniels coat will need cutting regularly. This coat mats easily and will need brushing at least weekly.

Living conditions: An Irish Water Spaniel will need plenty exercise both mentally and physically. This dog does best in the countryside and requires at least an average to large sized garden. This dog is unsuitable for apartment living.

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