Dog Breed

Irish Water Spaniel

NannyAdventure DrivenRareHypoallergenic
Primary image of Irish Water Spaniel dog breed
Full Name
Irish Water Spaniel
Your PupScore
Take the best dog breed quiz to get your Pup Scores!
Life Span
12 - 15 years
Weight
45 - 68 pounds
Description

The Irish Water Spaniel is a true working family dog. It has the fun personality of a spaniel and will play with children all day long. It is affectionate with family and likes to snuggle. On the other hand, they have their working nature, and will retrieve, swim in cold water, and can still be used as hunting dogs today. They can be reserved with strangers and other dogs, so early socialization is necessary. Combine socialization with a good amount of daily exercise, and the Irish Water Spaniel can make an excellent family dog.

Origin
Ireland
Bred For
Water retrieving
Attachments
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Irish Water Spaniel good with children?

    Yes, the Irish Water Spaniel is very friendly with children. We still recommend introductions to children while they are young so they get used to them, but the Irish Water Spaniel naturally loves children.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Irish Water Spaniel friendly with strangers?

    The Irish Water Spaniel is not automatically friendly with strangers and we would not recommend for a living situation with frequent guests.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Irish Water Spaniel friendly with other dogs?

    The Irish Water Spaniel is about average in how friendly they are with other dogs. They can be timid or defensive, but with proper training and socialization can be fine for dog parks and living with other dogs at home.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Irish Water Spaniel like to cuddle?

    The Irish Water Spaniel appreciates affection and that includes kisses and snuggles!
    Playfulness

    Does the Irish Water Spaniel like to play?

    The Irish Water Spaniel will almost always be ready for play! The Irish Water Spaniel is great for a family with children, or otherwise, an environment that is always ready for play.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Irish Water Spaniel make a good service dog?

    The Irish Water Spaniel would not be a great fit as a service dog for several reasons.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Irish Water Spaniel good for first-time owners?

    The Irish Water Spaniel is not the easiest breed for first-time owners, but can certainly still work out if the owner is willing to put the time into training and exercise.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Irish Water Spaniel be trained?

    The Irish Water Spaniel is about average when it comes to training potential. The Irish Water Spaniel can be seen in competitions and can have advanced training, but it would require much dedication and oftentimes professional training.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Irish Water Spaniel shed a lot?

    No! The Irish Water Spaniel does not shed very much, and can be an excellent fit for someone who suffers from dog allergies.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Irish Water Spaniel easy to groom?

    The Irish Water Spaniel requires a good amount of grooming work. It is possible to do it yourself, but you need to plan on dedicating weekly grooming sessions at the minimum.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Irish Water Spaniel need a lot of exercise?

    The Irish Water Spaniel has a lot of energy and getting daily exercise is very important, both for their well-being and for their focus, which is important when you train them.
    Personality
    Intelligence

    How smart is the Irish Water Spaniel?

    The Irish Water Spaniel has average intelligence. They are smart and witty, but do not need to be constantly challenged mentally, as some other breeds.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Irish Water Spaniel bark? Does the Irish Water Spaniel bark too much?

    The Irish Water Spaniel occasionally barks, but only for specific reasons such as when they need something, for protection, etc.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Irish Water Spaniel a good guard dog?

    The Irish Water Spaniel is not typically used as a guard dog, although they can be alert and oftentimes notify you if there is a stranger at the door or otherwise something to be concerned over.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Irish Water Spaniel good at staying alone? Is the Irish Water Spaniel independent?

    The Irish Water Spaniel does not enjoy being left alone for extended periods. They can do well for a couple of hours alone, but may have anxiety for time beyond that.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Irish Water Spaniel a good apartment dog?

    The Irish Water Spaniel is not a good dog for apartment living for several reasons. It is still possible to make it work if the owner is dedicated to plenty of training and daily exercise, but it may be challenging.
    Size

    How big is the Irish Water Spaniel?

    The Irish Water Spaniel is a medium sized dog breed. They can range in size depending on genetics, and males are larger on average than females.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Irish Water Spaniel tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Irish Water Spaniel?

    The Irish Water Spaniel can tolerate some heat, but should not be over-exposed to hot weather. In general, they can live in hot weather climates, but would do best with air conditioning or at least a fan in their home, especially where they sleep.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Irish Water Spaniel tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Irish Water Spaniel?

    The Irish Water Spaniel can tolerate cold weather well. Play time in the snow or on particularly cold evenings may need to be limited, but overall they can do well in cold climates.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Irish Water Spaniel try to run away?

    It is natural for the Irish Water Spaniel to run away. They are easily distracted and excited, so the urge to run away should be expected and prepared for- a fenced yard is important.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Irish Water Spaniel a healthy dog? The health of a Irish Water Spaniel should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Irish Water Spaniel is very healthy, but it is still important to feed the Irish Water Spaniel high-quality food and to live a healthy lifestyle.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Irish Water Spaniel?

    The Irish Water Spaniel has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the Irish Water Spaniel into your home. Can you give your Irish Water Spaniel enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Irish Water Spaniel drool?

    The Irish Water Spaniel drools very little, typically to where it's never a concern.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Irish Water Spaniel have a large prey drive? Does the Irish Water Spaniel like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Irish Water Spaniel has average prey drive. They will probably enjoy chasing after birds and other small animals at the park, and it may be an issue at the home if you have small animals, but with some training and introduction can usually learn to live with them.
    Athleticism

    Is the Irish Water Spaniel atheltic?

    The Irish Water Spaniel is athletic and has average levels of endurance. They need a lot of exercise, and can be an exercise partner as long as it's nothing too extreme.
  1. Sporting
  2. Spaniel
  3. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel is a purebred dog that belongs to the Spaniel sub group, which falls under the larger Sporting dog breed group.
Sporting group: Sporting dogs are the natural athletes of the dog world. They have high energy, and always look to be stimulated with some activity or challenge. These dogs thrive in the outdoors- particularly the woods and the water. Sporting dogs include the best swimming dogs, retrieving dogs, and other field activities. They have traditionally been bred to assist hunters find and retrieve birds and other smaller hunting game. Sporting dogs are not known as guard dogs, but because of their alertness and loyalty to their family, with proper training they can be good home protectors as well. Over the years they have become extremely well-rounded, so with plenty of exercise can make excellent home companions. They are willing to please their owners, so if you put the time into training and exercise you will be rewarded with an amazing dog.
Spaniel sub-group: One of the sub-groups with the greatest amount of dog breeds is the Spaniel, there are 15 spaniel breeds recognized by the AKC! Spaniels are "flushing" dogs that not only can retrieve game, but can swim, dig, and find the game in all types of habitat. The breeds of spaniel have been bred more specifically for one type of hunting vs. another, but over the years they have also become excellent home companions. Spaniels all have a distinct "spaniel" look with floppy ears and beautiful curly hair, but each has its own variety both in size and color. Spaniels always seem to be happy and can brighten every day. They are an excellent choice for a first time dog owner.

Irish Water Spaniels for sale or adoption

Similar Breeds