Irish Water Spaniel

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    http://dlocksiws.wordpress.comD'Locks Irish Water Spaniels

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The Full Irish Water Spaniel Description

The Irish Water Spaniel loves people and becomes deeply attached to his family. He is cautious around strangers. Because of his size and devotion to the family, he makes an impressive watchdog.

Did you know?

Irish Water Spaniels in the late 1100s were known as Shannon Spaniels, Rat-Tail Spaniels or Whip-Tail Spaniels.
The Irish Water Spaniel is often called the clown of the spaniel family, possibly due to the peak of curly hair between the eyes.

So you want to own an Irish Water Spaniel?

Irish Spaniels coats are naturally water-shedding.
The Irish Water Spaniel can't always control his exuberance and zest for life.
The Irish Water Spaniel is happy in the country or the city and is always ready to play.
The Irish Water Spaniel is a breed that generally does well with people with allergies.

Indicative Breed Standard


General Appearance

Smart, upstanding, strongly built,  compact.


Enduring, versatile gundog for all types of shooting, particularly in wild fowling.


Initially aloof, staunch and affectionate; with an endearing sense of humour and a stable disposition.

Head and Skull

Head of good size. Skull high in dome; of good length and width allowing adequate brain capacity. Muzzle long, strong, somewhat square with gradual stop. Face smooth, nose large and well developed, dark liver colour, overall an impression of fineness.


Comparatively small, almond-shaped, medium to dark brown, intelligent and alert.


Long, oval-shaped; set low, hanging close to cheeks.


Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Strongly set into shoulders, powerful, arching and long enough to carry the head well above level of back.


Shoulders powerful and sloping; chest deep, reasonable width and curvature between forelegs. Forelegs well boned and straight.


Ribs carried well back, so well sprung behind shoulder as to give a barrel-shape. Back short, broad, and level, strongly coupled to hindquarters. Loins deep and wide.


Powerful; well angulated stifle and low set hock.


Large round and spreading, well covered with hair over and between toes.


Short, not reaching to hock joint, straight, thick at root and tapering to a fine point. Low set, straight and below level of back. 7.5-10 cms (3-4 ins) of tail root covered by close curls which stop abruptly. The remainder bare or covered by short straight, fine hairs.


Moves freely and soundly, with reach and drive; characteristic rolling motion accentuated by barrel-shaped rib cage.


On body, dense, tight, crisp ringlets, free from woolliness. Hair having natural oiliness. Forelegs covered down to feet with curls or ringlets. Abundant all round, though shorter in front. Below hocks, hindlegs should be smooth in front and with curls or ringlets behind down to feet. On skull covering of long curls forming a pronounced ‘top-knot’, growing in a well defined peak to a point between the eyes. Ears covered with long twisted curls. Neck covered with curls similar to those on body. Throat smooth, the smooth hair forming a V-shaped patch from back of lower jaw to breast bone.


Rich, dark liver with purplish tint or bloom peculiar to the breed and sometimes referred to as puce-liver.


Height: dogs: 53-58 cms (21-23 ins); bitches: 51-56 cms (20-22 ins).

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