Irish Water Spaniel Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Irish Water Spaniel so you can get to know the breed more.

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Irish Water Spaniel dog profile picture
OriginIreland flagIreland
Other Names
What other names does the Irish Water Spaniel have?
Bog DogRat Tail SpanielShannon SpanielWhiptail
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
Purebred

Irish Water Spaniel Price and Availability

Price
How much does the Irish Water Spaniel puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of an Irish Water Spaniel in the United States? How much money is an Irish Water Spaniel?

Where to buy an Irish Water Spaniel with a good pedigree?

$800-$1000
If you choose to purchase the Irish Water Spaniel, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Irish Water Spaniel for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Irish Water Spaniel gets to a happy place.
Availability
How easy is it to get a Irish Water Spaniel? How many Irish Water Spaniel are there in the world?
Frequent: The Irish Water Spaniel is easier than average to get. Maybe there is some risk of overbreeding, as it is a popular breed.

Due to its popularity, inbreeding may occur. A new study shows that inbreeding contributes to the incidence of disease and health problems.

So be careful and seek the help of an experienced person or a professional, in making your decision.

Irish Water Spaniel Size

Size
Is an Irish Water Spaniel small, medium or large dog?

How big do Irish Water Spaniel get?

What is the average size of an Irish Water Spaniel?

Medium
Weight
How much does the Irish Water Spaniel weigh? How much should an Irish Water Spaniel weight? What is the normal weight of an Irish Water Spaniel? How much does a full-grown Irish Water Spaniel weight?
45-65 pounds (20-30 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of an Irish Water Spaniel?
55 pounds (25 kg)
Height
How tall is the Irish Water Spaniel? Irish Water Spaniel height:
20-23 inches (51-58 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of an Irish Water Spaniel?
21.5 inches (54.5 cm)

Irish Water Spaniel Grooming, Hair and Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Irish Water Spaniel have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
DenseTightCurly
Colors
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Irish Water Spaniel's coat?
Brown
Grooming
How to groom the Irish Water Spaniel and how often? How often should I take my Irish Water Spaniel to the groomer?
Advanced: The Irish Water Spaniel requires a lot of grooming. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer can be helpful sometimes.

Regular brushed dog's coat is less likely to shed. Ears and eyes should be cleaned often to avoid infections.

Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Occasional dog nail trimming and dog baths are important.

Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and to give your Irish Water Spaniel a pleasant experience of a dog bath.

If you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of your Irish Water Spaniel, search for the best dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment.

Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk-in dog bath places nearby.
Shedding Level
How much do Irish Water Spaniel dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Bog Dog? Do Irish Water Spaniel dogs shed a lot?
Irish Water Spaniels shed none to minimal. Having a puppy from this breed you don't have to be afraid of your couch or car being covered by dog hair. Irish Water Spaniel dogs could be the best choice if you don't tolerate dog hair.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Irish Water Spaniel need a bath? How often should you give an Irish Water Spaniel a bath? Can I bathe my Irish Water Spaniel every day?
3-4 weeks
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, and oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing.

Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.

Irish Water Spaniel Personality / Temperament

Temperament
What kind of personality does the Irish Water Spaniel have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
ActiveClownishIntelligentAlertInquisitiveQuick
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Irish Water Spaniel? Is the Irish Water Spaniel breed dumb or smart?
Very smart: Irish Water Spaniel is an excellent dog breed. You can teach them many tricks and commands. The limit is your creativity. They understand and memorize new commands in 5-15 repetitions. This breed obeys the first command 85% of the time or better.

The Irish Water Spaniel is one of the top breeds in the dog intelligence ranking.

Trainability
Are Irish Water Spaniel dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training? How hard is it to train an Irish Water Spaniel?
Irish Water Spaniels are easy to train. They find out the association between commands and actions quite quickly.
Playfulness
How playful is this breed?
The Irish Water Spaniel is a playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Irish Water Spaniel sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Irish Water Spaniels don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household, and frequent guest visits really well.

They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.

Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Is an Irish Water Spaniel a good family dog?
Average to High: Irish Water Spaniels are highly affectionate dogs. They like being involved in the family's life. This breed isn't considered an aloof dog.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Bog Dog need? Irish Water Spaniel social needs:
Irish Water Spaniels need for social interaction is average. This breed likes being around people or other animals, but they don't mind being left alone for a few hours either.
Barking
Do Irish Water Spaniel dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Bog Dog bark?
Average: The Irish Water Spaniel barks occasionally. They can change their barks depending on their emotional level and what they're trying to say. Different barks could mean the same and the same barks could have different meanings.

Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.

Watchdog Ability
Is Irish Water Spaniel good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Irish Water Spaniels are good watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're consistent in their effort. Good vocal cords and a sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're territorial and protective about their property, so the Irish Water Spaniels will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Irish Water Spaniel dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Irish Water Spaniels are average defenders. Some dogs are very protective of their territory, while others easily let a stranger to trespass. This breed is not sure to defend its territory in every situation.
Biting Potential
Do Irish Water Spaniel bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Bog Dog? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Irish Water Spaniel? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Irish Water Spaniel has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force
Does the Irish Water Spaniel has a hard bite? What is the bite force of an Irish Water Spaniel? How much bite force does an Irish Water Spaniel have?

Between 200 and 400 PSI

Irish Water Spaniel bite force: Ordinary. Average dogs have a bite force between 200 and 400 PSI.

The Irish Water Spaniel, and many others, have a fearsome presence because they have significant jaw strength, so it is important not to anger the dog and have it around strangers until it is fully trained.

However, they are usually quite calm and good companions, they work well in families and are easy to care for.

Mouthiness
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Irish Water Spaniel do?
Irish Water Spaniels have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Irish Water Spaniels need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Irish Water Spaniel to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Irish Water Spaniel roam?
Irish Water Spaniels have average wanderlust potential. Sometimes they like to explore the world and they might escape once or twice, but usually, they prefer staying safely at home. Safer to teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Irish Water Spaniel have high prey drive?
Irish Water Spaniels have a high impulse to chase and catch something. Cats or any other small animals are in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Irish Water Spaniel dogs are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Irish Water Spaniel good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat? Can you have an Irish Water Spaniel in an apartment?
It is not recommended to keep the Irish Water Spaniel breed in the home. It does best in the garden, but if you do want to keep it indoors, it should be exercised thoroughly with long daily walks, so you can keep the Irish Water Spaniel indoors by introducing daily routines.
Adaptability
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Irish Water Spaniels adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
How long can an Irish Water Spaniel be left alone? How long can you leave an Irish Water Spaniel alone?
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner. With proper socialization and quality time with the dog can solve this problem.

Irish Water Spaniel Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Irish Water Spaniel temperament with other people:
Irish Water Spaniels are not the most stranger-friendly dogs.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Irish Water Spaniel dogs get along with other pets? Are Irish Water Spaniel dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Irish Water Spaniels usually don’t get on well with other pets.
Child Friendly
Are Irish Water Spaniel dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Irish Water Spaniel temperament with children:
Irish Water Spaniels are very kid-friendly dogs. This breed enjoys being surrounded by children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Irish Water Spaniel dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Irish Water Spaniel breed live with a cat?
Irish Water Spaniels are not the most cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Is Irish Water Spaniel good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Irish Water Spaniel dogs get along with other dogs?
Irish Water Spaniels are not the most dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Irish Water Spaniel is not a good choice.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Irish Water Spaniel breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Irish Water Spaniel breed suitable for first-time owners?
Yes
Irish Water Spaniels are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Irish Water Spaniels good office dogs? Do Irish Water Spaniels make good office friendly dogs? Can Irish Water Spaniels be office dogs?
No
Irish Water Spaniel is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Irish Water Spaniel dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Bog Dog temperament with senior people? Are Irish Water Spaniel dogs good for elderly owners?
Irish Water Spaniels are one of the best breeds for elderly people.

Irish Water Spaniel Health

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Irish Water Spaniel dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
Irish Water Spaniels are commonly healthy dogs. Vet costs aren't expensive with this breed.
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Irish Water Spaniel breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Irish Water Spaniel see the vet?
Rare
The Irish Water Spaniel should have a complete physical check-up at least every 12-18 months (but preferably once per year). If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Irish Water Spaniel dogs live? How old can a Irish Water Spaniel be? What is the age limit of the Irish Water Spaniel? How many years can the oldest Irish Water Spaniel live?

What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of an Irish Water Spaniel?

How long is the lifespan of an Irish Water Spaniel?

10-12 years
The average lifespan of Irish Water Spaniel: 11 years
Hypoallergenic
Is the Irish Water Spaniel breed hypoallergenic?
Yes
Irish Water Spaniels do well with allergy sufferers by causing fewer allergic reaction. However there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs in the world, there are a variety of breeds that are considered to reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Irish Water Spaniel have? What is the activity level of the Irish Water Spaniel?
Irish Water Spaniels are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much exercise does an Irish Water Spaniel need? How much exercise do Irish Water Spaniel dogs require per day?

Do Irish Water Spaniel dogs need a lot of exercises?

Irish Water Spaniels need a lot of exercises. Long walks should be on a daily schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does the Irish Water Spaniel breed need?
Irish Water Spaniels don't need too much sleep. They are energetic and desire to live an active life. If you think naps are overrated, this breed can be the best choice for you.
Average daily food consumption
How much food does an Irish Water Spaniel need? What dog products should I buy? How much food does an Irish Water Spaniel breed eat per day? What is good dog food for Irish Water Spaniel? How much food should I feed my Irish Water Spaniel?
2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Irish Water Spaniel risk for obesity:
Average: The Irish Water Spaniel has an average risk for obesity. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.

If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Irish Water Spaniel's weight regularly.

Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The Irish Water Spaniel can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
Stinkiness
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?

Medium

The Irish Water Spaniel has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Irish Water Spaniel drool?
The Irish Water Spaniel is a perfect example of a low drooling tendency. If you dislike being covered by slobber spots on your clothes, the Irish Water Spaniel could be a good choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool less than others, just like the Irish Water Spaniel.

If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Irish Water Spaniel As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Irish Water Spaniel be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Irish Water Spaniel is not the best breed for service purposes.

Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Irish Water Spaniel be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Irish Water Spaniel be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.

Irish Water Spaniel is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.

Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Irish Water Spaniel be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.

Irish Water Spaniel is not the best breed for detection purposes.

Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Irish Water Spaniel be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people.

The Irish Water Spaniel is not the best breed for SAR purposes.

Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Irish Water Spaniel be a boat dog?

Yes

Irish Water Spaniel breed usually likes being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, as a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Irish Water Spaniel be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.

Irish Water Spaniel is not the best breed for drafting purposes.

Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Irish Water Spaniel dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Irish Water Spaniel Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long is an Irish Water Spaniel pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Irish Water Spaniel breed is pregnant?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Irish Water Spaniel: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.

During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.

The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.

The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.

The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.

The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.

Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Irish Water Spaniel have in a litter? How many puppies can the Irish Water Spaniel breed have for the first time? How many puppies does an Irish Water Spaniel have? How many puppies can an Irish Water Spaniel give birth to?
4-12 puppies

Irish Water Spaniel Recognition

AKC Group
Is Irish Water Spaniel recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1878 as a Sporting breed.
FCI Group
Is Irish Water Spaniel recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs group, in the Water Dogs section.

Irish Water Spaniel Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Intelligent Rank: Very smart: Irish Water Spaniel is an excellent dog breed.
  • Trainability: Irish Water Spaniels are easy to train.
  • Health Issues: Irish Water Spaniels are commonly healthy dogs.
  • Hypoallergenic: Irish Water Spaniels do well with allergy sufferers by causing fewer allergic reaction.
  • Shedding Level: Irish Water Spaniels shed none to minimal.
  • Drooling Tendency: The Irish Water Spaniel is a perfect example of a low drooling tendency.
  • Watchdog Ability: Irish Water Spaniels are good watchdogs.
  • Adaptability: Irish Water Spaniels adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Irish Water Spaniels are very kid-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Irish Water Spaniels are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Irish Water Spaniels are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Boat and Sailor Dog: Irish Water Spaniel breed usually likes being on a boat.

    Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

    Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages.

Cons
  • Apartment Friendly: It is not recommended to keep the Irish Water Spaniel breed in the home.
  • Grooming: Advanced: The Irish Water Spaniel requires a lot of grooming.
  • Cat Friendly: Irish Water Spaniels are not the most cat-friendly dogs.
  • Dog Friendly: Irish Water Spaniels are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
  • Office Friendly: Irish Water Spaniel is not the best dog breed for office environment.

Irish Water Spaniel History

Introduction

The Irish Water Spaniel is intelligent, playful, and eager to please breed. With their poufy topknots and boisterous personalities, Irish Water Spaniels have often considered the clowns of the spaniel family but these humorous dogs are just as skilled at retrieving game as they are making humans smile. Its characteristic rat tail, distinctive enough to have earned the breed the nickname “Whip Tail” and “Rat Tail”, is not found in any other breed. The breed’s eager and independent-minded character is in sharp contrast to the mild tractability of most British-derived retrievers and spaniels.

 

History

The Irish Water Spaniel is a dog with a long history, dating back to the time when the spaniel family was split into land and water variants millennia ago. The water spaniels included the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel as well as both the English and Irish varieties. A book called the “Histories of the Foure-tooted Beastes”, published in 1607 describes and illustrates the “Water Spagnel”, but there is no evidence that this was a separate Irish breed, distinct from its ancestors. The earliest specific documented artwork of the Irish Water Spaniel was completed in the 1840s and 1850s.

According to experts, the Irish Water Spaniel was created in Ireland from two strains that existed previous to the 1850s, the South Country Water Spaniel, and the North Country Water Spaniel. Both were distinct types in terms of color and size. The Northern Spaniel had small ears and legs with little feathering, but a thick coat with a lot of curls. The breed’s color was liver with more or less white markings.

On the other hand, the Southern Spaniel’s coat was always solid liver, with long, feathery ears and short, sharp curls throughout. The Irish Water Spaniel as it is today most closely resembles the Southern Irish variant. Furthermore, dogs shows began to offer a special class for the Irish Water Spaniels in 1859.

In Dublin, a sportsman and attorney by the name of Justin McCarthy sought to isolate the breed type as we know it today. He is credited for bringing the breed’s different variants together into a single, reproducible type. Boatswain, one of his most famous dogs, was one of the first pure-type Irish Water Spaniel.

Although it is not known whether McCarthy saved a dying breed or “manufactured” one from the different varieties at the time as he didn’t leave detailed records of the dogs he used to produce water spaniels such as Boatswain. One thing he did for sure was fix type, no existing breed of dog has a more marked individuality and no breed has shown less inclination to diverge from it.

The Irish Water Spaniel was quickly received by both Irish and English sportsmen for its bold and daring retrieves, its extreme hardiness in the cold North Sea waters, and its superb disposition. By the 1870s, the reputation of the breed had spread to America, and a number of dogs were imported at that time. The breed was the third most popular sports dog in the United States by 1875.

 

Other genetic possibilities

Breed experts have noted that old photos from 70 years ago of the Afghan Hounds show a striking similarity to the Irish Water Spaniel, smooth face, topknot, all four legs well feathered with a smooth patch just above the foot, and the body coat shorter than the leg coat. While similarities to the Middle East’s Afghan Hound is likely just coincidental, McCarthy did travel more than once to France, where he would have had access to the Poodles, Barbets, and possibly Porties that have left a residual mark in the Irish Water Spaniel’s genome.

If this is the case, it can be deduced that he was more concerned with producing a new breed than with preserving the old. The only resemblances between the Poodle and the Irish Water Spaniel are a great nose, a desire to hunt a game, and a coat that will cord if neglected or allowed to grow long.

However, it is also a possibility that McCarthy used breeds that were more readily available in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In a letter to a dog magazine of the period, McCarthy noted that the Irish Water Spaniel could not maintain its type when crossed with any breed other than the Bloodhound, which would add the desired length of ear and improve scenting ability.

 

Recognition

Despite its rarity today, the Irish Water Spaniel was an incredibly popular show dog during the Victorian era. In fact, it was one of the nine original breeds recognized by the fledgling American Kennel Club as a member of the sporting club, when it was founded in 1884. The breed has also been recognized by the United Kennel Club since 1948.

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