AKC PuppyFinder: Irish Water Spaniel Puppies

Breed Traits
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  • Personality: Alert and inquisitive; hardworking and brave in the field, playful and affectionate at home
  • Energy Level: Somewhat Active; They’re athletic, all-weather dogs who crave exercise, especially swimming
  • Good with Children: Better with Supervision
  • Good with other Dogs: With Supervision
  • Shedding: Seasonal, Hypoallergenic
  • Grooming: Occasional
  • Trainability: Eager To Please
  • Height: 22-24 inches (male), 21-23 inches (female)
  • Weight: 55-68 pounds (male), 45-58 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-13 years
  • Barking Level: Barks When Necessary
Breed Description
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The tallest of spaniels, The Irish Water Spaniel is an active owner's delight. Born for the hunt, he's rugged, smart, trainable and eager to please. His coat is water-repellant, which indicates what his favorite activity is--swimming. Train and socialize your Irish Water Spaniel puppy early; he'll respond best to positive training with treats and praise. He excels at dog sports, including dock diving, agility, flyball and more. This playful, dashing dog is an eager companion for an active outdoorsy family. Bonus: he's hypoallergenic.

History & Job
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Origin: Ireland

Year Recognized: 1884

Breed History & Job Description: By at least the late Middle Ages rat-tailed spaniels were working the waterways of southern Ireland. And curly-coated Irish water dogs fitting the general description of the IWS appear in Renaissance writings. But the IWS as we know it began in the 1830s, when sportsman Justin McCarthy set the breed’s type with his famous dog Boatswain. Since McCarthy’s day, the IWS has gained a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic as an incomparable retriever of waterfowl.

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Irish Water Spaniels are generally a healthy breed. Like all breeds there may be some health issues, like hip and elbow dysplasia, seizures, allergies, and thyroid disease. IWS have shown sensitivity to Sulfa antibiotics and the worming medication Ivermectin. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Irish Water Spaniels are healthy dogs.

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.


Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation
Breed Club
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  • Breed Club: Irish Water Spaniel Club of America
  • Breed Club Link: http://www.iwsca.org/
  • Breed Standard: View
  • Group: Sporting
  • 2016 Popularity: 150
  • Breed Referral Contact: Dede Selph - 703-272-8669
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  • Breed Club Rescue: Irish Water Spaniel Club of America
  • Breed Club Rescue Email: bogdogs@gmail.com (Lisa Schaitberger)
  • Breed Club Rescue Phone: 262-308-6723
  • Breed Club Rescue Link: http://www.iwsca.org/rescueadoption.htm
Dog Size
Breeders of Distinction
Champion Bloodlines
This indicates that at least one dog in the
puppy's parentage, going back 3 generations,
earned an AKC Conformation Championship
and/or Grand Championship title.
Breeders of Distinction
Breeder of
Breeder of Merit - The following breeders demonstrate a commitment to the AKC community,
dedication to their breed(s), and actively promote the sport of purebred dogs.
Bred with
Bred with H.E.A.R.T - The following breeders have met specific
health testing standards and participate in continuing education.
Club Members - The following breeders
are members of AKC-licensed or member clubs.
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