Home > Pet Guide > Dogs > Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniel



This largest of spaniels is regarded as unique not only for its size but also for its liver-colored curly coat and distinctive tapered “rat-tail”. Their lineage can be traced back to the 7th and 8th centuries AD and there were dogs in Southern Ireland in the 1100’s known as Shannon Spaniels, Whip-Tail Spaniels, and Rat-Tail Spaniels. One type of “Water Spagnel” was described as having abundant curly hair and tail that was bare. Complementing their singular looks is their comical, intelligent personality. They delight in exploring their world and pleasing their owner. They are easy to train but still need plenty of exercise to keep them feeling healthy and entertained. Their hypoallergenic coats require regular brushing at least every two weeks and benefits from a trimming every couple of months to keep their coat looking its best.

Each AKC approved purebred breed has its own national club. The mission of these “parent breed clubs” is to improve and preserve a particular breed by advancing knowledge about its history, its health, and care requirements. They also work to assure that the breed’s form and function remain true to its historical physical type and character: A Dalmatian, for instance, should be athletic and have a natural affinity for working with horses. A Fox Terrier should have the right body size and shape, and a drive to go after vermin.

Pet owners, breeders, trainers, veterinarians, and others with a special love for a breed become members of the parent breed club to meet like-minded enthusiasts and to support the club’s mission. The nation’s top breed experts are members of the parent club.

The national parent breed club is the first and best place to go to learn about a breed or find a knowledgeable, experienced breeder.


Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Order - Carnivora
Family - Canidae
Genus - Canis
Species - Canis Lupus
Subspecies - Canis Lupus Familiaris
Breed - Irish Water Spaniel


NAIA - National Animal Interest Alliance Discover Animals is a web-based educational resource offered by the NAIA
To learn more about the NAIA or about other NAIA programs, visit us at www.NAIAOnline.org
if you would like to help, join or support the NAIA or any of its programs please click here >>