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Spaniel (Irish Water) Mobile

Irish Water Spaniel

The tallest and possibly the most striking looking of all the spaniels, the Irish Water Spaniel has an unusual luxuriant curly coat that comes in a rich dark liver shade with almost a hint of purple to it.  A smart, compact dog, they are strong, tall and athletic.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys walking more than two hours a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • Great family dog

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10-12 years
Weight:  20-30kg
Height:  53-58cm for males and 51-56cm for females 
Colours:  Dark liver shade with hints of purple
Size:  Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Gundog


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 1/5


The Irish Water Spaniel is really a versatile gundog able to retrieve flush and hunt. Excellent at work whether the job is traditional gundog work or field trial competition, they are also a fun and affectionate pet at home. Aloof and standoffish with strangers, they are even-tempered and confident once mature and make friends with relative ease. As puppies they can be sensitive and slow to mature, and so care must be taken not to overwhelm them.

History and Origins

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Irish Water Spaniels

Training Irish Water Spaniels

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • The actor Geena Davis owns an Irish Water Spaniel, and it is via her dog that she met her husband. He got in touch with her to let her know her dog had bitten him when he visited a mutual friend’s home where the dog was staying at the time. The dog was obviously forgiven though as not long after they got married!
  • Geena Davis has another Irish Water Spaniel connection, in the film The Long Kiss Goodnight, starring Geena and Samuel L. Jackson, an unnamed Irish Water Spaniel has a 30 second cameo!

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