The Irish Water Spaniel is not an apartment dog because of her size and exercise requirements. Acreage or a properly fenced in yard are best for her. If she can get access to a place to swim occasionally, she will be a happier dog. She can be aggressive with other dogs so beware. She is good with older children. As a reminder, never leave a child unsupervised with a puppy or dog.
Approximate Adult Size. The approximate adult size (two years old or older) of the male Irish Water Spaniel is 22 to 24 inches to the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and 55 to 65 pounds. The female ranges from 21 to 23 inches to the withers and 45 to 58 pounds.
Special Health Considerations. Most dog breeds have certain inherited health problems associated with that specific breed and the Irish Water Spaniel is no exception. Be on the look out for hypothyroidism (sluggish thyroid gland which can result in weight gain), skin problems, and Canine Hip Dysplasia (genetic based looseness in the hip joint that can lead to arthritis pain and lameness). This disease list is an informative guideline only. Other diseases may also be significant threats, please contact your veterinarian for a complete list.
She should visit the veterinarian several times in the first year for shots, boosters and check up. Then, as an adult, she should visit the veterinarian yearly for shots and check up. As she gets older, six years and on, she should visit the veterinarian twice a year for check ups and shots. Remember; avoid feeding your dog sweets.
Grooming. The Irish Water Spaniel has a double coat with the outer, weather proof coat having plenty of curl and ringlets. Professional care is generally needed to keep her coat trimmed and free of mats. She almost does not shed.
Her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. Brushing removes the accumulation of plaque and tartar which can cause cavities (rarely) and periodontal disease. Dog periodontal disease can lead to pain, loss of teeth, bad breath and other serious disease.
Her toenails may need to be examined for growth and clipped regularly. The toenails of the rear feet grow slower than the toenails of the front feet. Generally a guillotine type trimmer is the best for this chore and competent instructions to accomplish this can be found on the net.
Her ears should be checked once a week and be kept clean. If you have her professionally groomed, make sure ear cleaning and inspection is part of the package. No water or excess fluid should get in the dogs ears, and do not try to irrigate the ears. Ear cleaning is too complicated and critical to instruct here. Look for hair growing in the ear canal, excess wax, or moisture. If her ears have a discharge, foul odor or she seems to be in distress and you suspect an infection, or tumor, consult your veterinarian.
Life Span. The Irish Water Spaniel can live between 10 and 12 years with proper nutrition, medical care and excellent living conditions.
History. The Irish Water Spaniel comes from Ireland where they retrieved ducks for hunters. They were first registered by the American Kennel Association in 1878.
- Playful, Hardworking, Brave
- AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 159 of 191
- Height: 22-24 inches (male), 21-23 inches (female)
- Weight: 55-68 pounds (male), 45-58 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 12-13 years
- Group: Sporting Group