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Irish Water Spaniel




She hath more qualities than a water spaniel; which is much in a bare Christian.
- Shakespeare (Two Gentlemen of Verona)

Irish Water Spaniel adult and puppies

Ch Scheherazade de L'Alto and puppies

Irish Water Spaniel adult
Am/Cdn Ch Dreadlocks Solloe de L'Alto

The Irish Water Spaniel is one of the largest of the Spaniels and is believed to be a relative of the Poodle. 

Originally bred as a water-bird retriever, the Irish Water Spaniel is thought to be a descendant of two different breeds of Irish Water Spaniels, one from Southern Ireland and the other from Northern Ireland. 

This strongly built sporting dog stands up to 24 inches high at the shoulder. He has a wonderful temperament and is one of the more unusual looking dogs. His tail is long and resembles a rat's tail. Although the Irish Water Spaniel's fun-loving personality has led to him being known as the "clown of the spaniel family", he can be very protective of his owner and property. As his name suggests, he loves water, and will take almost any opportunity to leap into it! 

The Irish Water Spaniel's coat is a dark liver colour. It consists of thick, tight ringlets and curls that form a protective water repellent barrier, allowing the dog to retrieve birds from even the coldest water. Weekly combing of this coat will keep its tendency to mat under control.

An inquisitive and determined breed, the Irish Water Spaniel needs strong management and training early on.  These dogs have a mind of their own and may not be the breed for the first-time dog owner. 

Regular exercise is necessary to channel his energy. He should have a home with a fenced yard. For him to be in his element, he should have regular access to swimming.


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Clubs and Organizations

Irish Water Spaniel Association of Canada




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Maple Leaf Breeders

Maple Leaf

CKC Irish Water Breed Standard

Photos displayed above courtesy of:
Wayne Dickson, De L'Alto



Wayne Dickson
La Prairie, QC   J0J 1B0
(450) 619-0168

De L'Alto





Did you know?


The Irish Water Spaniel
has been known as
The Rat Tail Spaniel,
The Whiptail
The Shannon Spaniel
and the
Bog Dog.



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