Breed Information Centre

Spaniel (Irish Water)

Description

Illustration of Spaniel (Irish Water)

The Irish breed club was founded in 1890 although liver coloured water dogs with curly coats, top knots and rat tails had been known for centuries before that date. One of the most influential dogs in Ireland, Boatswain, was born in 1834 and his bloodline can be found throughout the world. His breeder Mr Justin McCarthy was a pillar of the breed.

Although the breed is classified as a 'spaniel' he works as a retriever, particularly in retrieving from water. In the UK he runs in retriever trials.

Theories on the ancestry of the breed include the French Barbet, the English Water Spaniel (now extinct) and the Poodle, which was originally used as a water retrieving breed.

The Gundog Breed Group

Dogs that were originally trained to find live game and/or to retrieve game that had been shot and wounded. This group is divided into four categories - Retrievers, Spaniels, Hunt/Point/Retrieve, Pointers and Setters - although many of the breeds are capable of doing the same work as the other sub-groups. They make good companions, their temperament making them ideal all-round family dogs.


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