Irish Water Spaniel

Sporting Group

Irish Water Spaniel standing in grassy yard

Height at Shoulders

Females 21-23 in, Males 22-24 in

Weight

Females 45-58 lbs, Males 55-68 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-13 yrs

History

The Irish Water Spaniel originated in Dublin, Ireland 1,000 or more years ago to hunt waterfowl. Unfortunately, the man who developed the breed, Justin McCarthy, kept no breeding records so the ancestry of the Irish Water Spaniel is a bit of a mystery. It is widely acknowledged that the Irish Water Spaniel is one of the oldest of the spaniel breeds.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Swedish Vallhunds will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★☆

★★★★★

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★★★★☆

★☆☆

★★

★☆☆☆

Intelligence

★★★★☆


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★★


Energy Level


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★☆☆


Prey Drive

★★


Shedding

★☆☆☆

Common Traits

Known for being goofy and clownish

Great at swimming- have a double, water-repellent coat, webbed feet, and a hairless tail that acts like a rudder

Affectionate and family-oriented, but tend to bond especially close with one person

Intelligent and eager to please but also very independent- sometimes headstrong and mischievous