The Irish Water Spaniel is an ancient breed, although there is no exact lineage. The information is quite contradictory, however, most dog historians and breeders agree that the Irish Water Spaniel comes from a mixture of many other spaniel breeds. But Irish folklore tells us quite clearly that this dog descended from the ancient Dobhar Chu.
As you can see, there is a lot of information, it is controversial, and we will try to systematize it somewhat. It is possible that the Irish Water Spaniel does indeed derive from the Dobhar Chu, however, the breed was subsequently blended with other spaniels. It is believed that this was attended by:
- Portuguese Water Dog;
- old water dog;
- English Water Spaniel (the breed is extinct);
- northern and southern water spaniels.
But these are only the assumptions of the breeders, since the person who made the breed the way we know it today did not leave any data for subsequent generations. His name was Justin McCarthy and he lived in Dublin.
Developing the Irish Water Spaniel breed, he was engaged in the first half of the 19th century, and a decent result appeared in 1830 or so. Justin was a hunter and wanted to breed a dog that would correspond to his ideas about the ideal hunting dog, capable, among other things, of pulling a downed bird out of the water. By the way, it is believed that this is one of the oldest spaniels on the planet, in addition, these are the largest spaniels in existence. And – very rare.
These are large dogs of an athletic build, with a voluminous chest. The limbs are of medium length, proportional addition, balanced. Hanging ears, curly hair, curly, medium length. The tail is medium, practically without hair.
The Irish Water Spaniel is a dog originally intended for hunting, however, in the modern world, it may well serve as a pet. And you don’t have to be an avid hunter to get this dog. In relations with members of its family, this breed is distinguished by its softness, affection, and great devotion.
The Irish Water Spaniel can be aware of himself as a watchman, especially if he lives in a house, in a private sector, where he has his own territory – a fenced plot. He will protect his family, no doubt about it. Although, the dog perceives strangers without aggression, if it is just with you for a walk in the park.
This breed treats children with great tenderness, care, and patience. At the same time, one should not forget that every living creature on this planet has its own limit of patience, and it is not worth testing it. Therefore, be sure to teach your child the correct and respectful treatment of animals. Also, do not leave children under the age of five alone, as purely due to its size, the dog may inadvertently overturn the child.
The Irish Water Spaniel has hunting instincts as it was originally bred for this purpose. Therefore, if you go to the forest for a picnic, or go for a walk to the park, or go jogging in a park where there are squirrels, do not be surprised if your pet tries to catch some small game.
If the dog lives in a private house, has free access to the street, then from time to time he will bring you a mole or a rat, as a kind of gift. Since this is a terrier, he loves to dig. Has a developed intellect, good memory, is normally amenable to training, likes to maintain close contact with the owner and do one thing together. Training is just what you need if you build the training process correctly. Has a high energy level, needs long walks and physical activity.
The Irish Water Spaniel is a very healthy dog that rarely gets sick.