Irish Water Spaniel

One of the largest of its type, the Irish Water Spaniel shares the much-loved family traits: it is a devoted family dog, smart on the uptake and always on the lookout for a chance to show its ingenuity. With its smart close curls – sometimes almost purple in colour – it is a handsome and distinctive breed.

The history of the Irish Water Spaniel

Although the modern breed was categorised and developed well before the end of the 19th century, its origins are probably hundreds of years older. In this case, the name is no misnomer: the breed has its own dog club in Ireland and is still to be seen there, and its origins are also reflected in the nickname ‘Bog Dog’. Other attempts to trace its beginnings have followed the trail to southern Ireland, where the name ‘Shannon Spaniel’ would seem to lead. Wherever their true home lies, they certainly have a natural affinity with water, and well-trained animals spring eagerly into the chilliest ponds and meres to fetch waterfowl. They are...

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