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Irish Water Spaniel

Presentation
Ireland, with its harsh climate from the Gulf Stream and the many swamps and lakes covered with game, is the country of origin of this incredible game water hunter: the Irish Water Spaniel.

This dog seems to have arrived in Ireland from Persia, passing through Spain and had maybe the Brittany Water Spaniel as an ancestor as well as the Poodle and probably the English Setter. Paintings dating to before 400 AD represent a dog with the same appearance of this dog.

Their hunting career started in Ireland toward 1600 and the breed was officially recognized in 1843. The exceptional qualities of this Water Spaniel were appreciated during the Second World War in Ireland as well as in England. Then the program of drying out the swamplands (to make pastures) made its favorite game to hunt, ducks, disappear. The passion of breeders then died out, which means that today the breed is greatly threatened with extinction...

With its long, purple, peculiar toupee on top of its head and its rat tail, the Irish Water Spaniel has an out-of-the-ordinary silhouette that proves its unbeatable Water Spaniel talents!
This sporting dog is relatively big (up to 23 inches at the withers) with a long muzzle and a big head covered with a helmet of long, curly hair that comes down to their eyes. The ears or long and floppy and the neck and shoulders are powerful. The body is robust and sits on straight and feathered legs with big, webbed (and hairy!) feet that make swimming easy.
The tail is specific to this breed and is found in no other dog breed - thick and hairy on 4 inches, but it frays easily and quickly becomes as naked as a rat''s tail!

The coat, very thick and perfectly made for the harsh Irish climate, is also worthy of praise: the only dog with this color (dark brown that looks purple), the Irish Water Spaniel''s hair is frizzy and oily, making it waterproof in "strategic" areas and an effective protection in icy water. This only fails on the muzzle to the ears and under the throat, which lets them dive quickly. 3/4 of the tail is also without this hair and so the tail is for steering and acts as a rudder. What''s more, since it''s not woolly, the hair dries very fast. This dog cleans its own coat by rolling on the grass, which makes it useless to brush them. It''s still recommended that you check their coat from time to time to get rid of certain stray blades of grass with a scrubbing brush only.

This dog weighs around 57 pounds (a little chubby, but it suits him!) and lives an average of 14 years.

The Irish Water Spaniel is an intelligent, happy and particularly loyal companion. They love to play the clown in front of children! But first and foremost, they are sporty dogs who need a lot of exercise everyday in the great outdoors.

An amphibious dog with a great nose, they will surprise you with their powerful swimming, exceptional stamina that no hunt can wear out, frantically (but quietly) hunting game in a tangle of reeds, and by their reckless diving to bring up ducks from the deepest depths!

A waterfowl hunter in a class of its own, the Irish Water Spaniel is still sadly forgotten...
Irish Water Spaniel picture
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Irish Water Spaniel picture
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Irish Water Spaniel picture
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Irish Water Spaniel picture
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Irish Water Spaniel picture
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Irish Water Spaniel picture
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