Irish Water Spaniel Dog Profile: Temperament, Grooming, Lifespan, Price

Irish Water Spaniel: Temperament, Grooming, Lifespan, Price

Last Updated: March 31, 2023

Often referred to as ‘Clown’ for their extraordinary traits, Irish Water Spaniel can sum up your idea of a dream dog to have both retrieving and bonding skills. 

A doppelganger to the Poddle but not actually, Irish Water Spaniels has a majestic stature with features that makes them every bit unique from the Poodles except for their excellent hunting skills. 

These giants are believed as a cross between the Poodle and Portuguese Water Dogs but their ancestry is still controversial backed by other speculations. 

But you won’t care about their history once you discover amazing facts about this extraordinary breed.

If you are planning to adopt Irish Water Spaniel we have covered details with respect to price, grooming, lifespan, temperament, training, and health issues which will help you decide if this majestic creature is right for you.

Let’s get started.

How much does an Irish Water Spaniel cost?

How much does an Irish Water Spaniel cost?

Once a popular gun dog, Irish Water Spaniels are now rare due to the ever-expanding apartment lifestyle.

Raising them right is not child’s play so make sure you own enough space for them to roam around freely.

Though rare, you can surely add one to your family but as we always recommend sealing the deal with a registered breeder. 

Obtaining a royal pup from a reputed dealer will cost you anywhere between $1500-$2000. 

Irish Water Spaniel breeders

Rare but majestic, the Irish Water Spaniel is a dream dog of many. If you too are a genuine admirer willing to get one, the first is to save yourself from fraud unauthorized breeders.

Due to the ever-expanding apartment living, the demand for these giant gundogs has seen a significant dip and so is the network of genuine breeders. 

But don’t worry, you can still obtain a purebred from authorized breeders.

To ensure a safe and satisfying adoption, contact the trusted Irish Water Spaniel breeders from the breeders’ directory of the Irish Water Spaniel Club of America.

When does an Irish Water Spaniel get full size?

When does an Irish Water Spaniel get full size?

You will spot puppy Spaniel attaining full size in its 18th month and start intervening in your comfort zone at home. 

What a sight isn’t it watching your child embracing adulthood?

The leggy Irish Water Spaniel needs a sizeable apartment and enough space to grow and thrive just like the way it should be. 

They were bred as gun dogs so there is no doubt you are going to witness a beasty transformation after 18 months. 

If you own a female, they can grow up to 21- 23 inches tall while their male counterparts attain a towering height up to 24 inches. 

With proper pet grooming at home and vet recommended dog food the female Irish Water Spaniels weigh around 45-58 pounds while the males are a few pounds more up to a staggering 68.

This rare breed needs royal treatment, grooming, and regular activities to grow into a healthy family dog.

How to care for your Irish Water Spaniel puppy?

Caring for Irish Water Spaniel when they are puppies

Irish Water Spaniel puppy
Photo credit: fortinbras on

If you want this majestic gun dog to be socially confident and cordial then start training once it arrives at your home as a puppy. 

Cute Irish Water Spaniel puppies are born smart but possess an independent nature. 

So, their puppy phase is the time when you must start caring for them to raise them as well-mannered and disciplined.

Besides proper grooming and training, feeding your pup the right amount of nutrition is of utmost importance for their healthy growth. 

An Irish Water Spaniel puppy must be fed with 1/2 cup of high-quality dog food thrice a day or as recommended by the vet.

Make sure not to spoil your pup by feeding a high protein or human diet as they tend to gain weight and turn lazy.

Caring for Irish Water Spaniel when they grow up

There is not much difference to care for a puppy Irish Water Spaniel and the grown one except for their feeding. 

Their daily care routine remains the same and must continue their entire lifespan to shine as a well-groomed dog.

This loyal and affectionate watchdog is not everyone’s cup of tea and seems to avoid strangers and other pets. 

But following early dog training tips and tricks under an overpowering yet amicable owner, they can be a cordial family dog too. 

As they grow, an adult Irish Water Spaniel needs 1400 calories per day which must be fed with 1.5 – 2.5 cups of premium-quality dry dog food into two meals. 

So, you must grow too as a pet parent to ensure a healthy life for them.

How to groom Irish Water Spaniels?

The first impression looking at an Irish Water Spaniel would be a giant furball covered in the double-layered coating. 

While their whole body is wrapped in ringlets, with long loose curls on the head, their tail is comparatively narrow covered with short smooth hair.

Wondering if they would trigger your allergies?  To your surprise, they are hypoallergenic and shed low to none.

However, these hunting dogs tend to trap dander and dirt while hopping in the open. 

So make sure to detangle the knots by brushing their coat daily. 

For healthy maintenance of their coat visit a groomer who would trim the fur short to stimulate better growth. 

Another important part is clipping their nails. 

Irish Water Spaniels are born swimmers because of their webbed feet which must be trimmed with care. 

So, get them to a professional groomer who would make the process relaxing and risk-free for both of you.

How much exercise does Irish water spaniels need?

How much exercise does Irish water spaniels need?

Irish Water Spaniels are giant retrievers or gun-dog and need an ample amount of exercise or activities daily to hon their hunting skills and for their holistic wellbeing. 

However, if you are raising one in an apartment your struggle as an owner will surely scale.

  • An Irish Water Spaniel temperament is a bit aggressive which can worsen if they are mostly left alone. So take them to daily strolling twice without a miss to make them socially confident.
  • They are excellent born-swimmers. As a parent, don’t miss this chance to take them to the nearby water bodies or swamps. Swimming is a rigorous activity and they love spending time retrieving and enjoying the water.
  • These strong-willed dogs need a dominant owner who can guide them during rigorous hours of daily activities. For best result, walk them to a dog park and leave them jumping and bonding around with other dogs.

Does Irish Water Spaniel shed a lot?

Does Irish Water Spaniel shed a lot?

Despite being a dual-coated dog, you will be surprised to know that the Irish Water Spaniels shed low to none except for some medical conditions.

If you want a friendly watchdog that doesn’t leave a pile of furballs in every corner of your home, your search ends here. 

Not only do they keep your home and personal space clean but also reduce allergic flares.

As a low shedding dog, Irish Water Spaniels are hailed hypoallergenic and are a safe choice as a perfect family dog. 

Just brush the coat daily to shrug off dirt and dander to maintain their coat health.

Are Irish Water Spaniel hypoallergenic?

As you already know Irish Water Spaniels shed less, this trait naturally makes them hypoallergenic. This means you can safely obtain your dream dog without worrying about allergy triggers.

But the reality of the term hypoallergenic might surprise you as it’s not the shedding that is responsible for your flare-ups but the latched dander on their coat. 

And like most gun dogs, Irish Water Spaniels tend to trap maximum dirt and dead cells on their coat during vigorous exercise or hunting in the wild.

So make sure to brush them regularly and keep your fear of pet allergy at bay.

Understanding Irish Water Spaniel Temperament

These giants are often referred to as clownish contradicting their reputation as gun dogs. 

To understand an Irish Water Spaniel temperament you need to spend a considerable amount of time bonding with them.

But generally, these leggy retrievers have a distinct personality with a blend of extraordinary intelligence and independent nature. 

Their intelligence is what makes them adapt and bond well with their human family. 

They are great family dogs and gel well with grown children. 

It is because of their intelligence, they never fail to impress their owners and can brighten up a room with their clownish activities. 

But no matter how funny or cordial they are, there is no denying that they were bred as a retriever and hence also have a reserve side.

Once they are comfortable with you and your family, you will find a loving best friend in an Irish Water Spaniel but can turn shy around strangers without showing any aggression. 

They are not a go-getter with other pets too. 

Now talking about their barking tendency, they are not loud barkers but can bark with command when they sense strangers or intruders.

How intelligent are Irish Water Spaniel?

How intelligent are Irish Water Spaniel?

As they were bred to retrieve and hunt, Irish Water Spaniels are born intelligent with immense curiosity and adaptability.

Under a cordial raising ambiance, you can expect them to be cheerful happy dogs trying to please you with their clownish acts. 

It is due to their intelligence; these waterdogs are easy to train and teach commands and signs. 

But make sure you start training them as early as possible from their puppyhood.

Besides a smart dog, Irish Water Spaniels also possess an independent nature that grows with them making their training a bit difficult. 

These classy clowns need an overpowering and compassionate master or else get ready to be outsmarted by them.

This majestic breed also has a reputation for extraordinarily doing ordinary things just to please its guardian and cheering up the ambiance. 

And you can expect such unique traits only in the intellects.

With proper pet grooming at home, these dogs can make you proud of their reserve intelligent acts. 

Because of their intelligence and adaptability, Irish Water Spaniels are common in dog shows oozing happy vibes with their entertaining performances and creativity.

How easy is it to train an Irish Water Spaniel?

Raising an Irish Water Spaniel comes with a lot of responsibilities for a caring parent.

Once you welcome home a puppy, you must also consult a trainer to initiate training after 2 weeks. 

Generally, these intelligent water dogs are easily trainable with low to no reports of any tantrums or aggressiveness. This stat is a relief for all owners except if you start training late or planning so.

Irish Water Spaniels might be clownish and smart but has a dominating side as they are born retrievers. 

Hence, they need an overpowering and compassionate trainer and parents who can control their independent nature and raise them right.

However, training them is an experience of a lifetime. 

They are smart, learn quickly and leave no stone unturned to make you happy. 

But if ignored or left alone, they will turn aggressive and destructive.

So, before you get one, make sure you have enough space at home or a yard to raise an Irish Water Spaniel. 

These giant retrievers need ample space, regular exercise, and enough of your time and attention to grow as a healthy family dog.

What type of hunting is best for Irish Water Spaniel?

What type of hunting is best for Irish Water Spaniel?
Photo credit: Xanboozled on

A born retriever, Irish Water Spaniels are definitely not apartment dogs but more of countryside pets. 

Under routine dog training tips and tricks, they can also be the best family watchdog besides being a waterdog. 

You can easily sense from their appearance especially their webbed feet meant to hunt skillfully in the swamps and water bodies. 

So, naturally, they love retrieving the waterfowls and birds in the swamps and water bodies which is great for honing their skills and overall well-being.

Besides water, they are excellent at retrieving hogs and hares on land because their long legs make them jump and leap like no other dogs. 

But if you are raising one in a spacious apartment and can hardly take them to hunt, consult your vet to plan their diet.

Generally, Irish Water Spaniels thrives on high-quality dog food but in a recommended quantity to prevent them from gaining weight. 

Irish Water Spaniel Lifespan

The clown of dogdom, Irish Water Spaniels grows into giant gundogs with an average longevity of 10 -12 years. 

So, if you are looking for a long-living hunting and family companion, your search ends here.

Raising these giant retrievers comes with huge responsibilities. 

The time you decide to get an Irish Water Spaniel puppy, make sure you have enough space like a yard or better in the countryside to let it play, hunt, and swim supporting its holistic wellbeing. 

These dogs can also suffer depression and turn destructive if left alone or confined, deducting some healthy years from its life.

Common Health Issues Associated With Irish Water Spaniel

The most common health issue of this leggy breed is arthritis and hip dysplasia. 

This happens due to years of regular running and retrieving in the woods that weakens their long legs. 

If you ever notice your Irish Water Spaniel showing difficulty in lying down and getting up or limping, chances of wearing out their leg bones could be the reason.

They can also suffer from genetic ailments like cancer and thyroid. Because of their long drooping ears, Irish Water Spaniels are prone to chronic ear infections besides suffering from dental problems, seizures, alopecia, eye problem, epilepsy, infections, and obesity.

Final Thoughts

When you know every bit about Irish Water Spaniel, there is no reason for you to wait and think if they would fit your clan. 

With proper grooming at home, you can easily take this giant gundog to your next camping or hiking trip without even asking your friends to join.

Now that you know how to raise and train them right, you can surely get your first pup from a trusted breeder and become a proud owner of this rare majestic breed. 

Did we are miss out on any other unique traits? Let us know by commenting below.

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