This traditional Irish breed may have descended originally from stock that originated in Europe. There is a clear relationship between the Standard Poodle and this breed, and there are suggestions that the Portuguese Water Dog might also have played a role in its development. There used to be two forms of water dog in Ireland. The North Water Spaniel was the smaller variety, with a way coat that was two coloured (parti-coloured), while the southern form had a curly and, over all, was more similar to the contemporary Irish Water Spaniel.
Coat Type/Colour: Tightly curled; dark liver, purlish
Height: 21 – 23 Inch (53.5 – 58.5 cm)
Weight: 55 – 30 lb (25 – 27.2 kg)
Nature: Powerful swimmer; lively, affectionate
The coat of this dog breed remains a distinctive feature, being dark liver with a slight purplish hue and quite tightly curled over the body. The hair on the legs and also on the top of the head is more open, with the face and tail having conspicuously straight hair.
These spaniels are totally at home in water, being powerful swimmers and able to dive without hesitatioin. Their coat provides good insulation, and is water-repellant. The Irish Water Spanel is not a particularly common breed, but is very responsive to training and makes a lively, intelligent companion. You may have to tolerate your pet from time to time plunging into a pond, however, if the opportunity presents itself.