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A man by the name of Justin McCarthy from Dublin, Ireland is credited for creating the Irish Water Spaniel breed. He may look and act like a curly-coated clown, but the Irish Water Spaniel is a serious water retriever with excellent hunting skills. The dog who has the best claim to being the first modern Irish Water Spaniel was named Boatswain.
The Irish Water Spaniel Club of America is also supporting research to identify the gene or genes linked to the development of canine epilepsy, particularly in the Irish Water Spaniel, in the hope of devising DNA marker assays that can detect epilepsy-causing mutations and allow breeders in the future to produce puppies free of the disease. There are few Irish Water Spaniels and consequently few puppies available on a regular basis. Look for more information about the Irish Water Spaniel and start your search for a good breeder at the website of the Irish Water Spaniel Club of America. Before you decide to buy a puppy, consider whether an adult Irish Water Spaniel might better suit your needs and lifestyle.


Wherever you acquire your Irish Water Spaniel, make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. While he left no breeding records, it is said the breed may be comprised from Poodle and Irish Setter, or the Poodle and the Curly-Coated Retriever or the Poodle and the Portuguese Water Dog, or possibly a combination thereof. Before individual Irish Water Spaniels can be issued a CHIC number, the Irish Water Spaniel Club of America requires them to have hip, elbow and thyroid certifications from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and certification by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation that their eyes are healthy. The site allows you to be very specific in your requests (housetraining status, for example) or very general (all the Irish Water Spaniels available on Petfinder across the country). They also often offer fostering opportunities so, with training, you could bring an Irish Water Spaniel home with you to see what the experience is like. Choose him if you enjoy running, hiking, water sports, or other activities that he can do with you.
Whatever you want from an Irish Water Spaniel, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.


The dogs were used as dual-purpose hunting dogs, working both land and water, with a soft mouth, able to retrieve even in frigid waters.
In the 1800s the Irish Water Spaniel was popular in the United States as a duck hunting dog. The Irish Water Spaniel is a quiet dog, barking only when necessary to warn the family, making a good watchdog; some can act as a guard dog.



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