A low-shedding breed, but the coat needs regular brushing and combing to avoid matting.
A typical Sporting dog, the Irish Water Spaniel is an active and energetic companion. He possesses the natural instinct to please, making him relatively easy to train, but regular exercise is important. Suitable for allergy sufferers, their hypoallergenic coats require brushing every few weeks and trimming every two months to neaten and shape the coat.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds.
The Irish Water Spaniel is a large breed and has a lifespan of 9 to 12 years. What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Regular weekly grooming and the occasional bath will help keep them clean and looking their best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. Their strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
An Irish Water Spaniel responds best to positive, motivational training methods, - food, toys, praise - not a heavy-handed disciplinary approach. IWS excel in freestyle, rally, agility, dock diving, tracking, flyball and as therapy and assistance dogs. A typical Sporting dog, the Irish Water Spaniel is an active and energetic companion. He possesses the natural instinct to please, making him relatively easy to train, but regular exercise is important.
Irish Water Spaniel &HEALTH
Like all breeds there may be some health issues, like hip and elbow dysplasia, seizures, allergies, and thyroid disease. IWS have shown sensitivity to Sulfa antibiotics and the worming medication Ivermectin. Consult with your breeder and inform your veterinarian. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Irish Water Spaniels are healthy dogs.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Irish Water Spaniel can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.