Home   »   Breeds   »   Irish Water Spaniel   »   History

Irish Water Spaniel
History
Looking for an Irish Water Spaniel?

The Irish Water Spaniel is a dog of very ancient lineage, and there is evidence of Irish Water Spaniel-type remains going back as far as the 7th and 8th centuries AD. In the late 1100's, dogs found in southern Ireland below the River Shannon were called Shannon Spaniels or Irish Water Spaniels, among other things. Specimens were given to royalty, and records document the "Water Spagnel" with "long, rough, curled hair and a tail somewhat bare and naked."

"Boatswain," the famous sire of many outstanding gun and show dogs, is often credited as having been the first of the breed as it is known today. Bred by Justin McCarthy in the 1830's, Boatswain lived to be almost 20 years old and left a clear type that was bred, exhibited, and accepted by kennel club officialdom. In 1849, the first special class for the breed was provided, and the first Westminster Kennel Club show in American shows an entry of four Irish Water Spaniels in 1877.





More Info