Irish Water Spaniel Breed Origins and Caracteristics
There is little data about the origin of this breed which is also called Irish Water Spaniel. According to many experts, the poodle and the Irish setter may be its ancestors. In the case of the first ones, the character of the first ones confirm its supposition, either it is docile or able to work as the poodle does; besides it has the setter's sense of smell. The Spaniel is one of its ancestors, as it is a passionate tracker. In any case, the breed is very old, which may allow a balanced breeding without mixing blood of other breeds.
The Irish Water Spaniel made its first appearance in an exhibition in 1862, in Birmingham and little later it was recognized as an autonomous breed. It extended rapidly thanks to the outstanding qualities for hunting in the most difficult marshy lands. It is also a marvelous companion for the person who allows it to exercise enough.
The specimens introduced into America were crossed with the Curly-coated Retriever thus giving birth toadapted to the American conditions of hunting in water, in reedbeds and in the labyrinth of still virgin forests. The American Water Spaniel also called Boykin Spaniel was recognized as an independent breed in 1940. It is a dog purely for work that cannot live in an apartment.
Irish Water Spaniel (1). Size: 51-59 cm. Weight: 22-28 kg. Color: chestnut. The white patches or the white hair tip are a reason for exclusion in its breeding. The hair is dense, curly, larger in the abdomen and shorter in neck than in the rest of the body. The hair is greasy and it frequently has violet highlights. The rear legs must be covered with curly bangs up to the feet. The base of the tail is covered of a curly hair that measures 7-10 cm; the rest has extremely short hair (rat tail).
American Water Spaniel. Size: 38-46 cm. Weight: 12-22 kg. Hair: chestnut (2) or chocolate. Small white patches on the chest and toes are accepted. At first sight the breed is different from the Irish Water Spaniel for its size and its flatter cranium, with straight hair and the stop is slightly marked.