Irish Water Spaniels are the tallest of the Spaniels and have a curly rather than silky coat which is liver with a purple hue, unlike the colour of any other breed.
They are quite a large dog with a long, square muzzle and large, dangling ears. Their curly coat has a thick undercoat to protect them against cold water and their feet are webbed.
They were bred in Ireland by a Justin McCarthy for use as a land/water hunting dog and are likely to have Poodle in the mix.
Irish Water Spaniels are very intelligent and loyal, confident, affectionate and eager to please and will be a happy family pet if given enough opportunity to exercise their body and brain. They generally get on well with other animals and children but may be a little wary of strangers. The breed generally has great energy and stamina and needs a good deal of exercise, preferably in the countryside with opportunities to swim.
Their coat needs to be combed and trimmed regularly and has a tendency to matt. They are prone to hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, eye entropion and ear infections. They may drool and slobber too.