All the Irish Water Spaniels of today can be traced back to the kennel of Irishman Justin McCarthy who claimed to have resuscitated a dying breed, but who has been accused of manufacturing it. McCarthy began his work in 1834 and by 1862 the breed's characteristics were fixed well enough for it be shown as the Irish Water Spaniel at an English dog show. This sporting spaniel was one of the founding breeds in the American Kennel Club.
The liver color was a definite asset for the water fowler in the muddy bogs of Ireland. This is a retrieving spaniel that has not lost any of its original skills. About half of all Irish Water Spaniels are still used for hunting.
About This Breed:
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Rat-tail Spaniel, Shannon Spaniel
AKC Group: Sporting
Breed Club: Irish Water Spaniel
Rescue Club: Irish Water Spaniel Rescue