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The Irish Water Spaniel, also called as Whiptail, is a breed of dog that originated in Ireland. It belongs to the sporting breed family which is a notable for their pleasant nature and being well-rounded companions. Irish Water Spaniels is the largest of the spaniel breeds and have been bred to become land and water hunting dogs. Their weather-resistant double coat is curly outside and dense underneath. Coat colors usually range from rich liver to dark liver coupled with a purplish tinge.
Height and Weight
The male and female members of the Irish Water Spaniel normally stand a height of 20 to 23 in at the withers, and weigh 45 to 65 lbs.
Irish Water Spaniels, in general, are spirited, self-assured, and intelligent dogs. They are willing and eager to please their master, and tend to be very clever. The breed is devoted and loving towards their family owners. Proper leadership as well as adequate physical exercise can keep Whiptails docile and mild-mannered. They bond well with other animals when appropriately introduced. The breed, however, can become quite aloof around strangers. Early socialization is also necessary. Whiptails are quiet dogs as they bark only when necessary to warn the family. They possess great scenting power, stamina, and drive. No wonder, they make excellent watchdogs. Some members of the line can also act as guard dogs. Additionally, the breed likes to have a job to do. They are exceptional swimmers, though may tend to drool a lot and slobber. Whiptails need a firm yet gentle handler who can be consistent in their approach.
Irish Water Spaniels are easy to groom. Their medium-length coat only requires regular brushing. Hair trimming may also be done every month to get rid of their straggly hair. The breed is a minimal shedder.
Some of the common health issues associated with Irish Water Spaniels or Whiptails include hip dysplasia, entropion, hypothyroidism, and ear infections. They have an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
Members of the Irish Water Spaniel breed can adjust to apartment-living provided that they get to receive adequate exercise. Otherwise, they would become mischievous and rather destructive. Access to a large yard is ideal to give room for play. Because the breed craves for human companionship, kennel living is hardly ever a good idea.