We exist to preserve and protect this old and rare breed and to provide tools, guidance and education to owners and breeders of the dog that has been called “the best kept secret of the dog world.”
If you have never met an IWS you've come to the right place to find information on this exceptional breed.
An old breed, recognized by the AKC in 1884, the Irish Water Spaniel is defined as intelligent, athletic and
versatile. It is the largest of the spaniels, bred originally to be a gundog for retrieving fowl both on water
and land. IWS have powerful endurance and a bold eagerness enlivened by a clownish sense of humor.
With proper training and sufficient exercise they are wonderful with families and quickly reveal their loyalty
and fun-loving companionship. It is an old breed, recognized by the AKC in 1884, but today less than 200 dogs per year
are registered with the AKC.
We invite you to explore these pages to learn more about this wonderful dog, find reputable Irish Water Spaniel breeders who have met the IWSCA criteria of responsibility and learn about upcoming events and other club activities. Welcome!
The Irish Water Spaniel in Pictures.
The IWSCA is proud to be a CHIC breed. This means, for all Irish Water Spaniels, the IWSCA recommends the health
tests identified by the Canine Health Information Center: Hips, Elbows, Thyroid, Eyes. What is CHIC? Canine Health
Information Center is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health
Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Working with participating parent clubs,
CHIC provides a resource for breeders and owners of purebred dogs to research and maintain information on the
health issues prevalent in specific breeds. The essential component of CHIC is that the owner of the dog agrees to
reveal all health test information no matter what the results. The more owners that agree to this the more information
breeders have on which to base good breeding decisions. In 2010, 33 hip evaluations were preformed and 8 owners
chose not to publish the results. Similarly, 37 elbow evaluations were preformed and 8 owners chose not to publish
the results. The IWSCA Health and Genetics Committee congratulation all owners who did publish non-passing results
and we hope to see more published in the future. Whether your dog is a field champion, a conformation contender
or a couch potato, owners of all Irish Water Spaniels are encouraged to test their dog and publish the results.
Our breed will be healthier for it. How CHIC are you? Discuss CHIC with your breeder or click here for more information.
Photo credits: Craig Koshyk, Russ Dodd, Jeremy Kezer