Irish Water Spaniel Club of America

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If you have never met an Irish Water Spaniel, you've come to the right place to find information on this exceptional breed!

First recognized by the AKC in 1884, the Irish Water Spaniel (IWS) is intelligent, athletic and versatile. Sometimes called “the best kept secret of the dog world,” 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 bold eagerness enlivened by a clownish sense of humor. They are wonderful with families. With proper training and sufficient exercise, IWS can quickly reveal their loyalty and fun-loving companionship. Even though the Irish Water Spaniel is an historic breed, our numbers are small. Today there are fewer than 200 dogs per year being registered with the AKC.

The IWSCA is a Public Charity (501(c)3). We are organized exclusively for charitable purposes. While preserving this rare and special breed, we exist to: 

  • Protect dogs from abuse; 
  • Provide tools, guidance and education to the public, owners and breeders; 
  • Promote study of the history, character, breeding, genetics and particular health problems of the IWS; 
  • Support and conduct scientific research to further understand the diseases, defects, injuries and other ailments that afflict dogs in general and the IWS. 

Please consider giving to our charitable work. Your donation to the IWSCA may be tax-deductable.

We further 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
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The Irish Water Spaniel in Pictures

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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 who agree to this, the more information breeders will have on which to base their good breeding decisions. 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 dogs and publish the results.

Congratulations to all owners who published both passing and non-passing results. Our breed is 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