There is no real evidence of the ancestry of the Irish Water Spaniel except in its most peculiar feature-the rat tail. This feature appears in no similar dog and makes it very likely that the modern breed had an indigenous Irish ancestor. The tail has given rise to the names “ Whip Tail” and “ Rat Tail”.
(Source: Irish Kennel Club)
Links to Breed Descriptions
Country of Origin and Parent Breed Club
Country of origin: Ireland
Health and Well-Being
Some sources of health information include:
National kennel clubs and breed clubs (see, e.g. Breeding/Health Strategy Documents, below)
Population-level statistics (see, e.g., Swedish Insurance Data, below)
Breed club surveys
There are numerous breed standards.
The basis of breed/conformation shows is the judging of pedigree dogs against the 'Breed Standard', which is a picture in words that describes the range of features that are deemed appropriate for the breed.
Three of the major international standards are:
The American Kennel Club
The Kennel Club, UK
FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale)
1. Swedish Insurance Data Breed-specific information on rates of disease and death from Agria Pet Insurance (Agria Djurförsäkring) is available for many breeds.
Breeding/Health Strategy Documents
Health/Breeding Strategy Documents and Links:
The Kennel Club, UK: Breed Watch
Sweden: Breed-specific Breeding Strategies: (in Swedish) and/ or English summary
Breed-Specific DNA Tests:
We are listing sites for breed clubs with health or other information that might be helpful. Follow links below.