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The Irish Water Spaniel currently ranks 148th among the breeds registered by the AKC.

The smiling Irish Water Spaniel is a clown of the highest order.

The dog who has the best claim to being the first modern Irish Water Spaniel was named Boatswain.

He lived from 1834 to 1852, an incredibly long lifespan for the time, and sired many excellent hunting and show dogs.

Check with your vet before starting any exercise program with your dog -- especially anything strenuous.

That said, if your vet gives the green light, daily regular activities for your IWS can include one to two hours of walking, running, hiking, or other vigorous activity, which can be broken up into several sessions.

The IWS is one of those breeds said to have an ancient history, supposedly dating to the Stone Age or the Bronze Age, based on dog skulls found by archaeologists at sites in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe.

Mentions of smooth-tailed spaniels from Ireland include a gift of one from Queen Elizabeth I’s spymaster Sir Robert Cecil to the King of France in 1598.And the IWS does not have the same “Hail fellow, well met” personality as the Golden or the Lab.He’s loyal to his family but not especially welcoming to strangers.A book published in 1607, , described a “water spagnel” with long, rough, curled hair and a bare naked tail.A century and a half later, a Captain Thomas Brown remarked on the Irish Water Spaniel’s long ears and the crisp, curly texture of its coat.

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