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West Highland White Terrier

The beautiful, shaggy coat, button nose and small, erect ears make this breed very attractive. Their bodies are compact and their heads have a fox-like appearance. The white coat, however, is their hallmark: a double coat, the outer coat being straight, hard hair and the under one being soft and plentiful. Adult Highland Westies measure 28cm and weigh 7-10kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
A smaller dog would suit me best
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
No
No
West Highland White Terrier

Origin

The West Highland White Terrier was bred to hunt otters, foxes and vermin. From the rough-coated terrier stock in Scotland, white whelps were selected to form this breed. James 1, King of England in the 1620s, requested some 'little white earth dogges' out of Argyleshire in Scotland and these were possibly Westies! Col Malcolm of Poltalloch, Argyleshire, accidentally shot and killed his favourite terrier (a dark coloured one) and vowed from then on only to have white dogs – then called Poltalloch Terriers. The Duke of Argyll's estate at Dumbartonshire was called Roseneath and in the 19th century, these white Terriers were then known as Roseneath Terriers in honour of his patronage and interest.

Personality

The West Highland White Terrier is cheeky, confident and affectionate characters, totally loyal to their families. They are alert and courageous, making them good watch dogs and they can also be cunning and stubborn. However, they must be introduced to cats when they are young, as they will chase them once they get older. They can have a mischievous streak, so training is recommended!

Health

The most common health problem encountered are skin allergies. The breed can also be affected by an inherited bone disorder of the jaw.

Exercise

West Highland White Terriers need exercise. They are energetic little dogs who love to play with a ball. They enjoy digging and some do wander off, so make sure the garden is well fenced. As a guide, an adult needs about an hour's daily exercise, though these active dogs will happily take more!

Nutrition

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

When a West Highland White Terrier gets dirty it is best to let the mud dry on them and brush it off when dry. The coat needs to be hand plucked two or three times a year by a professional groomer. A weekly groom is all that is needed to get rid of the loose hairs.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Confident, cheeky and affectionate, Westies make wonderful companions to families. To find out more about this loyal breed, visit Purina online today.

Welsh Terrier

Small, compact, sturdy-looking dogs, 'Welshies' are also smart and workmanlike. They have wiry, hard coats and stand squarely right up on their toes. Welsh Terriers are either black and tan, or black grizzle and tan. Adults are 39cm or under in height and weigh 9-9.5kg.

I've looked after dogs before, so I have some experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
A smaller dog would suit me best
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
No
No
Welsh Terrier

Origin

Some historians think that the Welsh Terrier dog breed is a direct link to the Old English Black and Tan (or the Broken-Coated Terrier) but there are lengthy Welsh pedigrees that would imply that the breed is not a descendant of the now extinct English breed. In 1737, residents in Carnarvonshire were said to pride themselves on the purity of their Welsh Terriers. Indeed, the breed was known as the Carnarvonshire Welsh Terrier. For over two and a half centuries this breed was used for pack hunting of otters and badgers and was given separate recognition in 1885 in England.

Personality

A Welsh Terrier is an active, cheerful dog that is intelligent and affectionate. They bond very closely with their families and are playful and fun, although they can be somewhat reserved with strangers. If introduced to cats when young, they will accept them willingly. If not, they will have a tendency to chase them. They are often happiest being the only dog in the household!

Health

The Welsh Terrier can suffer from inherited eye conditions. Testing is available.

Exercise

Welsh Terriers are full of energy! They appear untiring and always ready to gallop off and play. As they adore swimming, care must be taken when water is about. Yet, if you are unable to give them their normal exercise upon occasion, they will accept matters without a fuss. Adults will need at least an hour's daily exercise but will happily accept more.

Nutrition

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

Welsh Terriers need their coats plucked two or three times a year. Brushing and combing should be done two or three times a week.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Welshies are a cheerful, intelligent and active breed that make great companions for families. To read more about this sturdy breed, visit Purina today.

Tibetan Spaniel

A small dog that is slightly longer than he is tall, the adult Tibetan Spaniel is around 25cm in height and weighs approximately 7-9kg. He has a silky, medium-length coat, which is smooth on the face, and feathered on the ears, backs of the legs and tail. Males have a thicker coat and 'mane' around the neck and shoulders. The coat comes in all colours and combinations.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'm looking for a dog to take on gentle walks
For half an hour a day
A smaller dog would suit me best
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
Yes
No
Tibetan Spaniel

Origin

Bred by monks to be watchdogs in the monasteries of Tibet, the Tibetan Spaniel dog breed has never been a gundog spaniel breed, but perhaps takes its name after toy spaniels, as he was given as diplomatic gifts to royalty and nobility to whom he became a prized companion. For hundreds of years, the Tibetan Spaniel would climb monastery walls to keep a look-out, barking to alert the monks if someone approached. To this day, in the modern home, a 'Tibbie' often seeks a high vantage point in his self-appointed role as watchdog.

Personality

An active, alert little dog, the Tibetan Spaniel is reserved with strangers and utterly loyal to his loved ones. He has a happy disposition but quite an independent little soul. He doesn't like to be separated from his family for too long, however, and he can be vocal in his watchdog duties.

Health

The most common health problem affecting Tibetan Spaniels is an inherited eye disease and so eye testing prior to breeding is important.

Exercise

The Tibetan Spaniel needs about an hour's exercise each day. Do ensure that your garden is secure and check the boundaries regularly, as this breed is a renowned digger!

Nutrition

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

The double coat consists of a fine, dense undercoat and a longer, silky topcoat. Brush and comb through the coat a couple of times a week, paying particular attention to the feathering, which is prone to tangling.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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The Tibetan Terrier dog breed is a loving and loyal companion, and not just for their happy dispositions! To find out more about this breed, visit Purina today.

Tibetan Mastiff

A giant dog, slightly longer than he is tall, the Tibetan Mastiff dog is a powerful, muscular breed that is athletic and agile, with a dignified composure. Adult male dogs stand at a minimum of 66cm and females at a minimum of 61cm. The weight range is 36-72k-plus, depending on the dog's sex, height and build. The dense coat is quite long and there is a 'mane' around the neck and shoulders, which is more obvious in male dogs. The coat comes in a range of colours and markings - for full details, see the breed standard.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For one to two hours a day
I'd love a giant breed of dog.
-
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Physically protective
No
No
Tibetan Mastiff

Origin

An ancient breed, thought to date back 3,000 years, the Tibetan Mastiff dog breed was used as a guard dog in his native country, protecting properties (including monasteries) as well as livestock. Marco Polo reported that the Tibetan Mastiff was as “tall as a donkey with a voice as powerful as that of a lion.” The breed is relatively new to the rest of the dog-loving world, only coming to the attention of breeders in the West a century ago.

Personality

A guard dog through and through, the Tibetan Mastiff is not a breed to take on lightly. He is wary of strangers and naturally protective of his family and property. Experienced handling, socialisation and training are needed, as with all guarding breeds. In the right home, he is a calm, affectionate, loyal companion.

Health

Tibetan Mastiffs are generally a very robust breed. As with many breeds eye disorders and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) can sometimes occur. Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore recommended.

Exercise

An hour's daily exercise is required for a Tibetan Mastiff, though he will happily accept more if you can offer it. A Tibetan mastiff puppy should not be overexercised, as it is important to avoid putting strain on the muscles and joints of such a large, growing breed.

Nutrition

Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. The Tibetan Mastiff is prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.

Grooming

The Tibetan Mastiff's double coat consists of a dense, woolly undercoat, which sheds in warmer weather, and a thick topcoat that is straight and hard-textured. The tail and back legs are well feathered. A brush through a couple of times a week is advised with daily grooming when the coat sheds.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Thought to date back 3000 years, Tibetan Mastiffs were bred for guarding. Today, they're loyal and affectionate to experienced owners. Find out more at Purina.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

A muscular, smooth-coated dog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier combines both 'bull' and 'terrier' in his physical appearance and gives the impression of strength and agility. Adult dogs stand at 36-41cm, and adult males weigh 13-17kg and females 11-15.4kg. The short, smooth coat comes in red, fawn, white, black or blue, brindle, or any of these with white.

I've looked after dogs before, so I have some experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For one to two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can groom my dog once a week
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
No
No
Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Origin

The origins of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier can be traced back to the 1800s when bull and bear baiting was outlawed. A new 'sport' was devised – dog fighting – and so Bulldogs and Terriers were bred together to produce the Bull and Terrier, from which the Staffordshire Bull Terrier descends. Popular with all classes, including the Victorian working class, the 'Staffie' was often raised in small, cramped conditions with large families – to which his traditionally good temperament with people of all ages can be attributed.

Personality

With people, a well-bred, well-socialised Staffordshire Bull Terrier should have an impeccable temperament and be especially good-natured (if not somewhat boisterous!) with people. With other dogs or animals, however, Staffordshire Bull Terriers can be less than friendly, though a great deal depends on his early socialisation and training. Some Staffordshire Terriers live perfectly happily with other dogs and cats; others cannot be walked off-lead in areas where they might meet another dog. Early and ongoing socialisation is essential.

Health

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog breed is generally a very hardy breed, with few breed specific related problems. As with many breeds, they can suffer some hereditary eye disorders and so eye testing is recommended.

Exercise

At least an hour's exercise is needed daily for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier along with plenty of play and games. Given the chance, Staffordshire Bull Terriers can excel in dog sports such as agility. Many are fine with other dogs, but some are dog-aggressive.If your dog is less friendly, do ensure he is suitably restrained and does not make a nuisance of himself.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

A low-maintenance breed, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier's short, smooth coat needs very little attention, with a weekly brush being more than sufficient.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Especially gentle with children, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are loving and unwaveringly loyal to their owners. To find out more about this breed, visit Purina today.

St Bernard (Medium/long coat)

One of the instantly recognisable breeds, St Bernard dogs stand tall with massive frames. They are muscular dogs with powerful, imposing heads, and are capable of covering very rough ground with unhurried, smooth movements. This breed can be orange, mahogany-brindle, red-brindle, or white with patches of these colours. The adult male stands at a minimum of 75cm and the female at 70cm. Their weight is approximately 68-91kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
I'd love a giant breed of dog.
-
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Physically protective
No
No
St Bernard (Medium/long coat)

Origin

The St Bernard dog breed takes its name from the Hospice of the Great Saint Bernard Pass, founded in AD980 by St Bernard de Menthon as a refuge for travellers through the dangerous Alpine pass between Switzerland and Italy. By 1707 the overworked monks realised that dogs with their superior noses, strength and weather-resistant coats were better equipped to rescue travellers, thanks to their in-bred sense of direction, and they established their own breeding programme, calling the dogs Alpine Mastiffs. Tales of great rescues were reported with one of the most famous dogs, Barry, having saved the lives of 40 people.

Personality

A 'gentle giant' sums up the character of the St Bernard. They are good-humoured, trustworthy and love family life. They are very loyal dogs who rarely bark, but will defend you and your possessions if they deem necessary. They normally accept other household animals with no problems. Young dogs must be taught from an early age not to pull on their leads, as this habit will be difficult to break when they are older.

Health

The most serious health problems commonly seen in the St Bernard are various bone disorders, including bone cancer, epilepsy and heart disease. As with many breeds, they can also suffer from hereditary eye disorders and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

Exercising St Bernard puppies must be done very gradually to avoid putting excess strain on their growing bones and tender tissues and, even with the adult dog, care must taken to build up exercise gradually. Having said that, for their size they really do not need copious amounts of exercise – about an hour daily for an adult.

Nutrition

Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. St Bernards are prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.

Grooming

There are two coat types – smooth and rough. The smooth is short-haired and the rough is long-haired. Grooming is not a problem apart from the amount of coat to get through! They need to be brushed or combed several times a week to remove loose hairs. The ears should be kept clean and the eyes checked very regularly, especially those dogs with drooping eyelids. St Bernards are clean animals but do tend to slobber.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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A gentle giant, St Bernards are a loving and loyal companion who are ideally suited to family life. To find out more about this breed, visit Purina today.

Spanish Water Dog

A medium-sized robust dog with a curly, woolly coat that forms cords when long, the Spanish Water Dog breed is strong and muscular. Adult male dogs are 44-50cm tall and weigh 18-22kg; adult females are 40-46cm and 14-18kg. The coat comes in solid black, white or brown, or black and white or brown and white.

I've looked after dogs before, so I have some experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For more than two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I've got time for grooming every other day
Yes, I require a hypoallergenic breed
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
No
No
Yes
Spanish Water Dog

Origin

Woolly-coated water dogs like the Spanish Water Dog breed have existed in Europe for several thousands of years, also developing into the Barbet (in France), the Lagotto Romagnolo (in Italy) the Portuguese Water Dog. The Spanish Water Dog may have arrived in Iberia with the Moors, the Romans or with traders, and was used for herding sheep and goats in rugged areas, and for assisting fishermen in coastal areas, retrieving items lost overboard and fetching nets. Today, he does all these things, as well as retrieving waterfowl and being a sniffer dog for the police force.

Personality

A loyal, amenable, even-tempered, happy dog, the Spanish Water Dog will love his whole family, but tends to bond particularly closely with one person within his group. He has natural guarding tendencies and will bark a warning if he feels it necessary.

Health

As with many breeds, the Spanish Water Dog can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

Spanish Water Dogs need at least an hour's exercise a day. This is a versatile dog, capable of herding, retrieving and swimming, he will enjoy most canine hobbies and activities. Do ensure that water areas are safe before walking near them, as he will dive in at the first opportunity. If in doubt, keep him on a lead.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

A natural-looking dog, the Spanish Water Dog's coat grows into cords as it gets longer. These cords are manually separated, to prevent the coat matting into clumps. It is not brushed or combed. The Spanish farmers would shear their dogs every spring, at the same time as doing their sheep, and from this tradition, the Spanish Water Dog is clipped all over, the same length, when the coat gets too long.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Strong and muscular with a woolly coat, Spanish Water Dogs are as beautiful as they are loyal. To discover more about this happy dog breed, visit Purina today.

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Compact, symmetrical dogs, Welsh Springer Spaniels are medium-sized and built for endurance and hard work. They have a glossy, silky, flat coat with feathering on their extremities, and are a rich red and white colour. Adult males are 48cm in height and females 46cm. They weigh 16-20kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For more than two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
No
No
Yes
Welsh Springer Spaniel

Origin

Red and white spaniels have existed in Wales since the 1700s. They were found mainly in Wales and the west of England before spreading to the east of England and Scotland where they were used as gundogs and for breeding. The versatile abilities and hunting instincts of the Welsh Springer Spaniel made them prime candidates for worldwide ownership and by the 19th and 20th centuries were exported abroad. Before acceptance into the British Kennel Club in 1902 the Springer Spaniel breed was known as Welsh Cockers.

Personality

Welshie's have all the soft-eyed faithfulness of the other spaniels and are totally devoted to their families. They are high-spirited, good-natured companions. They are people-orientated dogs but can be a bit reserved with strangers. They are family dogs and need company. Easily trained, a Welsh Springer Spaniel often makes a superb obedience dog and working gundog.

Health

The Welsh Springer Spaniel can suffer from hereditary eye diseases and so screening is advised. Hip testing is also recommended as hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) can also occur.

Exercise

Welshies need plenty of exercise, over two hours daily for an adult. They love swimming and care must be taken to ensure their safety when water is about. They are ideal candidates for field trials.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

This breed does not need a lot of grooming but the feathering will need regular combing, brushing and trimming – two or three times a week. The ears should be trimmed regularly to prevent infections.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Welsh Springer Spaniels have existed in Wales since the 1700s and this faithful and outgoing breed makes a great pet for families. Find out more at Purina.

Sussex Spaniel

The Sussex Spaniel is a medium-sized, heavily built, sturdy dog, with rather short and strong legs. They have a wide head and a frowning, quizzical expression. The short, abundant coat is a most attractive colour: rich golden liver, shading to gold at the hair tips. Adult Sussex Spaniels measure 38-41cm and weigh approximately 23kg.

I've looked after dogs before, so I have some experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For one to two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
No
No
Yes
Sussex Spaniel

Origin

The Sussex Spaniel dog breed was around in the early 1800s as part of a melange of land spaniels. The main interest in the breed began with Mr Fuller, a Sussex landowner, who kept several spaniel breeds, including Sussex Spaniels. He bred them for working and owned the breed for 50 years until the 1850s. By the time of the Second World War there were few Sussex being bred from and it is thought that after the war only 5 Sussex Spaniels remained. Fortunately the breed has had dedicated followers that have kept the breed alive, though it is still numerically small.

Personality

These happy and adaptable dogs can be very laid back, though it is important that they are introduced regularly to children, dogs, cars etc. until mature. They love hunting and are sometimes more interested in this than anything else when outside, so training when they are young is essential. Time invested in this dog is well worth the effort and the result is a happy and loyal companion.

Health

The Sussex Spaniel is generally a relatively hardy breed, as with many breeds however, they can suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) and spinal disc disease. They are also prone to ear infections.

Exercise

Sussex Spaniel dogs should not be over exercised when very young. They need stimulation or they easily become bored. Country dogs at heart, Sussex Spaniel adults needs two-plus hours of daily exercise.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food. There have been cases of bloat in this breed. Smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.

Grooming

As a rule, a brush or comb through is required several times a week. The ears should be kept clean and checked for foreign bodies regularly. The hair around the pads should be trimmed and check between the claws for grass seeds.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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This beautiful breed tends to be laid back and content, with a love for exploring when outside! To find out more about Sussex Spaniels, visit Purina today.

Irish Water Spaniel

This is the tallest of all spaniels, with adult male dogs standing at 53-58cm and females at 51-56cm. Adults weigh approximately 20-30kg. A smart, compact dog, he is strong and has an unusual-coloured curly coat that is a dark liver with a hint of purple.

I've looked after dogs before, so I have some experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For more than two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I've got time for grooming every other day
Yes, I require a hypoallergenic breed
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
No
No
Yes
Irish Water Spaniel

Origin

It's thought that Irish Water Spaniels arrived in Ireland with fishermen from France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. His ancestry is unknown but could well include the Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog and Barbet. He was originally used for hunting, flushing and retrieving water fowl from bogs and rivers – hence his nickname of Bogdog! The first Irish Water Spaniel dog we know of was called Boatswain, born in 1834, who belonged to a Dubliner called Justin McCarthy. All modern Irish Water Spaniels descend from this dog.

Personality

Although he's called a spaniel, he works as a retriever in field trials and is a very versatile gundog. In the home, as a companion, the Irish Water Spaniel dog is a fun and affectionate pet. Aloof with strangers until he gets to know them, he is even-tempered and confident.

Health

As with many breeds, the Irish Water Spaniel can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

An energetic dog, the Irish Water Spaniel breed needs two hours or more of daily exercise. He loves romping about the countryside and is, of course, a 'water baby' – jumping into any pond or even large puddle if he encounters one on a walk!

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

The coat, which is covered in tight ringlets, is naturally oily, providing protection for his when he's swimming in cold water. Use a wide-toothed comb to groom the coat once or twice a week, and bath and trim the coat approximately every couple of months. After combing, use a spray to wet the coat to encourage the curls to reform.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Irish Water Spaniels are the tallest of their kind, and as their name suggests they love being in the water! Learn more about this affectionate and fun pet today.

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