The Irish Water Spaniel is quite the athlete in the dog world. It is active and it enjoys stretching its legs. There are many sports competitions in which the Irish Water Spaniel can showcase its talents and its skills. Among these are the more popular competitions such as conformation show, field trial, and flyball.
Although the Irish Water Spaniel is still pretty much classified as rare compared to other spaniel breeds, it is as of right now, enjoying a surge of popular interests from dog breeders and dog enthusiasts alike. By actively enlisting the dogs into these sports or competitions, Irish Water Spaniel breeders and handlers are actually helping with the preservation of the breed. Responsible breeding and a good amount of training are both essential in making an ordinary Irish Water Spaniel into a dog show champion.
Conformation show is perhaps the most well-known of all dog show competitions. It is a sports-related trial that measures the dog participants versus the established dog breed standards. The most famous of all conformation shows is the Crufts competition which is held annually in the United Kingdom. The Irish Water Spaniel is an especial favorite in conformation shows because of its inherent beauty with its coat of curls, rat like tail, and pleasant demeanor.
Field trial is also one of the sports wherein the Irish Water Spaniel excels the most. Field trials may also be known as hunting trials or versatility trials. The Irish Water Spaniel was originally bred as a hunting companion dog, and it has evolved into one of the most versatile sporting dog breeds in the world. It can perform functions like flushing the prey into the open, pointing at hidden game, searching and stalking potential prey and finally retrieving captured or fallen prey. Among all these functions, retrieving is probably the greatest strength associated with the Irish Water Spaniel. It is a fast and speedy dog, able to recover prey both on land and in water. It is also one of those dog breeds that show no fear when it comes to retrieving game from the water, even during frigid weathers.
Flyball is a relatively new sport that was invented in California in the 1970s but gained popularity only a decade later. Flyball is a group-relay sport where dogs of different breeds race each other from start to finish, while maneuvering over lines of hurdles. The main objective of the game is for the dogs to get to a spring box where a tennis ball must be retrieved and raced back to the handler. The Irish Water Spaniel is becoming a fast favorite for this sport because of its speed, its great desire to please its human handlers and its audience appeal. This dog is of course adept at speed, and it can be easily trained in a fun activity like flyball. However, one added appeal of the Irish Water Spaniel is that it seems to know how to engage the audience to its performance.
Other competitions that the Irish Water Spaniel may engage in are disc dog competition, dog agility trial, musical canine freestyle, novelty show, obedience trial, protection sports like the Schutzhund, rally obedience and specialty show.