Do Irish Water Spaniels make good guard dogs?

Yes, the Irish Water Spaniel can make an effective guard dog due to its protective nature and loud bark.

Are Irish Water Spaniels the right size to be guard dogs?

The Irish Water Spaniel is a strongly built, medium-sized dog that is muscular and athletic. Their size contributes to intimidation.

Does a Irish Water Spaniel have the right temperament to be a guard dog?

This breed tends to be alert, inquisitive and energetic. While usually friendly, they can be wary of strangers and are known to bark readily.

Can you train a Irish Water Spaniel to be a guard dog?

Irish Water Spaniels are intelligent, willing to please, and respond well to training, including for guard dog roles. Their energy requires activity.

Have Irish Water Spaniels ever been used as guard dogs?

Originally used as hunting dogs to retrieve waterfowl. Their watchdog abilities translated from protective field duties to home guarding roles.

What are the Pros and Cons of using a Irish Water Spaniel as a guard dog?


  • Athleticism aids capability
  • Protective instincts
  • Loud, carrying bark


  • High exercise needs
  • Barking tendency
  • Shedding of curly coat

With appropriate training, the Irish Water Spaniel’s natural wariness of strangers, energetic nature and loud bark serve it well as a guard dog around home and property.

Final Thoughts

Irish Water Spaniels strongly bond with family. Their separation anxiety means they are better suited guarding when owners are also present.

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