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The Cuardach family - Ryan, Clark, Scout and Glider (left to right)

About Us

We do not have a "kennel" as such but raise our dogs in our home as beloved family members.  The primary focus of our breeding program is to produce healthy and sound Irish Water Spaniels meeting the breed standard with strong performance abilities and great temperaments.  Health, soundness, temperament and working abilities are the highest priorities. To assist in reaching this goal, we breed IWS with at least the following health clearances; hips, elbows, thyroid, cardiac, and eyes (Cerf).  Producing an "all-around" IWS, one that is beautiful, meets the breed standard, and also has great structure, health, temperament, and trainability is our aim.  We make every effort to breed and raise our dogs naturally.  We raise our puppies in the center of our home and the pups receive a lot of time, attention, training and enrichment. The dogs from Cuardach compete in conformation, agility, obedience, rally, hunt tests, nose work, and dock diving.  They are also jogging/running partners, do tricks and most of all, are loving family companions.

My husband Jeff and I are committed to supporting our puppy buyers throughout the life of the dog.  This is one of the reasons why we are infrequent breeders.  Our philosophy is that it is not about the number of puppies produced each year but about the quality (health, temperament, trainability, working abilities) of the puppies produced.  Great thought and careful consideration is given to each litter and to the parents of those litters.  To learn more information about how we raise our puppies, please see the "Puppies & Litters" tab.

Cuardach (pronounced KOO-uhr-dahk) is Irish Gaelic for search or journey.  Sharing our lives with Irish Water Spaniels is a journey as we search to understand, train and love this wonderful breed.  Also, the first two Irish Water Spaniels we had, Drake and Scout, had registered names that had an explorer theme so it was appropriate for our kennel name to continue with it.

While I grew up with dogs all my life (Collies, German Shepherds, mutts) I started my adult life with Great Danes.  They were my family companions and I also trained and competed with them in obedience.  After loosing my first Great Dane, Brighton, at only 4 years old, I wanted to get another breed that I thought would have a longer life and would be more competitive in the various dog events I do.  I was fortunate enough to meet some great people with Irish Water Spaniels and I just fell in love with the breed.  I attended two national specialties before I got my first IWS and these events reinforced my decision to get an Irish Water Spaniel.  I got Drake, my first IWS in 1999.   I wanted a dog with drive, trainability, good health and temperament and a longer life span than the Great Dane.  I had trained obedience for many years but I also wanted to try other events.  My Irish Water Spaniels compete in agility, conformation (breed), obedience, rally obedience, hunt tests and nose work.  Most importantly, they are my companions and I love them dearly. 


Here is Glider and Scout snuggling with Steph on Christmas day 2008

Pictured: Scout with two of her pups, Clark and Liberty



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