Sorry, but this is a small goldendoodle named “Waffle.” This goldendoodle, though, has some throwback features that are really similar to the Tweed water dog or Tweed water spaniel.
Except for the shaggy hair on her muzzle, her coat is really quite like a Tweed water dog’s. It’s wavy to rather curly, but it’s not as long as a golden retriever or Irish water spaniel.
The reasons for this dog exhibiting such throwback features is quite simple.
Poodles are a “refined” version of the old European water dogs. There were once dozens of different strains.
In Britain, the regional strain was the rough water dog or “water rug.” This dog got absorbed into the water spaniels through regularly outcrossing. In fact, a water spaniel is descended from the rough water dog crossed with either a spaniel or setter. Some individuals developed smoother coats throw the backcrosses, while others developed smooth hair on the muzzle and tail only (like the Irish water spaniel. I have seen a goldendoodle with the same basic coat length patterns as an Irish water spaniel, except for the “rat tail.”)
The water spaniels were then largely absorbed into the retrievers, which also included the St. John’s water dog, setters, and collies as parts of their gene pool.
This little golden-poodle cross is a throwback to these older strains, both of which descend from the old European water dogs.