The Irish Setter has been called “the most elegant of dog breeds” by its supporters. The Irish are renowned for a brilliant coat of mahogany or chestnut, standing more than two feet at the shoulder and possessing a substantial but elegant frame.
The Irish are among the fastest of all sports dogs thanks to their long, sinewy legs and strong rear-drive.
For more than 200 years, the Irish Setter’s lovable nature has endeared the breed to both sportspeople and pet owners alike. Irish dogs are outgoing and enjoy making new friends.
Table of Contents
- Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
- Height: 2ft 1in to 2ft, 3in tall at the shoulder
- Weight: Irish Setter can weigh 60 to 70 pounds
- Life Span: About 11 to 15 years
The Irish Setter was bred for hunting, especially for setting or locating and pointing upland gamebirds. They are a tireless, all-encompassing hunter who thrives in fields and wet or dry moorland environments.
The Irish Setter will hold a pointing position, indicating the direction in which the bird lies concealed, after using their excellent sense of smell to locate the mark (or bird).
In the early nineteenth century, the Irish Setter was introduced to the United States. The Field Dog Stud Book and Registry of Dogs in the United States was established in 1874 by the American Field.
Dogs could be registered even though they were born from sires and dams of various breeds at the time. Bloodlines from the Lavarack breeding of English Setters and bloodlines from native Irish Setters were used to create the Llewellin Setter during this period. The red Irish Setter became popular in the dog show ring at the same time.
The late-nineteenth-century Irish Setter was more than just a red dog. Irish Setters come in a range of colours, according to the American Kennel Club.
The Irish Setter was described by Frank Forester, a 19th-century sports journalist, as follows: “The points of the Irish Setter are more bony, angular, and wiry frame, a longer head, a less silky and straighter coat that those of the English.
His color ought to be a deep orange-red and white, and a common mark is a stripe of white between the eyes and a white ring around the neck, white stockings, and a white tage to the tail.”
Irish Setters relate well with other dogs and children and will happily greet visitors. Since they are a hunting breed, small animals can pose a problem for them, even though they get along well with other household pets.
Some Irish Setters have issues with cats in the house and can be abrasive around small children. The breed should be “Demonstrably affectionate,” according to the FCI, ANKC, and UK Criteria. As a result, Irish Setters make great family pets and companions.
Irish Setters are an active breed that needs regular walks and off-leash running in open areas. However, they are a breed that tends to ‘play deaf,’ so rigorous recall training should be performed before making them off-lead.
Irish Setters are happy when they have a job to do. A bored, aggressive, or even hyperactive dog can result from a lack of activity. This is not a breed that should be left alone in the backyard for extended periods of time. Irish Setters thrive in an environment where people constantly surround them. Irish Setters are intelligent and respond quickly to constructive training.
Irish Setters are not a naturally aggressive breed, so they are not well-suited as guard dogs, even though they are typically respectful of their surroundings. Irish Setters are often used in schools and hospitals as therapy dogs.
Therapy dogs are allowed to visit patients on designated floors in hospitals with special permission. Dogs can be used in schools to provide a soothing and relaxing atmosphere. Without being corrected or judged, a child may read to a dog.
The Irish Setter should be fed high-quality dog food that is appropriate for its age (puppy, adult, or senior) and level of activity. Discover which human foods are suitable for dogs and which are not.
Bloat, sudden and life-threatening swelling of the abdomen in the breed, may occur, and owners should become familiar with the symptoms and what to do if bloat occurs.
While bloating causes are unclear, experts agree that consuming many small meals during the day and avoiding intense exercise at mealtimes will help minimize the risk of bloating.
The beautiful rich-red coat of the Irish Setter needs only mild grooming to keep it looking its best. Irish should be washed with a pin brush or a soft bristle brush at least twice a week, and a long-toothed metal dog comb should be used to help work out any tangles or mats that might be developing. Once a month, the nails should be trimmed.
A bath every now and then with a gentle dog shampoo will help keep the hair and skin clean and healthy. Grooming sessions are an excellent opportunity to inspect the dog for any new lumps or skin issues and ensure that the eyes and ears are safe and free of problems.
Irish Setters, like most Sporting dogs, need a lot of regular exercises. This can take the form of long regular walks and play sessions with their owners—Irish Setters adore being in the company of their owners.
The breed also keeps its mind and body in shape by engaging in dog sports like obedience, tracking, agility, rally, and other events that both the dog and the owner enjoy.
These rambunctious redheads have the heart of a child, but they are eager to please and will respond well to careful, constructive training. They are said to be brave and tough hunting buddies, with a devil-may-care attitude to their work.
The Irish Setter is a content, affectionate dog who loves pleasing people. He is a high-energy person who will benefit from having a task to complete. To ensure that he does not get bored, keep the training approaches consistent while keeping the sessions enjoyable and interesting.
Positive, reward-based training techniques work well for him, while harsh or heavy-handed corrections do not. Puppy training courses and early socialization are recommended.
Hunting, agility, dock diving, rally, tracking, and flyball are only a few of the canine activities at which Irish Setters excel. Their compassionate disposition makes them ideal therapy and assistance dogs.
Irish Setters are relatively healthy dogs, and responsible breeders test their breeding stock for diseases like hip dysplasia and eye problems.
Like other big, deep-chested breeds, Irish Setters may develop bloat, sudden and life-threatening swelling of the abdomen; owners should become familiar with the symptoms and what to do if bloat occurs.
The ears of an Irish Setter should be tested for signs of infection on a regular basis, and the teeth should be cleaned often with a toothpaste designed for dogs.
- Irish Setters form strong bonds with the people in their lives and may experience severe separation anxiety. When they are left alone for more than a few hours, they become very depressed, and this unhappiness normally leads to destructive behavior. Irish Setters are not healthy outside dogs and should be kept indoors with their family.
- The lively and competitive Irish Setter needs plenty of space to run, and the best place for him to do so is in a wide, fenced yard.
- Irish Setters require obedience training to channel their mischievous and stubborn nature.
- Irish Setters get along well with other dogs and kids. Regardless of the temperament of the breed or your living environment, it is important to socialize your puppy properly. You do not already have children or other pets, although that may change in the future. Many issues may occur as a result of a lack of socialization.
- Irish Setters require daily grooming or every other day to keep their long, silky coats from becoming tangled. They are moderate shedders so that you will have some hair in your house, especially during shedding seasons.
- Irish Setters take a lot of exercises and should be exercised at least twice a day for half an hour each time.
- Irish Setters take a long time to mature. Some dogs mature by the age of two, while others remain puppylike throughout their lives.
- By default, Irish Setters are inquisitive and will explore everything they can find or enter. Since they have a hard time keeping focused, this tendency will make training more challenging. They can learn easily if you can keep them engaged in school.
- Never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store if you want a healthy dog. Look for a reliable breeder who regularly vets her breeding dogs to ensure that they are free of genetic disorders that could be passed on to the puppies and that they have healthy temperaments.
Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club
- Hip Evaluation
- Thyroid Evaluation
- PRA Optigen DNA Test