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Irish Setter

Quick facts

Irish Setter, Red Setter AKC Group: Sporting
Height: Male: 26-28 inches; Female: 24-26 inches
Weight: Male: 65-75 lbs; Female: 55-65 lbs
Colors: Red
AKC recognized in: 1878

The Irish Setter was bred in Ireland and has a distinct coat color which is red. Because of the coat's color, the dog is also called the Red Setter. It is definitely a gun dog like any other dogs of the Setter breeds.

As early as 1845, the Irish Setters in Ireland were predominantly red. As a hunting dog that searches for birds that the hunters look for, it uses its very keen senses to find the bird hidden in bushes or in trees. It works tirelessly and can locate its hunt over wet and dry terrain.

It has straight front legs, long tail almost reaching the hock, triangle-shaped thin ears hanging close to the head, muzzle is moderately deep and its eyes are almond-shaped. The black or brown nose has wide opened nostrils.

In schools and hospitals, the Irish Setter is used as a therapy dog. What it does for the patients is commendable because the patients get to stroke the silky hair of the dog. School children sit and read stories to the Irish Setter. Somehow the little children can read storybooks without being corrected and it is a way of therapy to build the confidence of the growing pre-schooler or grade-schooler.


Irish Setter Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training three paws
Energy level five paws
Exercise Requirements five paws
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals five paws
Friendliness: Other Pets five paws
Grooming Requirements three paws
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness five paws
Protection Ability four paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

These dogs love doing something because they get bored easily and can become stubborn. They are not like other dog breeds that would like to be alone. Instead, the Irish Setters like to be with a constant companion. If it gets bored or has been left to be inactive, the dog can be aggressive and have behavioral problems.

The Irish Setter has the tendency to dominate and act like it can do what it wants. Thus, early training using the correct methods of teaching will be the best way to control the dog, keeping her obedient and able to follow her owner.

Basically, there are two types of Irish Setters, namely the Field type who loves to hunt and is generally smaller and has a shorter coat, and the Bench type who loves to go to conformation shows. It is then recommended that when buying pups, the owner should choose the ones that appear to be submissive.

Health and Exercise

The Irish Setter has a life span of between 11 and 15 years.

While the Irish Setter is generally a healthy dog, they are susceptable to certain health problems including:

  • Hypothyroidism - A disorder of the thyroid that can result in obesity, lethargy, or epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy - A disorder that can cause either mild or severe seizures. This can be hereditary, but may also have other causes including its environment, exposure to poisons, or head injuries.
  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Bloat - this is a life-threatening condition where the stomach becomes distended with gas or air, and then twists. This can happen with all deep chested dogs, especially if they eat their meal rapidly or drink large volumns of water. If this happens, it is extremely important that you get your Irish Setter to a vet immediately.

A large fenced in back yard is ideal for this dog, and she will really appreciate you for it. After all, she needs to run! This also makes her an excellent jogging companion, if you are into that.

Irish Setters need at least an hour of exercise every day. While variety is great, again, she loves and needs to run. You can also try games of catch, swimming, or hunting.

Irish Setters should be brushed at least every other day, preferably every day. Otherwise their coats will become tangled. They shed moderately, more so during shedding season.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Irish Setter in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Irish Setter? Or maybe you have more questions that either or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.

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