The Irish Setter is one of the most handsome gun dogs and the most popular of the setter dog breeds. This large and noble-looking large dog loves to run and hunt.
This Setter has a medium to long silky coat that is straight with few curls or waves. The breed has abundant feathering on the ears, chest, stomach, tail and even the backs of the legs.
The Irish’s coat is a beautiful rich chestnut or mahogany. These Setters stand about 25 to 28 inches tall at shoulder height and can weigh from 55 to 75 pounds.
This breed is a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Sporting Dog Group.
History of the Irish Setter
The Irish was developed in 19th century Ireland as a solid color strain of the shorter Red and White Setter. This Setter was originally known as the ‘Red Spaniel’ and also the ‘Red Setter’.
These Setters were used for hunting and made great field dogs. Irish Setters were ranked 64th out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.
Temperament of a Irish Setter
The Irish is an exuberant, happy-go-lucky, goofy, kind, charming and intelligent dog. This breed has no aggression and welcomes everybody. They are fairly quiet dogs and do not make much noise in terms of barking or whining.
These Setters can be somewhat independent and easily distracted but are intelligent and eager to learn and therefore can be trained fairly easily.
The Irish is a superb hunting dog and must have lots of exercise with challenging field and retrieval exercises. If these dogs are given early obedience training, they adapt very well to older children. However this breed is so lively and impulsive when it is young that it could knock toddlers over.
These dogs must have enough exercise and daily obedience training when they are young or they will get into all sorts of trouble bouncing around your house. Irish Setters are suitable for novice or first-time owners.
This breed must have one to two hours of running exercise daily. These Setters do best in the country where they can have a safe place to run.
The Irish should also be mentally challenged with retrieving and other field exercises.
Unless you are going to show these dogs, you only need to brush and comb them twice per week. Show dogs will require extensive grooming.
The Irish’s coat needs to be trimmed every few months. Excess hair between the pads of the feet and underneath the ears should be clipped regularly between coat trimmings.
Irish Setters are prone to ear infections if excess hair blocks the air circulation.
Irish Setters should live for 12 to 15 years and are generally quite healthy. Occasional health problems include hip dysplasia, bloat, seizures and allergies.