Irish Setter

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Is the Irish Setter right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Red Setter; Irish Red Setter

The basics:
The Irish Setter is a highly regarded hunting dog that first appeared in Ireland in the 19th century. With its fine chestnut coat and its superb temperament, this beautiful breed can be a superior choice for the active family that spends a lot of time outdoors. They respond well to training and love to be with their people. The flip side, of course, is that these highly social dogs can become destructive or depressed if you can't spend enough time with them. Although the Irish Setter is known as Madra rua ("red dog" in Gaelic), a white and red variant also exists.

Appearance / health:
Irish Setters are red-colored bird dogs. The head is long and lean. The top of the muzzle and the top of the skull are parallel and of equal length. The skull appears oval when viewed from top. The almond-shaped eyes are of medium size and medium to dark brown in color. The ears are set back and low, not above the level of the eye. The nose is black with wide nostrils. Hanging in a neat fold close to the head, they are almost long enough to reach the tip of the nose. The body is long and the chest is deep.

Irish Setters are average shedders. Their coat needs daily grooming that includes a light brushing and combing to keep it in good shape. Baths are given once or twice a year or when necessary to remove acquired odors.

Irish Red and White Setters require a lot of exercise. Adult dogs require ample to space to run freely. An hour or more of outdoor exercise consisting of running and jogging keeps the dog healthy and happy.

Malignant bone tumors called osteosarcomas affect several breeds of dogs including the Irish Setter. They may also suffer from eye and thyroid problems, seizures, and bloat (fatal accumulation of gases in the intestine). Von Willebrande's disease, a condition marked by unusual bleeding, occurs in Irish Setters.

Behavior / temperament:
Irish Setters are extremely energetic and require good amounts of training, exercise, and socialization. The hunting instinct is strong. Irish Setters love to follow an interesting scent, and hence owners need to fence the yard. When kept alone for long hour with nothing to do, some dogs may exhibit destructive behaviour such as excessive barking. They do not make good guard dogs owing to their friendly nature. Initially, strangers may find them reserved. They are not for people who do not understand them or those who do not have the time to cater to their busy enthusiastic natures.

They are bright and fast learners but are easily distracted. They are fast learners. However, they may take longer to train than other gundogs. Patient and kind training is necessary. Early training and socialization are extremely important to prevent behavioral problems in dogs.

Irish Setters are known to bark to announce the presence of a stranger in their vicinity. Some dogs bark a lot out of boredom.


good watch dog, fun loving dog, great family dog, shiny beautiful coat, high spirited personality


reputable breeder, merry chase, sufficient exercise, puppy stage, tangled knots, excess energy


long walks, emotionally sensitive breed, wide open space, good natured stubbornness

Irish Setter Training Tip

Irish Setter

From 148 days ago

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