Breed Highlight: Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is a loving, high-spirited gundog, known for its grace, easy temperament, swiftness, and beautiful red coat. Good family dogs and incredibly smart, Irish Setters make the best hunting companion or just another member of the family!

The Irish Setter

Vital Stats of Irish Setters

Vital stats of this breed include the following:

  • Dog breed group: Sporting
  • Height: 25-27 inches at the shoulder
  • Weight: 60-70 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years

Physical Characteristics of an Irish Setter

The Irish setter has an above average shedding level that does require frequent grooming. Their coat is a silky medium length that varies in colors such as chestnut, mahogany or red.

Care for Irish Setters

Irish Setters are very active dogs that do require a large yard with plenty of room to run. The Irish Setter loves attention and will want to be included in everyday life things. They are known to develop separation anxiety and can become destructive if left alone for long periods at a time. Irish Setters are very smart and love to be trained albeit they are slow to mature and do require patience in the training process. They are very friendly dogs that will flourish with other animals and children if socialized properly. Because of their long coat, this breed does require constant grooming.

Health of Irish Setters

Similar to any other breed, the Irish Setter is prone to specific health problems, including:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Canine Leukocyte (CAD)
  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)
  • Gastric Torsion (Bloat)
  • Panosteitis

History of Irish Setters

Originating in Ireland, the Irish Setter first developed around the 18th Century. At first they were called Red Spaniels. The Irish Setter has been described by its partisans as the most beautiful of dog breeds. The Irish Setter’s lovable personality has endeared the breed to sportsmen and pet owners for more than 200 years. Irish are outgoing dogs who enjoy making friends. These rambunctious redheads are big kids at heart, but they are eager to please and will respond to patient, positive training. They are said to be bold and rugged hunting partners, with a devil-may-care approach to their work.

In 1875, an Irish Setter name Elcho, came to the United States. He quickly became a star in the show ring and the field. In 1878, Elcho was the first Irish Setter to be registered by the American Kennel Club.

Once Irish Setters came to America, they quickly became one of the most popular breed of dogs. They are known as the original breed for the magazine Field and Stream. 

President Nixon had an Irish Setter named King Timahoe.

Today the Irish Setter ranks as 68th among the 155 breeds recognized by the AKC.

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