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Irish Setter: Dog Breed Information andPictures

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The Irish Setter, an aristocratic bird dog renowned for his fashion, athleticism, and clownish appearance, grew to fame in the 18th century in Ireland and the British Isles.

Irish Setters are big, energetic, always up for a game, and eager to travel the world with you. With their sparkling look and chirpy, pleasant, and loving personalities, they are sure to win your heart.

The most attractive feature of the Irish Setter is its deep oak color, which shines with every jump and leaps it takes. This unusual canine assists the hunter in finding birds, points in their direction, and even recovers them.

Looking for more information on this breed? To learn more about Irish setters in-depth, study the article through to the end.

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History of Irish Setter

History of Irish Setter

Although a breed of hunting dog was first referred to as a “setter” in 1570, the Irish setter is thought to have been developed in the latter part of the 17th and early 18th century. The current distinctive red coat of these dogs is the result of selective breeding in the 19th century. Originally, the dogs were available in many colors and patterns, frequently red and white.

Elcho, the first Irish setter imported into the country, was sold to a Mr. Turner of St. Louis in 1875, where he rose to fame as a champion. The breed standard for the recent Irish setter establishes its color that is “mahogany and brown with no black,” was established in 1886 and has largely remained the same ever since.

The Irish Setter wasn’t entirely red at first. The red and white setting dogs are mentioned in the middle of the 17th century. Similar dogs are depicted in paintings from the previous century. English Setters, Pointers,  Spaniels, and Gordon Setters are canines that may have contributed to the development of the Irish Setter.

As they were simple to spot in the field, hunters preferred red and white dogs. Although the Earl of Enniskillen was breeding solid-red dogs as early as 1812, dark, solid-red dogs quickly gained popularity when the dog shows first emerged in the mid-to-late 19th century.

The impressive dogs were first referred to as Irish Red Setters in the United States to distinguish them from the red and white variety. The breed was acknowledged by the American Kennel Club in 1878. Among the AKC-registered dogs, the Irish Setter is now in 77th place.

Irish Setter Characteristics

Irish Setters run in a zigzag pattern, which is their most distinctive characteristic. Due to this, they can better detect the scent associated with the birds or games.

The Irish Setter tracks the game via its scent in the wind rather than scent hounds that track smells through the ground, which further aids the hunter in finding the prey.

The Irish Setter is a magnificent-looking breed with lots of energy and a strong desire to please others. They bond quickly with people or families and occasionally experience separation anxiety.

This is an extremely common problem with Irish Setters; if they are bored or left alone, they will often engage in destructive behavior to pass the time. They prefer to remain close to their family.

This breed stands out from other breeds due to its dark walnut or red oak coloring. It is one of the several breeds in the world to only have one coat color. The Irish Setter has a long, lean head that looks delicately chiseled. Long ears frame the head, which is contrasted by dark eyes that convey wisdom and humor.

More About Irish Setter

Irish Setter is a medium to large dog breed. Due to his gorgeous coat, the Irish Setter is also frequently referred to as the Red Setter. Many Scottish or Irish people have freckles and ginger hair, which is said to be caused by the same genes that give the Irish Setter its red color.

An Irish Setter played the most prominent role in the Disney film “Big Red” in 1962. This dog appears in the television show Mad Men as Duck Phillips’ fictitious dog. Additionally, they appeared in Stroh’s beer advertisement.

Irish Setters are available in two types: field dogs and show dogs. Irish Setter show dogs are heavier, bigger, and have thicker coats than field dogs. Both types adhere to the breed standard, such as the appearance and behavior of a breed. The Irish Setter should retain his inborn capacity to be a gundog, regardless of its size and coat.



Irish Setters usually weigh 70 pounds and stand 27 inches tall at the shoulder for males, while females are 25 inches tall and weigh 60 pounds.


Irish Setters are playful, spirited, and merry dogs in addition to being intelligent and sociable. People are drawn to their innate capacity for compassion and affection, which makes them the most adored breed.

Irish Setters are hyperactive and were bred to be working dogs. They need to exercise enough for their bodies to work properly. This breed of gundog is not for you if you are one of the couch potatoes.

If maturity is a quality you seek in your pet dog, Irish Setters can not be the best breed for you. They will always be puppy-like and require your time, affection, and attention.

These dogs form profound connections to their owners and families because they are more sensitive than other dog breeds. As a result, they experience separation anxiety. They cling to you and demand your attention all the time, which can sometimes be wholesome but is also annoying.


The Red Setter is a cheerful dog who adores human company, as we also mentioned earlier. Therefore, this breed will get along with most people. It includes household pets, small creatures, and even outsiders. Therefore, do not be shocked if it is also waving at strangers. They are an inappropriate breed for guarding duties.

This breed is energetic and requires regular vigorous exercise to burn off excess energy. If your pet does not receive the necessary physical activity, this excess energy can easily manifest as destructive behavior. It is best to keep them occupied with some work because they will enjoy working.

They make excellent therapy dogs because of their gentle temperament. They can be very effective when dealing with patients or students who require emotional support. They get along well with kids as the kids and the dog have boundless energy, which helps to keep the pet occupied.


The Irish setter is a resistant breed that doesn’t generally have health issues. But, like the majority of purebred dog breeds of dogs, there are some inherited disorders to be aware of.

Irish setters frequently experience these health issues:

  • Cancer
  • Celiac disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Progressive renal atrophy
  • Von Willebrand disease



An Irish Setter must reside in a house with a big, securely fenced yard or some land. This breed requires space to run. As a hunting dog, securing it with a fence or restraining it with a leash is necessary to keep him from getting lost. 

Irish Setters require daily exercise of at least one hour. There are many ways to accomplish this, but the best way is to let the Irish Setter run. Other great ways to care for your Irish Setter is exercise, including taking long walks, swimming, playing fetch, and going hunting.

When training your Irish setter, consistency is essential. Positive reinforcement will work best for it, and an exercise routine that avoids tedious repetition will keep it interested and focused.  They are clowns, and training them is a lot of fun. To ensure that the basics are quickly mastered, it is best to start them young.


High-quality dog food will maintain your Red Setter in top condition. A protein-rich diet with plenty of energy for daily romps in the dog park or outdoor activities will suit this energetic breed well.

The Irish setter should not be allowed to consume food too quickly because this breed is susceptible to bloat. Instead of leaving food out most of the time, make sure your Irish Setter is getting enough food by feeding it twice a day. Give it the hands-on and eye tests if you’re not sure if it is obese.

Coat Color And Grooming

It requires much energy and time to groom your Irish Setter because its long, silky coat needs to be brushed every day to keep it soft and lustrous. It is crucial to keep it free of mats and tangles. The breed sheds on average, but regular brushing will help to some extent.

The medium-sized almond-shaped eyes are dark in color and brown in color, slightly spaced apart, and of average size. Coat colors vary from mahogany to deep chestnut red.

No black is present, but there could be a tiny bit of white on the chest, throat, toes, and occasionally a thin and middle streak on the crown of the head. Behind their ears and legs, young dogs occasionally have a silvery-gray shade that typically goes away as the dog ages.

To keep the coat looking glossy, you can use a comb with wide teeth to remove any mats or tangles from the hair. The follicles will be stimulated by regular brushing, maintaining a healthy coat.

Make sure to check and keep clean the droopy ears because they can be an ideal spot for infections. It is advised to use a cotton ball that has been moistened for cleaning the ears every week.

Since dog nails have blood vessels in them, and if they get chipped, it can be extremely painful for your pet. The toenails will also need to be regularly clipped to avoid any further issues.

Starting this grooming regimen in your pet at a young age will ensure that it won’t become irrational when someone touches his feet, mouth, or ears in the future.

Children And Other Pets

Children And Other Pets

Irish Setters make great playmates for active adults, but they tend to be too boisterous for young children. An Irish Setter can accidentally knock a kid over all too easily.

Always instruct kids on how to interact with dogs and watch over any interactions between young kids and dogs to avoid any biting and pulling of ears or tails.

Teach your child never to try to steal a dog’s food and disturb it while it is eating or sleeping. Regardless of how friendly they are, dogs and children should never be left unattended.

Irish Setters get along well with cats and other household pets, especially if they have grown up with them, but since they were bred to hunt birds, they might view pet birds as prey.


You get devoted lifelong loyalty, a playmate to lessen your loneliness, and a loving dog that is both attractive and intelligent when you get an Irish Setter. Their grooming and exercise needs should be consistent with the bright, kind, and chirpy characteristics of Red Setters.

Consider all of your options carefully before selecting your pet. Take your time, conduct thorough research, looking at reviews and suggestions. But nothing compares to getting the Red Setter from a shelter and adopting it.


Are Irish Setters suitable for apartments?

No, Irish setters require physical activity frequently because they have a lot of energy. Bigger residences and those with secure outdoor areas where they can engage in regular activity during the day will be best for them.

Has it ever harmed anyone that they are aware of?

Like other dog breeds, an Irish setter can bite and injure anyone if they feel threatened. So, it is essential to remember that how a dog acts is primarily influenced by its training, upbringing, and environment.

Are Irish Setters suitable as family pets?

Yes! Irish setters tend to be the most affectionate dogs and get along well with kids and other animals, especially if they’ve been around them since they were puppies.

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