Irish Setter


Origin and brief history:

The Irish Setter is one of several different types of the “Setter” breed.  The Irish Setter became popular in 18th century Ireland and is a combination of 5 different types of dogs.  Although they were originally bred to be a bird dog, over the years this breed became more and more prized for the coloring of their distinctive red fur.  In recent years this dog has been primarily bred to get the deepest red coat possible rather than for their working skills.  Because of this, the Irish setters of today have significantly less hunting ability than the original ones that were bred for that purpose.


Because the Irish setters have mostly been bred for looks and companionship, they are considered to have an excellent temperament and are a great family dog.  Irish Setters are very happy dogs and are known to have bursts of high energy and playfulness.  A well-treated and exercised Irish Setter will almost always retain its a positive mood.  This is not considered to be an aggressive bred but they are territorial and will bark at strangers and other dogs.  Although they have lost some of their hunting ability throughout the years, they are still very smart dogs and can be trained well through positive reinforcement.



Despite being prized for their beautiful coat, the Irish Setter does not require a significant amount of grooming to maintain its appearance.  Daily brushing is recommended, but it is not required to cut or clip the hair in any way.  Brushing the coat regularly will ensure that the natural layers of the fur look wavy and clean.

Specification of the breed:

The Irish Setter is considered to be a medium to large dog.  The male will typically stand at 26-28 inches and weighs 65-75 pounds.  The females stand at 24-26 inches and weigh 55-65 pounds.  Irish Setters have a fairly long lifespan and will live to be about 14-16 years old.

Buyer Beware:

The Irish Setter is a very adaptable breed and will do well in many climates and many environments, although they will not be suited well for city life or small apartments.  These are dogs that need a lot of affection and attention, and they will have behavioral problems if left alone for too long on a consistent basis.  They have retained some of their hunting instincts, so this is a breed that would require some caution if introducing them to a household that already has pets.  When treated and trained properly they are a very loyal and loving companion.


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