The Irish Setter is an elegant gundog known for its attractive silky red coat. The breed, also known as the Red Setter, originates from Ireland and is older than the Gordon and English Setters. Good-natured and exuberant, the Irish Setter is a popular family dog.
Irish Setters are large dogs, reaching a height of 61- 68 cm and weighing 26 to 30 kg. They turn heads with their noble stance, friendly expression, long ears and flowing coat in rich red chestnut colours. Some have a small blaze of white on the chest.
This dog’s coat needs daily brushing to keep it free from tangling and matting, plus occasional clipping and trimming. Regular cleaning of the drop ears is needed to prevent ear infections.
Families with young children love the Irish Setter for its sweet, playful nature. It gets on extremely well with kids and is also very compatible with other dogs. The Irish Setter is too friendly to make a good guard dog but is protective of its domain so it will normally bark to announce visitors.
Despite its dignified looks, the Irish Setter remains puppy-like for most of its life. It is clownish, sociable and loves to play, but can also be impulsive, mischievous and even destructive. This smart dog needs obedience training from an early age, using gentle, patient training methods.
Irish Setters are active dogs that need a lot of exercise. A fenced-in yard and a daily walk or run are a must to keep it happy and healthy. As a gundog, the Irish Setter loves water. It will adjust to most lifestyles but needs to feel it is truly a part of the family and should not be left alone for too long.
Health problems resulting from irresponsible breeding due to its popularity in the 1970s have been mostly eliminated in recent years, but the Irish Setter is prone to hip dysplasia and can be sensitive to some antibiotics. Its average life span is 13 years.