Irish Setters have been living among people for hundreds of years. This breed’s popularity dates as far back as the 18th century when it became a valued companion in the British Isles and Ireland. The breed was developed from a blend of English Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, Gordon Setter, Irish Terrier and Pointer breeds. Today’s Irish Setters have become both skilled bird dogs and cherished family pets.
Irish Setter Sizes
The Irish Setter weighs an average of 60 to 75 pounds and stands approximately 25 to 27 inches at the shoulder. Just like many other dog breeds, the female tends to be smaller, coming to around 55 to 65 pounds and 24 to 26 inches. Males generally weigh in at between 65 and 75 pounds and stand a proud 26 to 28 inches. This breed’s body structure is handsomely proportioned and is only a little longer than it is tall.
Irish Setter Colors
Coat color is one of the more appealing aspects of the Irish Setter. They are generally described as “red” but actually come in a variety of shades ranging from mahogany to chestnut. No black markings should be present, but it isn’t uncommon to see small white areas along the toes, throat and chest. Some individuals will also have a thin line of white on the head.
Irish Setter puppies look slightly different in terms of fur color. When adopting a young pup, potential owners may notice a silver or gray color on the legs and behind ears. This is normal and will disappear as the dog reaches adulthood.
Irish Setter Temperament
The Irish Setter is a spirited breed that’s very energetic. They are intelligent but do possess a guarding instinct. Potential owners should know that the Irish Setter’s energy and rambunctious nature can cause them to be difficult to manage without proper training and strong leadership. You must exercise the dog’s body and mind to keep them calm and happy.
This breed is also very affectionate and loving. They adore their humans and are very receptive to the tone of their owner’s voice. A good owner will understand this and conduct themselves as an authority without being harsh or threatening. Irish Setters also require clear rules to follow, so consistency is a must. Families who properly train and exercise their Irish Setters find that they are one of the most lovable, sweet and outgoing canines in the world.
Irish Setter Health
Irish Setters are susceptible to a number of health problems. They have a tendency to bloat due to eating habits. It is better to feed 2 to 3 smaller meals each day rather than one large one to avoid this common issue. Other health problems include skin allergies, eye problems, epilepsy, ear infections, autoimmune disease and hip dysplasia. A good way to avoid many of these problems is to adopt Irish Setter pups from reputable breeders and carefully monitor your dog’s diet, hygiene and health.
The Irish Setter belongs to the sporting dogs group, which also includes pointers, retrievers and spaniels. This classification identifies breeds that are often used to hunt small game and birds. Hunters historically used these clever canines to locate and flush out game or retrieve prey. These breeds are often known as being very loyal, gentle and trainable – traits that also make them ideal family pets!