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Irish Setter Breed Information

Irish Setter

Recognized By: ACR , AKC , ANKC , APRI , CCR , CKC , CKC , FCI , KCGB , NKC , NZKC , UKC
AKA: Irish Red Setter

Caring for a Irish Setter

Feeding: The Irish Setter has a tendency to bloat. It is recommended to feed them 2 or 3 small meals a day instead of one large meal.

Living with a Irish Setter

Temperament: The Irish Setter should have an outgoing, stable temperament. They should not show shyness, hostility or timidity.

Family Dog: The Irish Setter should get along well with other pets and children.

Shedding: The Irish Shedder is an average shedder.

Grooming: The coat of the Irish Setter should be brushed daily to keep it free from burrs and tangles. The coat may require extra care during its peak shedding times. They should be bathed only when necessary.

Behavior: The Irish Setter is an energetic, intelligent, affectionate, loving, high-spirited and energetic dog. They can be sensitive to the tone of people's voice.

Exercise: The Irish Setter needs a long daily or run. They will also benefit by having time to run free in a safe fenced area.

Living Conditions: The Irish Setter is a very active dog and is not recommended for apartment life unless they are given ample exercise every day. They do best with a large yard in which to run.

Irish Setter Appearance

Appearance: The Irish Setter is an active, aristocratic bird dog with a rich red coat and elegant build. The dog has a straight, fine, glossy coat with a longer coat on the ears, chest, tail and back of legs.

Size: A male Irish Setter should stand between 26 to 28 inches tall at the shoulders with an average weight of 65 to 75 pounds. A female Setter should be between 24 to 26 inches tall with an average weight of 55 to 65 pounds.

Head: The head of the Irish Setter is long and lean. It should be twice as long as it is wide between the ears The facial features are emphasized by delicate chiseling along the muzzle, around the eyes and along the cheeks They have a soft, yet alert expression. The head is oval when viewed from above or the front and slightly domed when viewed from the side. The brow is raised showing a distinct stop.

Nose: The Irish Setter has a black or chocolate colored nose with wide nostrils.

Eyes: The medium sized, brown eyes of the Irish Setter are slightly almond shaped, spaced well apart and should be neither deep set nor protruding.

Ears: The ears of the Irish Setter are set below eye level and well back. The thin leather hangs down in a neat fold close to the head. When extended forward, the leather should be nearly long enough to reach the nose.

Muzzle: The muzzle of the Irish Setter is moderately deep with the underline of the jaws being almost parallel with the top line of the muzzle. The upper lips are fairly square but not pendulous.

Teeth/Bite: The teeth of the Irish Setter meet in a scissors or even bite.

Neck: The Irish Setter has a moderately long, strong, slightly arched neck. It should not be thick and free from throatiness.

Body: The body of the Irish Setter has an overall length which is greater than its height. The topline should be firm and incline slightly downward without a sharp drop at the croup. The chest is deep and extends almost to the elbows with a moderate forechest extending forward past the place where the shoulder meets the upper arm. The chest is moderately wide and should not interfere with the dog's forward motion. The ribs are well sprung with firm muscular loins.

Forequarters: The Irish Setter has long, wide, sloping shoulder blades that are set fairly close together. The upper arm is approximately the same length as the shoulder blades which are joined at such an angle to bring the elbows along the brisket and in line with the top of the shoulder. The elbows should move freely turning neither in nor out. The lets are straight and strong.

Hindquarters: The Irish Setter has wide and powerful hindquarters with well developed thighs and long, muscular legs. They are short and perpendicular from hock to ground with well angulated stifle and hock joints. Angulation of the hindquarters should balance the forequarters.

Gait: The Irish Setter has a lively, graceful, efficient trot. At an extended trot the head extends forward balancing the dog while the front legs reach forward covering maximum ground while the hindquarters provide ample drive. When viewed from the front or rear the front legs and rear legs below the hock appear to move perpendicularly to the ground. The dog tends to single track as the speed increases.

Feet: The Irish Setter has small feet with very firm, close, well-arched toes.

Tail: The tail of the Irish Setter is set on level with the croup as a natural extension of the body. It is strong at root and tapers to a fine point. The tail should be carried straight or curving slightly upward and nearly level with the back.

Color: The coat of the Irish Setter can be Mahogany or a rich chestnut red. They may have small amount of white on the chest, throat, toes top of the skull.

Coat: The coat of the Irish Setter is short and fine on the head and forelegs with the rest of the coat being flat and of moderate length with long, silky feathering on the ears, back of forelegs and thighs. The underside of the body is covered with a pleasing fringe of hair which extends onto the tail. The fringe and coat should be straight and free from curl or wave.

Irish Setter Facts

Category: Gun Dog, Sporting

Life Expectancy: The average life expectancy of the Irish Setter is 11 to 15 years.

Characteristics: The Irish Setter has two distinct lines the field and the show lines.

Irish Setter Health

Health: The Irish Setter may be prone to epilepsy, severe skin allergies, elbow and hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and eye problems such as PRA or auto-immune disease.

Ear Health: The ears of the Irish Setter may be prone to infection or inflammation.

Irish Setter History

History: The Irish Setter has many ancestors including the Irish Terrier, Irish Water Spaniel, English Setter, Pointer, Spanish Pointer and Gordon Setter. The Irish Setter was originally named the Irish Red Setter. The Irish Setter has changed from over time into what we refer to as the breed today. They used to have a red and white coat and much shorter legs than you see today. It wasn't until the 19th century when the white was bred out of the coat. The Irish Setter was bred to be an all purpose hunting dog performing both the pointer and retriever roles.

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