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Irish Red and White Setter

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A Dependable & Spirited Athlete

Affectionate, energetic, intelligent

Irish Red and White Setters are strong, protective, and loving large dogs. These lively dogs form strong bonds with their family, but some are too hyper for small children. They make great companions for active individuals, outdoor enthusiasts, experienced dog handlers, and families, but they do best when not left home alone. These athletic hunting dogs require daily mental and physical exercise in order to remain calm and content.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:22-26 in. Weight:50-75 lb Lifespan:11-15 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
4

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
3

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Irish Red and White Setters are a smart and highly active breed with a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked and a sturdy fence is a must.

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Irish Red and White Setters generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


Irish Red and White Setters are a tireless, high-spirited, and enthusiastic hunting breed. With proper exercise and socialization they make a gentle and loyal family companion.

Positive Traits:

  • Great with kids and other dogs: a true family pet
  • Excellent hunting dog
  • Sweet, playful, and friendly
  • Alert, curious, and busy
  • Energetic, active, and athletic
  • Trustworthy and dependable

Negative Traits:

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog
  • Needs regular exercise to prevent chewing, digging, and other problems stemming from boredom
  • Strong prey drive—will chase and grab things that run, including cats and children
  • Can be strong-willed and difficult to train
  • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much
  • Barks when suspicious strangers or dogs come around


Whether you are considering adding a new Irish Red and White Setter to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Irish Red and White Setter will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Irish Red and White Setter you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues an Irish Red and White Setter could encounter:

The Irish Red and White Setter originated in Ireland during the 17th century. They were bred as gundogs to hunt game birds. The Irish Red and White Setter can be independent and strong-willed. They require a strong leader and frequent exercise. This breed is protective of its home and makes a good watchdog. The Irish Red and White Setter is a devoted and loving family member and doesn’t do well when left home alone.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Irish Red and White Setter shows signs of the following:

  • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Straining to defecate, bleeding, licking of the area around the rectum, or smelly discharge

  • Care

    Routine Care: Irish Red and White Setters are a smart and highly active breed with a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked and a sturdy fence is a must.

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Irish Red and White Setters generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    Irish Red and White Setters are a tireless, high-spirited, and enthusiastic hunting breed. With proper exercise and socialization they make a gentle and loyal family companion.

    Positive Traits:

    • Great with kids and other dogs: a true family pet
    • Excellent hunting dog
    • Sweet, playful, and friendly
    • Alert, curious, and busy
    • Energetic, active, and athletic
    • Trustworthy and dependable

    Negative Traits:

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog
    • Needs regular exercise to prevent chewing, digging, and other problems stemming from boredom
    • Strong prey drive—will chase and grab things that run, including cats and children
    • Can be strong-willed and difficult to train
    • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much
    • Barks when suspicious strangers or dogs come around


  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Irish Red and White Setter to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Irish Red and White Setter will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Irish Red and White Setter you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues an Irish Red and White Setter could encounter:

  • History

    The Irish Red and White Setter originated in Ireland during the 17th century. They were bred as gundogs to hunt game birds. The Irish Red and White Setter can be independent and strong-willed. They require a strong leader and frequent exercise. This breed is protective of its home and makes a good watchdog. The Irish Red and White Setter is a devoted and loving family member and doesn’t do well when left home alone.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Irish Red and White Setter shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Straining to defecate, bleeding, licking of the area around the rectum, or smelly discharge

Irish Red and White Setter Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Irish Red and White Setter breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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