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Irish Setter

Irish-Red-Setter

Loyal and Energetic Companion

Affectionate, Energetic, Friendly

Irish Setters are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Irish Setters, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Irish Setter and some can be quite irritating! Understanding her unique needs will help you keep her healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where she came, which health conditions are a risk to her and how to keep her feeling her best.

Breed Details

Height:25-27" Weight:60-70 lbs Lifespan:12-14 years

Size
3

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
5

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
5

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Irish Setters are a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active, or she'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. She can have a high prey drive, so she needs to be leash walked and a sturdy fence is a must.

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

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

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


She's a protective and affectionate dog who needs a strong leader, daily exercise, and enjoys time spent hanging out with her family.

Positive Traits:

  • Great with kids and other dogs: a true family pet
  • Excellent hunting dog 
  • Loves to play games, especially fetch 
  • Intelligent, friendly, and easily won over
  • Even temper and gentle disposition
  • Alert, curious, and busy

Negative Traits:

  • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run 
  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog 
  • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature 
  • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble 
  • Willful and stubborn if you don’t show strong leadership 
  • Needs frequent attention from her family

Whether you are considering adding a new Irish 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 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 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 symptoms to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

Some health issues an Akita could encounter:

Bloat

Allergies

Neurologic Disease

Thyroid Disease

Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia

Eye Problems

Blindness

Cataracts

Bleeding Disorders

The Irish Setter originated in Ireland during the 18th century. They were bred as gundogs for tracking, pointing and retrieving game birds. Irish Setters can be independent, but they tend to form strong bonds with family members. They are protective of their family and make good watchdogs, but don’t expect guarding instincts. The Irish Setter is an outgoing and joyful family member and prefers not to be left at home alone. Within the breed, Irish Setters can be clownish, reserved, or high-strung.

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

Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors 

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

Gums that are a color other than bright pink

Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

General reluctance to run or play

Louder than normal panting, especially when hot or after exercise 
 

  • Care

    Routine Care: Irish Setters are a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active, or she'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. She can have a high prey drive, so she needs to be leash walked and a sturdy fence is a must.

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

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

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


  • Characteristics

    She's a protective and affectionate dog who needs a strong leader, daily exercise, and enjoys time spent hanging out with her family.

    Positive Traits:

    • Great with kids and other dogs: a true family pet
    • Excellent hunting dog 
    • Loves to play games, especially fetch 
    • Intelligent, friendly, and easily won over
    • Even temper and gentle disposition
    • Alert, curious, and busy

    Negative Traits:

    • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run 
    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog 
    • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature 
    • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble 
    • Willful and stubborn if you don’t show strong leadership 
    • Needs frequent attention from her family
  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Irish 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 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 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 symptoms to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

    Some health issues an Akita could encounter:

    Bloat

    Allergies

    Neurologic Disease

    Thyroid Disease

    Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia

    Eye Problems

    Blindness

    Cataracts

    Bleeding Disorders

  • History

    The Irish Setter originated in Ireland during the 18th century. They were bred as gundogs for tracking, pointing and retrieving game birds. Irish Setters can be independent, but they tend to form strong bonds with family members. They are protective of their family and make good watchdogs, but don’t expect guarding instincts. The Irish Setter is an outgoing and joyful family member and prefers not to be left at home alone. Within the breed, Irish Setters can be clownish, reserved, or high-strung.

  • Watch Out For

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

    Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors 

    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

    Gums that are a color other than bright pink

    Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    General reluctance to run or play

    Louder than normal panting, especially when hot or after exercise 
     

Irish Setter Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Irish 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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