Routine Care: Irish Setters are smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. They can have 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 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!
The Irish Setter is a protective and affectionate dog who needs a strong leader, daily exercise, and enjoys time spent hanging out with their family.
- 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
- 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 their 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. They are counting on you to be their health expert.
Some health issues an Irish Setter could encounter:
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