The Irish setter originated from a variety of spaniels, pointers
and setters. These dogs were originally called Irish Red Setter
in the United States, and at one stage these dogs was red and white
with shorter legs than they have today.
Irish Setters are very versatile hunting dogs. They are very fast,
and they have very good noses. Irish Setters are both pointers and
retrievers. Today, many people have these dogs as show companions
or as family dogs.
The coat is moderately long, silky, and of a red or chestnut in
color. It requires frequent brushing to maintain its condition and
keep it mat-free. The undercoat is abundant in winter weather, and
the top coat is fine. Their coats should also feather in places
such as the tail, ears, chest, legs, and body. Irish Setters range
in height from 25 to 27 inches (630 to 690 mm), males weigh 60 to
70 lb (27 to 32 kg) and females 53 to 64 lb (24 to 29 kg). The FCI
Breed Standard for the Irish Setter stipulates males: 23 to 26.5
inches (580 to 670 mm), females: 21.5 to 24.5 inches (550 to 620
mm). Irish Setters are deep chested dogs with small waists.
Irish Setters get along well with children, other dogs, and any
household pets, and will enthusiastically greet visitors. Even though
they do well with household pets, small animals may pose a problem
for this breed, as they are a hunting breed. Some Irish setters
may have problems with cats in the house, and may be too rambunctious
with small children. As the FCI, ANKC and UK Standards state, the
breed should be "Demonstrably affectionate." As a result,
Irish Setters make excellent companion animals and family pets.
Irish Setters are an active breed, and require long, daily walks
and off-lead running in wide, open spaces. They are, however, a
breed with a tendency to 'play deaf,' so careful training on mastering
the recall should be undertaken before allowing them off-lead.
Irish Setters enjoy having a job to do. Lack of activity will lead
to a bored, destructive, or even hyperactive dog. This is not a
breed that can be left alone in the backyard for long periods of
time, nor should they be. Irish Setters thrive on constant human
companionship. Irish Setters respond swiftly to positive training
and are highly intelligent.
Weight Height Range
The Irish Setter breed standard does not contain a height range,
however on average dogs stand at 65cms at the withers and weigh
30.5kgs, bitches average at 61cms from the withers and weigh 26kgs.
This breed was very popular in the 1970's and many health and temperament
problems appeared. In recent years many of these problems have been
eliminated. Irish Setters are known to be sensitive to penicillin
and some other antibiotics. They are also prone to hip dysplasia
and screening for this is very important.
Early obedience training is a must in order to get this dog to
come back if it ever gets off the lead. Being a hunter, although
an easily distracted one, it will follow a scents all over if not
trained to come back to its owner. With patience and kindness, The
Irish Setter is easy to train and can even compete in obedience
trials. It is a sensitive breed though and will not respond well
to harsh correction. This breed matures slowly, both physically
and mentally and should never be pushed too far too fast. They are
hardheaded, stubborn and independent.
The long, lean head should be twice the length of the width between
the eyes. There should be a distinct stop and a well-defined occiput,
so that in profile the head appears slightly domed with a deep muzzle
which is fairly square at the nose. The jaws should be of nearly
equal length, with a perfect scissor bite, and a black or dark mahogany
which adds to the aristocratic appearance. Almond shaped eyes of
a dark to medium brown. Feathering begins at the ear tips, on ears
set back and low, in length, almost long enough to reach the nose.
They should have a long, very muscular not too thick neck. The shoulder
blades should slope well back over a deep, rather narrow chest.
A slightly sloping topline is completed by the plumed tail, which
should be held level with the topline. Strong, well-boned legs support
the dog. Muscle should be evident in the hindquarters and the hocks
should be nearly perpendicular to the ground. This anatomy should
produce the graceful and efficient gait that helps make the dog
so showy in the ring.