The Irish Setter is friendly, affectionate and fun-loving. Irish Setters are very playful dogs that have a mind of their own. They don't tend to bark much and greet all strangers enthusiastically even if they are unwanted visitors. Irish Setters are friendly and patient with children and don't cause problems with other dogs or household pets. They can be exuberant and can take time to train, but they have the intelligence to understand what is expected of them. Irish Setters make ideal household companions and bond closely with their family.
Click here on how to stop your Irish Setter's behavior problems
Irish Setters need to be trimmed occasionally to keep the coat looking tidy. The excess hair between the pads of the feet and under the ears also needs to be trimmed (keeps the ears ventilated). Periodic brushing is needed to remove the moulting hair.
Irish Setters demand a lot of exercise and need to have regular, long walks. An ideal way for them to burn energy is running alongside a cycle (once fully grown).
The early Irish Setters were all red and white due to their ancestry involving the English Setter. Later when enthusiasts wanted to individualize the breed they were crossed with black/tan Gordon Setters and some breeders were successful in breeding out most of the white. The Red and White variety still remained as many people were only interested in working dogs and not on appearance. The Chestnut Irish Setters became more popular and improved in quality until they gained Kennel Club recognition.
General Appearance: Dignified stance, racy and kindly expression.
Color: Rich chestnut. White markings on the forehead, chin, chest or toes are permitted.
Coat: Silky, flat and fine. The hair is shorter on the head, tips of the ears and front of the legs. There is long feathering on the ears, tail, stomach and back of the limbs.
Tail: Set low, tapering, medium length and carried level with the back (or below the back).
Ears: Set low, moderate size and hanging close to the head.
Body: The chest is deep and narrow with well-sprung ribs. The shoulders are long and oblique and the loin is muscular and slightly arched.
- Female Irish Setter's tend to have very large litters and can have up to 16 puppies at a time.
- When Irish Setters come across an interesting scent they tend to be deaf to their owner's call. Therefore it is important that these dogs are taught from a young age that they must go to their owner when given the order.