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Breed Profile

Irish Setter

WEIGHT: 60 to 70 lbs
HEIGHT: 25 to 27 inches
COLOR(S): Mahogany or rich chestnut red with no trace of black. May have white markings.
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The Irish Setter is an aristocratic bird dog, with a rich, lustrous red coat and an expressive face. It is a little lighter and speedier than the other setters. It is friendly and amusing, it makes an excellent family dog. The Irish Setter is a very good gundog and watchdog. It enjoys human companionship and is good with children. Sometimes known as "Big Red or the Red Setter"; it has boundless energy and full of high spirits.


The Irish Setter is an energetic, intelligent, affectionate, high-spirited dog. It is responsive yet sensitive, it may be boisterous at times. This breed is very lovable and impulsive; it is extremely swift and full of energy. It gets along well with other animals. This breed can be giddy and high strung. It needs an experienced master; you can reach the best results with consistent, loving and well-balanced training. It needs plenty of exercise, if possible running free. Lack of exercise can make it restless and difficult to train. This breed is easy to housebreak. The Irish Setter tends to pick up bad habits quickly, it is important to train for good house manners. Firm obedience training at an early age is a must. It has an excellent sense of smell and is hardy over any terrain and in any climate. The Irish Setter's talents include hunting, tracking, retrieving, pointing, watchdogging, agility and competitive obedience. This breed is used for all types of hunting, even works well on wetlands.


Short and fine on head, fronts of legs and tips of ears; moderately long, free and as straight as possible on rest of the body; they have a good feathering on the chest and backs of legs, as well as tail. Their fur is very silky in appearance and to the touch.


Skin problems, epilepsy, hip dysplasia and bloat. Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Irish Setters can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests. Other health concerns include eye problems, hypothyroidism, and osteosarcoma.


A home with a fenced yard is mandatory. Owners of an Irish Setter should be patient and enjoy an athletic breed. The best owner for this breed would be an active family living in a rural or suburban environment.


Irish Setters have a mind of their own but are intelligent to understand what is expected of them. Use a consistent, loving approach when handling. Teach a puppy to come when they are young. But do not use harsh training, as they are very a sensitive breed.

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