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Irish Setter

Irish Setter Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A graceful and energetic breed with a distinctive red coat and a friendly disposition.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.
Alternate Name:Red Setter, Irish Red Setter
Type:Mammal

Size:

Irish Setters are considered a Large Dog breed.
Weight:25-32 kg.
Height:61-71 cm (24-28 inches).
Length:66-76 cm (26-30 inches).

Lifespan:

The average lifespan of an Irish Setter is 11-15 years

Behavior:

What type of dog is a Irish Setter, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Irish Setters are known for their friendly and outgoing personality. They are affectionate and love to be around people, making them excellent family pets. They have high energy levels and a need for exercise, making them a good choice for active families.

Irish Setters are intelligent dogs and are quick learners, but they can also be stubborn at times. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and enjoy learning new tricks and commands.

In terms of temperament, Irish Setters are playful and fun-loving. They have a great sense of humor and love to make their owners laugh. They are also loyal and protective of their families, making them good watchdogs.

Irish Setters are generally good with children and other pets, but they can be a bit boisterous and may accidentally knock over small children. They also have a strong prey drive and may chase after small animals, so it’s important to keep them on a leash or in a secure area when outside.

Overall, Irish Setters are friendly, energetic and intelligent dogs that make great family pets for those who are willing to provide them with plenty of exercise and attention.

Intelligence

Irish Setters are generally considered to be intelligent dogs. They are trainable and have an eagerness to please their owners. However, like all dogs, their intelligence can vary from individual to individual. Some Irish Setters may be more intelligent and quick to learn than others. It is important to note that intelligence is not the only factor in a dog’s behavior and training success, as factors such as temperament, socialization and training methods also play a role.

Trainability

Irish Setters are generally intelligent and eager to please, which can make them relatively easy to train. However, they can also be quite stubborn and independent, which can make training a bit more challenging. Consistency, positive reinforcement and patience are key when training an Irish Setter. It’s important to start training early and to use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to encourage good behavior. Irish Setters also benefit from plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, which can help them focus and be more receptive to training. Overall, with the right approach and plenty of patience and consistency, Irish Setters can be trained successfully.

Sleep

Irish Setters typically sleep for around 12-14 hours per day, although this can vary depending on their age, activity level and overall health. Puppies and older dogs may require more sleep, while younger, more active dogs may sleep less. It’s important to provide your Irish Setter with a comfortable and quiet place to sleep and to ensure they get enough rest to maintain their health and well-being.

Bark

Irish Setters are vocal dogs and can bark quite a bit, especially when they are bored or anxious. However, with proper training and socialization, their barking can be controlled. It is important to note that excessive barking can be a sign of an underlying issue, such as separation anxiety, so it is important to address the root cause of the barking.

Drool

Irish Setters are not heavy droolers. However, like all dogs, they may drool occasionally, especially when they are excited or have just eaten. Overall, Irish Setters are not considered to be a particularly drooly breed.

Lick

Irish Setters are moderate to heavy lickers. They are affectionate dogs and enjoy showing their love and affection through licking. However, excessive licking can be a sign of anxiety or boredom, so it’s important to monitor their behavior and provide them with enough mental and physical stimulation. It’s also important to maintain good oral hygiene for your dog and ensure they are not licking anything harmful or toxic.

Jump

Irish Setters are known for their athleticism and agility and they are capable of jumping quite high. On average, an Irish Setter can jump up to 5 feet in the air, but some may be able to jump even higher with proper training and conditioning. However, it is important to note that excessive jumping can be harmful to their joints, so it is recommended to limit their jumping activities and provide them with appropriate exercise and training.

Dig

Irish Setters have a moderate tendency to dig. They were originally bred as hunting dogs and have a strong instinct to dig and search for prey. However, with proper training and exercise, this behavior can be managed. Providing your Irish Setter with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation can help reduce their digging tendencies. It’s also important to provide them with a designated digging area or sandbox to redirect their digging behavior.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Irish Setter the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Irish Setter.

Exercise

Irish Setters are a high-energy breed and require a significant amount of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They need at least 60-90 minutes of exercise per day, which can include brisk walks, runs or playtime in a fenced yard. They also enjoy activities such as hiking, swimming and agility training. It’s important to provide them with regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Space

Irish Setters are a large breed of dog and require a significant amount of space to move around and exercise. They are active dogs that enjoy running and playing, so a large yard or open space is ideal for them. A minimum of 1,000 square feet of outdoor space is recommended for an Irish Setter. They also need a comfortable indoor space to rest and sleep, which should be large enough to accommodate their size. It is important to note that Irish Setters are social dogs and require human interaction and attention, so they should not be left alone for extended periods of time in a small space.

Apartment

Irish Setters are not typically recommended for apartment living as they are a high-energy breed that requires a lot of exercise and space to run around. They are also vocal and may disturb neighbors with their barking. If you are set on getting an Irish Setter and live in an apartment, you will need to commit to providing them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation outside of the apartment. It is important to research and consider the needs of a breed before bringing them into your living situation.

Left Alone

Irish Setters are social dogs and do not tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. They thrive on human companionship and can become anxious and destructive if left alone for extended periods. It is recommended that they are not left alone for more than 4-6 hours a day. If you need to leave your Irish Setter alone for longer periods, it is important to provide them with plenty of toys, puzzles and other forms of mental stimulation to keep them occupied. Additionally, hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to check on them during the day can help alleviate their boredom and anxiety.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Irish Setters are generally good with kids and families. They have friendly and outgoing personalities and they love to be around people. They are also energetic and playful, which makes them great companions for children who like to play and run around. However, it is important to note that Irish Setters are high-energy dogs that require plenty of exercise and attention, so they may not be the best fit for families with very young children or those who are unable to provide them with the necessary exercise and stimulation. Additionally, as with any breed, early socialization and training are important to ensure that the dog is well-behaved around children and other family members.

Perfect Fit

An Irish Setter would be a perfect fit for a household that has an active lifestyle and can provide plenty of exercise and playtime. They are high-energy dogs that require daily walks, runs or hikes to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. They also thrive in a home with a large, fenced yard where they can run and play safely. Irish Setters are affectionate and social dogs that enjoy being around their family and may become anxious or destructive if left alone for long periods. Therefore, they are best suited for a household where someone is home most of the day or can provide them with plenty of attention and companionship. Additionally, Irish Setters are renowned for their intelligence and trainability, so they would do well in a home with experienced dog owners who can provide them with consistent training and positive reinforcement.

Pros and Cons:

While they make great family pets, there are both pros and cons to owning one. Here is a table outlining five of each:

ProsCons
1. Friendly and affectionate1. High energy level requires lots of exercise
2. Good with children and other pets2. Can be stubborn and difficult to train
3. Intelligent and eager to please3. Prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods
4. Beautiful and unique appearance4. Requires regular grooming to maintain coat
5. Loyal and devoted to their owners5. Can be prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia and bloat.

Cost:

The cost of an Irish Setter in Australia can vary depending on the breeder, location and other factors such as pedigree and age. On average, you can expect to pay between $1,500 to $3,000 AUD for a purebred Irish Setter puppy from a reputable breeder. However, prices can go up to $5,000 AUD or more for show-quality dogs with champion bloodlines. It’s important to do your research and only buy from a reputable breeder to ensure the health and well-being of your new pet.

Breed History:

Irish Setters were originally bred in Ireland in the 18th century as hunting dogs. They were specifically bred for their ability to locate and point out game birds such as pheasants, quail and grouse. The breed was developed by crossing various breeds of spaniels, pointers and setters. The Irish Setter’s distinctive red coat was also selectively bred for, as it made them more visible in the field. Over time, Irish Setters became popular as show dogs and family pets due to their friendly and outgoing nature.

Current Usage

Irish Setters are primarily kept as pets and show dogs today. However, they were originally bred as hunting dogs and are still used for this purpose in some parts of the world. They have an excellent sense of smell and their ability to track game birds. Irish Setters are also used in search and rescue operations, as therapy dogs and in various dog sports such as agility, obedience and flyball. In addition, they are sometimes used as assistance dogs for people with disabilities. Overall, while they are primarily kept as companion animals, Irish Setters still have a range of practical applications due to their intelligence, athleticism and friendly nature.

Guard Dogs

Irish Setters are not typically known for their guarding abilities. They are friendly and sociable dogs that are more likely to greet strangers with a wagging tail than to protect their home. While they may bark to alert their owners of someone approaching, they are not usually aggressive or territorial. If you are looking for a guard dog, there are other breeds that are better suited for this role.

Where Are They Found?

Irish Setters are popular in many countries around the world, but they are most commonly associated with Ireland, where the breed originated. In addition to Ireland, Irish Setters are particularly popular in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. They are also well-loved in many other countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Japan.

Climate

Irish Setters are best suited to moderate climates with mild temperatures. They can tolerate cooler temperatures but may struggle in extreme heat. They have a thick, long coat that provides insulation in colder weather, but can also make them uncomfortable in hot and humid conditions. It is important to provide them with plenty of shade and access to cool water during hot weather to prevent heat exhaustion.

Population

It is difficult to determine the exact number of Irish Setters in the world as there is no centralized database or registry that tracks their population. However, according to the American Kennel Club, the Irish Setter is ranked as the 76th most popular breed in the United States, which suggests that there are a significant number of Irish Setters in the country alone. Additionally, the breed is recognized by kennel clubs in many other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, indicating that there are likely thousands of Irish Setters worldwide.

Physical Appearance:

Irish Setters are a medium to large-sized breed of dog with a distinctive and elegant appearance. They have a lean and athletic build, with long, slender legs and a deep chest. Their coat is silky and feathered, with a rich mahogany or chestnut color that is often accented by white markings on the chest, feet and face.

Their head is long and narrow, with a slightly domed skull and a long, tapering muzzle. They have large, almond-shaped eyes that are usually a dark shade of brown and long, floppy ears that hang down to their shoulders.

Irish Setters have a graceful and fluid gait, with a proud and confident demeanor.

Coat:

Colours:

Irish Setters are typically a rich mahogany or chestnut color, but they can also have variations of red, from a lighter golden-red to a darker mahogany-red.

Hair/Fur Length:

Irish Setters have long, silky and feathered hair that can grow up to 2-3 inches in length.

Shedding:

Yes, Irish Setters do shed. They have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and to minimize shedding. During shedding season, which typically occurs twice a year, they may shed more heavily. However, with proper grooming and care, shedding can be minimized.

Grooming:

The Irish Setter has a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and free of tangles and mats. They should be brushed at least once a week and more frequently during shedding season. They also require occasional trimming around the ears, feet and tail to maintain their appearance and prevent matting. However, their coat should not be shaved or cut short as it provides insulation and protection from the elements. Regular bathing is also recommended to keep their coat clean and shiny. Overall, the Irish Setter requires moderate grooming maintenance.

Hypoallergenic:

No, Irish Setters are not hypoallergenic. They have a long, silky coat that sheds moderately and can produce dander, which can trigger allergies in some people. Regular grooming and bathing can help reduce shedding and dander, but they are not a good choice for people with severe allergies.

Speed:

Irish Setters can run at a speed of up to 56 kilometers per hour (35 miles per hour).

Health:

Irish Setters are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues, including:

  • Hip dysplasia: a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, causing pain and lameness.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness.
  • Hypothyroidism: a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain, lethargy and other symptoms.
  • Bloat: a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood flow to the organs.
  • Epilepsy: a neurological disorder that can cause seizures.

Teeth:

Irish Setters typically have 42 teeth, which is the same number of teeth as most other dog breeds.

Eyesight:

Irish Setters have excellent eyesight, which is a key trait for their role as hunting dogs. Their keen eyesight allows them to spot prey from a distance and track it effectively. Additionally, their eyes are set well apart, providing them with a wide field of vision.

Nipples:

Irish Setters typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.

Gestation:

Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Irish Setters is between 6 to 8 puppies. However, litter sizes can vary and may be smaller or larger depending on various factors such as the age and health of the mother, genetics and environmental factors.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Irish Setters is typically around 63 days, but it can range from 58 to 68 days.

Heat:

Irish Setters typically go into heat twice a year, but this can vary depending on the individual dog.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Irish Setters have several differences in terms of physical appearance and temperament. Males are generally larger and heavier than females, with a height of 26-28 inches and a weight of 65-75 pounds, while females are slightly smaller, with a height of 24-26 inches and a weight of 55-65 pounds. Males also tend to have a more muscular build and a broader head, while females have a more refined appearance. In terms of temperament, males are often more outgoing and boisterous, while females are more reserved and independent. However, both genders have friendly and affectionate natures, making them popular family pets.

Tips and Advice:

Irish Setters are beautiful and energetic dogs that require proper care and attention to maintain their health and happiness. Here are some tips and advice for caring for an Irish Setter:

  • Provide regular exercise: Irish Setters are active dogs that require plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They need at least an hour of exercise every day, such as running, playing fetch or going for long walks.
  • Feed a balanced diet: A high-quality diet that is appropriate for the dog’s age, size and activity level is essential for maintaining good health. Avoid feeding your Irish Setter table scraps or human food, as this can lead to obesity and other health problems.
  • Groom regularly: Irish Setters have long, silky coats that require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Brush their coat at least once a week and trim their nails every few weeks to prevent them from becoming too long.
  • Provide plenty of mental stimulation: Irish Setters are intelligent dogs that need plenty of mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Provide them with puzzle toys, interactive games and training sessions to keep their minds active.
  • Socialize early: Early socialization is essential for Irish Setters to develop good behavior and social skills. Introduce them to different people, animals and environments from a young age to help them become well-adjusted and confident dogs.
  • Regular vet check-ups: Regular visits to the vet are essential for maintaining your Irish Setter’s health. Schedule annual check-ups and vaccinations and seek veterinary care immediately if you notice any signs of illness or injury.

By following these tips and advice, you can provide your Irish Setter with the care and attention they need to live a happy and healthy life.

Food:

Irish Setters have a good appetite and can eat quite a bit. However, the amount they eat can vary depending on their age, weight and activity level. As with any dog, it is important to monitor their food intake and ensure they are not overeating or becoming overweight.

Irish Setters can be food-oriented dogs, meaning they may be more motivated by food rewards during training. However, this can also lead to them begging for food or stealing food if not properly trained and managed. It is important to establish good feeding habits and boundaries with your Irish Setter to prevent any unwanted behavior around food.

Facts:

Here are three interesting facts about this beloved breed:

  1. Irish Setters were originally bred for hunting: Irish Setters were originally bred in Ireland in the 18th century for hunting game birds. Their keen sense of smell and ability to cover large areas of land quickly made them a popular choice for hunters.
  2. They have a unique coat color: Irish Setters are known for their beautiful red coat, which can range from a deep mahogany to a lighter chestnut color. This unique coat color is the result of a recessive gene that only appears when both parents carry it.
  3. They are highly energetic: Irish Setters are a high-energy breed that require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They love to run, play and explore and are happiest when they have plenty of room to roam.

Names:

When it comes to naming these lovable dogs, names that reflect their Irish heritage or their energetic nature are popular choices. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for an Irish Setter:

  1. Finnegan – This name means “fair-haired” and is a nod to the Setter’s red coat.
  2. Murphy – A classic Irish name that means “sea warrior.”
  3. Riley – A name that means “courageous” and is perfect for a brave and adventurous Setter.
  4. Guinness – A nod to the famous Irish beer and a great name for a dog with a bubbly personality.
  5. Seamus – This name means “supplanter” and is a popular Irish name for boys.
  6. Brigid – A name that means “strength” and is perfect for a strong and independent Setter.
  7. Cian – A name that means “ancient” and is a popular Irish name for boys.
  8. Aisling – This name means “dream” and is perfect for a Setter with a playful and imaginative personality.
  9. Niamh – A name that means “bright” and is perfect for a Setter with a sunny disposition.
  10. Oisin – This name means “little deer” and is a popular Irish name for boys.
  11. Saoirse – A name that means “freedom” and is perfect for a Setter with a free spirit.
  12. Tadhg – A name that means “poet” and is a popular Irish name for boys.
  13. Aoife – This name means “beauty” and is perfect for a Setter with a striking appearance.
  14. Killian – A name that means “bright-haired” and is perfect for a Setter with a fiery red coat.
  15. Maeve – This name means “intoxicating” and is perfect for a Setter with a charming personality.

Famous:

Over the years, there have been several famous Irish Setters that have captured the hearts of people around the world. Here are some of the most famous Irish Setters of all time:

  1. Big Red – Perhaps the most famous Irish Setter of all time, Big Red starred in the 1960 Disney movie “Big Red” and won the hearts of audiences with his stunning looks and charming personality.
  2. Mike – Owned by President Harry Truman, Mike was a beloved Irish Setter who accompanied the President on many of his travels and was even featured in a Life Magazine photo shoot.
  3. Red – This Irish Setter was owned by the famous author, Agatha Christie and was the inspiration for the dog in her novel “Dumb Witness.”
  4. King Timahoe – This Irish Setter was owned by President Richard Nixon and was often seen accompanying the President on walks around the White House grounds.
  5. O’Hara – This Irish Setter was owned by the famous actor, John Wayne and appeared in several of his movies, including “The Quiet Man” and “The Sons of Katie Elder.”
  6. Lady – This Irish Setter was owned by the famous singer, Bing Crosby and was often seen with him on the golf course.
  7. Kilkenny – This Irish Setter was owned by the famous author, Ernest Hemingway and was the inspiration for the dog in his novel “Islands in the Stream.”

These famous Irish Setters have left a lasting impression on the world and have helped to make the breed one of the most beloved among dog lovers.

Summary:

An Irish Setter is a breed of dog that originated in Ireland. It is a medium to large-sized dog that is known for its beautiful red coat and friendly personality. Irish Setters are typically energetic and playful, making them great companions for active families.

In terms of personality, Irish Setters are affectionate, loyal and intelligent. They are often described as being “people dogs” because they love to be around their owners and are very social animals. They are also good with children and other pets.

The history of the Irish Setter can be traced back to the 18th century in Ireland. They were originally bred as hunting dogs, specifically for bird hunting. Over time, they became popular as show dogs and family pets.

As a pet, an Irish Setter would make a great addition to an active family who enjoys spending time outdoors. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. They also require regular grooming to maintain their beautiful coat. Overall, an Irish Setter is a loving and loyal companion that would make a great pet for the right family.