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Irish Red Setter Information


The Irish Setter has a distinctive deep red silky coat that is medium length and somewhat wavy. The head is carried high and the muzzle is exactly have the length of the total head, with long, fringed hears that frame the face. The eyes are very alert and the dog is attentive to his or her surroundings. The body is long and athletic looking while overall narrow in appearance. The tail is beautifully fringed and is carried horizontal to the ground. The hair should be the same length all over the body except on the head, where it will be very short.


Irish setters always appear to be happy dogs. They are very active and love to be with their families at all times. Not known for the watch dog abilities, the Irish Setter is friends with everyone. They get along very will with children and other pets, and usually have no difficulties with other dogs. As a breed they respond poorly to harsh punishment and may become easily timid and fearful if treated improperly. Many owners report that Irish Setters, when given the opportunity to go outside frequently will almost never need to be house trained, they will do so naturally. They respond best to positive rewards and are very easy to train and love to learn new tricks and routines. As a hunting breed the Irish Setter will naturally track, so they need to be either thoroughly trained from a early age or kept on a leash or in a yard to prevent them from wandering off on a scent trail.

Grooming & Shedding

An Irish Setter is considered a medium shedding breed, but does not have the very pronounced seasonal sheds. They require daily grooming to keep the coat in top condition as the long, silky hairs may be prone to tangling. The ears should be checked regularly for any sign of infection. While the breed naturally loves water, they should only be bathed when absolutely necessary as shampoo will strip the coat of natural oils.


Originally developed from Irish Red and White Setters it is reported that the first all red Irish Setters were selectively bred to create a specific color of hunting dog. The Irish Setter originated sometime in the late 1700's and was recognized as separate breed both in field trials and in the show ring. The current standards for the breed are finer boned and with a narrower head than the original Irish Setters bred exclusively for hunting. The breed was one of the most popular dogs in the 1970's, but has somewhat declined in popularity since then.

Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: canine hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), gastric torsion
  • Minor Concerns: epilepsy, megaesophagus, OCD (growth), panosteitis, HOD, skin allergies,
  • Occasionally seen: hemophilia A, hyperthyroidism
  • Suggested tests: blood, heart, hip, DNA




Males 26-28 inches (66-71cm)

Females 24-26 inches (61-66cm)


Males 65-75 pounds (29-34kg)

Females 55-65 pounds (25-29kg.)


11-15 years


High to medium






Young Children


Need exercise space

Yes – large yard or acreage recommended

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