Irish Setter Information

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(Irish Red Setter) 

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The Irish setter can come in two color varieties, the typical solid red and a red and white combo. The Red Setter with white on its chest, and sometimes other places, is considered a Field Setter. The Red color is usually not as dark and they are smaller than the Irish Setter. There is a Field Setter line that is all Red. But they tend to be stockier than the Irish Setter. Irish Setters are being bred to be smaller than they were 30-40 years ago. The smaller breeding is being driven by dog show breeding lines.

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The Irish Red Setter is an energetic and high-spirited breed, affectionate, but intelligent and independent. They do not have guarding instincts, and therefore get along well with other animals. They are good with children.  This Setter can be difficult to train because of that independent temperament, and requires firm handling. Their temperament can vary - some can be high-strung, others are reserved.  They are adaptable to any climate, very fast, with an excellent sense of smell, and therefore make excellent hunters. However, they must be trained to be hunters from an early age.

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24‑28 inches
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55‑75 pounds
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General Health

The Irish Setter has a variety of genetic health problems. They are prone to epilepsy and severe skin allergies, as well as eye problems and elbow and hip dysplasia. In addition, they are prone to Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), auto-immune disease, and hypothyroidism. Ear inflamation (otitis) is also a problem. This breed tends to bloat. Experts suggest that owners feed them 2 to 3 small meals a day instead of one large one.

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The Irish Setter, as well as the English Setter, are both ancestors of the Spanish pointer. It  was originally a parti-colored breed - predominantly white with red splashes, and with shorter legs than today's breed. However, this color fell out of favor, and selective breeding resulted in a pure, solid-color red setter.  The Irish Setter is a fine all‑around hunting dog, and can be used as both a pointer and retriever. They are very fast and with an excellent nose. Some strains are bred purely for beauty, as show dogs, rather than for hunting instincts, however.

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The Irish Setter should be brushed daily in order to keep it free from burrs and tangles. Be sure to remove excess hair from the inner ear. Bathe and dry shampoo only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.

This breeds coat can be brushed more than once a day but avoid frequent bathing as it will remove the natural oils from their coat.

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Ideal Environment

The Irish Setter is not suited for apartment life at all, and really is not suited for life in cities at all. They need a lot of activity and a lot of exercise. A house with a large yard is the bare minimum that they will need to be happy.

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Dog Training!

If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site. Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.

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Irish Setter Q&A

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Me and my partner have a 10 week old male puppy that we have had for 2 weeks now.He is slowly grasping toilet trainig but he is constantly biting anything and everything. We understand he is teething and have bought lots of different toys for him. The problem is he is biting us all the time wether its our legs or hands to my 1 year old nephews. We are being very firm with him but its begining to become very frustrating when we are always having to shout at him or tap him on the nose. Any ideas of how we can stop him from doing this?

Correct it before he learns to control you with the bite. 2-3 firm "ouches" with "don't bite" for corrective action followed with a quick shot of binaca breath spray (peppermint flavor) into the mouth. Don't let him see you have the spray so he still loves you but don't warn and not follow through. It took me 2 times for success.


How many miles can an Irish Setter walk. Is 8 miles each daytoo much

A fit and healthy mature dog will probably enjoy 8 miles a day (perhaps a rest on Sunday!). However, 8 miles is far too long a walk for a pup ... he should be fully grown before attempting to handle such physical exercise.


Our red setter is 10m months old. When she was younger she used snap a lot, but nothing too serious. However, now she tends to bite and more frequently and can be quite strong when launching herself at you with her mouth open. Is it too late to train her properly at 10 months. My mom tried for a while, and didn't really succeed, now i'm moving home and intend to take on her training as a full time job! Any tips? Am I too late?

1-25-2009 I have had Irish Setters since child hood and I have participated in irish rescue for a dozen years or so and I have never seen a mean setter. A little misguided maybe but just not mean. You say she launches with her mouth open, is she playing? Setters are nosy. They want to smell, see and taste everything! I actually have two setters right that couldnt be any more different. One is 95 lbs, quite tall and large. Very relaxed and laid back the other one is small (field type) lean very hyper and less than 50 lbs. Both females, both spayed and both were surrendered by owners that couldnt deal with them. I, however have no trouble. The smallest one is all about ''mouthin''' everything. When teething she would chew on my hand. A very successful way to stop this is the next time she tries to bite you, very quickly grab her BOTTOM jaw (this will render her unable to bite) and loudly tell her NO BITE while you are firmly squeezing her jaw. You will obviously know how much pressure to put to get her attention. The goal is not to inflict pain but to apply punishment to the part of her body that is committing the sin. Trust me. A few times of this and she will stop.


Our Irish Setter is almost a year old and just recently she has been getting out of the yard and running around the neighborhood. My husband calls it wonderlust. I am having trouble with this as we have a very large fenced in yard she can run around, I am just really scared she will get hit by a car or someone will take her. The last couple of times shes come back on her own. I just wanted to ask if anyone has had any trouble with the same thing and what they did about it.

Unfortunately a 4' fence is not adequate to keep a setter in. Mine could jump that in their sleep. So I solved the problem with a very long tie out. I leave it the hook end inside the back door and attach it to her collar before she goes outside. When I open the door she has a 100' to go before she reaches the end. My others will stay inside the yard. I know it is expensive but if you have a 4' fence you need to raise it up to 6'. A decorative two foot piece of lattice will suffice. Or maybe additional wire. Depending if your posts are wood or metal. Both would be easy enough to work with. If she isnt jumping your fence she may be undoing your latch or found an opening you dont even know is there. Never underestimate how their minds work.


Just bought a 8 week old irish setter. His facial features are quite wrinkly and eyes just a little droopy like a coker spaniel. (he is full blooded) Will he grow out of his wrinkle and droopyness in his face?

I took a look at photos of my Irish boy at 8 weeks - the skin around his eyes was a bit droopy and I do remember people asking if he was a cocker. By the time he was 3 months old, only really naive people were asking that question! At 5 months, he's so skinny he looks underfed, but he eats like a pig and you can't feel his ribs. Regardless, he is clearly a setter and very handsome. It's funny what you worry about. I remember I worried that he would stay that brownish color that Irish puppies are. I shouldn't have - especially since I saw his parents - because he is the most gorgeous deep mahogany color now. Don't fret. All puppies are a bit chubby with loose skin - even skinny Irish puppies! Your little fellow will loose his baby fat soon enough.


I have an eleven month old female irish setter, who seems to be showing signs of weekness in her back legs on the lower half. it has been comented that she has lack of muscle. Can you advise how I can help the situation?


My 14 month Irish Setter male has a protruding skull bone on the top of his head. Is this anything to be concerned about?

We joke that that little knob on the top of our beautiful red boy's head is where he keeps his brain! Males do seem to have knobbier noggins than the ladies. Don't fret about it. I'm sure he's gorgeous.


I have a female Irish Setter who is just under 8 months now. Everywhere we go we always get comments like, "shes is so skinny" because her ribs do show. I was just wondering what is the normal weight and height at this age for a female Setter?

My 5 year old female Irish Setter is about 52 lbs. i would consider that to be average for the female IS.


What is the average weight for a healthy 2 months old irish setter???. It was longtime ago since I saw a puppy (my dogs are between 9 and 11 years old) and want to get one.

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