Irish Setters Dog Breed – Detailed Information and Facts!

Irish Setter Breed

Whether you’re thinking about adopting/buying an Irish Setter as your pet dog or the cute videos all over the internet made you want to explore more about this breed, this article is just for you.

Irish Setters are big goofballs, packed with energy, always ready to play, and keenly prepared to explore the world with you.

They are bound to win your heart with their dazzling appearance and their chirpy, sweet, & loving personalities.

Want to know more about this breed? Continue reading the article till the end to get a more in-depth understanding of Irish setters.

Irish Setters

About the Breed

irish setter puppies

The Irish Setters are big Irish-bred canines. Irish Setters excel in fields as their love for running, and playing fetch is still persistent from their hunting, vigilant parent breeds.

Irish Setters’ parent’s breed is believed to be the English Setter-Spaniels-Pointer-Gordon Setter mix, generally referred to as the English Setter. The Irish Setter makes an excellent gundog, as a result of selective breeding.

The Irish Setter breed conforms to AKC breed standards by having a lean head, long floppy ears that hang down from the forehead, and a lovely button nose with a keen sense of smell.

It is among deep-chested breeds with a moderately thick coat that varies in thickness throughout the body.

Although this breed does shed its fair share of hair, it is not considered to be hypoallergenic. This Setter breed has almond-shaped, deeply pigmented eyes. It has a broad body with an athletic build.

Irish Setters are sensitive as compared to other breeds. The Irish Setter Breed Club is the only national breed club sanctioned by the AKC.

History of the Irish Setters

 Irish Setters dog breed

The first red Irish Setter initially appeared in Ireland in the 19th century, which also explains the breed’s name. This fun-loving breed’s rise to fame isn’t something that happened recently; they have been quite famous since the 17th century.

Irish Setters today have a reputation for being sporting dogs because their parent breed was bred as a hunting dog. They were deployed to retrieve birds because of their swift retrieval and excellent sense of smell. Many Irish Setters still enjoy fetch games and hunting to this day.

The ancestors of the modern Irish Setter didn’t have red coats; they were white with red markings, according to the American Kennel Club.

Irish Setter Facts

  • The celebrity dog named Elcho was the first Irish Setter who won the U.S. championship in 1876.
  • Champs in the field, the Irish Setter Club has won the Westminster Kennel Club’s Sporting Group competition 11 times!
  • Irish Setter is Recognized as a Sporting breed by American Kennel Club and as a Gundog by the UKC classification.
  • Irish Setter tends to mature really slowly and their sensitive nature makes them prone to separation anxiety.
  • Irish Setter’s parent breed wasn’t rich chestnut red but white with red markings.

Irish Setter Appearance

Appearance-wise, Irish Setters are one of the most beautiful breeds with their adorable floppy ears, fluffiest coat, and athletic yet cute body build. Their silky, bright-red, flashy (in a celebrity way) coats tend to beat other dogs in the game of beauty standards, effortlessly.

Let’s talk about the unbiased factual information about the red Irish setter.

irish setter dog


The size of an Irish Setter breed is above-average, and could also fall in the large dogs category. They are typically between 25 and 27 inches tall.


The average weight range of an Irish Setter falls between 60 to 70 pounds.


 The double-layered bright red coat with lustrous, straight, silky, and incredibly soft hair (more than yours); gives the Irish Setters a sleek appearance. The thickness & length of coat hair varies all over the body with the tail, legs, chest, and ears having the longest hair.


Irish Setters typically have coat colors of deep chestnut red, Mahagonny, and bright red.

irish setter images


Working red Setters often have white markings, making them resemble old Irish Setters. Weighing 40 pounds on average, they are lighter than the typical Red Setter, in terms of both weight and color.

Irish Setter Puppies

An Irish Setter puppy looks straight out of any animated film. The puppies have the cutest paws, dreamy sparkly eyes, silky-soft wobbly ears, and a breathtakingly beautiful red coat.

irish setter dog breed

An average Irish Setter male puppy of 6 months is about 40 pounds. The female Red Setter pup weighs about 38 pounds.

Irish Setter Temperament and Personality

Irish Setters are not only bright and sociable dogs, but they are also playful, energetic, and merry dogs. Their natural ability for care and affectionate nature wins people over, making them one of the most loved breeds.

The Irish Setter was bred as a working dog and is hyperactive. That’s why for proper functioning, they must get enough exercise. If you are among the couch potatoes, this gundog breed is not for you.

If maturity is a characteristic you want in your pet dog – Irish Setters might not be the ideal dog breed. They stay puppy-like at heart, perpetually needy of your care, love, and attention.

Irish Setter breed is comparatively more sensitive than other dog breeds, which makes them super attached to their owners/family members.

irish setter breed

That makes them suffer from separation anxiety. They are clingy and constantly demanding your attention, which can be wholesome but annoying too at times.

Do Irish Setters Make Great Family Dogs?

Before deciding that, we need to take aspects both positive and negative into consideration. Undoubtedly, the Irish Setter is among the popular breeds in the family dog world.


Irish Setters are noisy canines. Their bark sound is significantly louder – loud enough to make you want to block your ears and rethink your decision about having it as a pet. They bark to get your attention. Irish Setter is certainly not for you if you prefer calm and collected dogs.

irish setter short hair

Bite Potential

They are friendly dogs and their biting potential is fairly low.

Guard Dogs

The personality of the Irish Setter is more of a sociable & playful sort. Modern-day Irish Setters aren’t predominantly of hunting nature, not very protective of their territory, and thus not ideal as guard pets.

Left Alone

Time Irish Setters can be left alone for up to two hours, although, more than that might take a toll on their mental health. So, it is advised you keep their favorite toys near them for emotional support.

Behavior With Other Dogs/household Pet

You’d be amazed by the Irish breed’s ability to become pals with other pets/animals. So, bringing new pets to home or getting along with a neighbor’s dog; the Irish Red Setter doesn’t disappoint.

Behavior With Visitors

The good news is that the Irish Setter warmly welcomes your guests, and presents himself as the most hospitable host even more than you.

irish setter puppies

Apart from that, Irish Setter loves spending time with kids and is friendly to them and not aggressive at all. Their ability to pick up new skills efficiently and to be trained makes it easier to teach them good manners, toilet training, and other desirable traits. Which surely makes the red setters good family dogs.

Irish Setter Health and Care

When it comes to health, Irish Setters tend to enjoy a healthy life with the least amount of health complications. However, it doesn’t mean there aren’t chances or you shouldn’t be prepared. In the Irish setter’s case, there aren’t many.

But some of the major health issues that your Irish Setter might encounter are the following:


Also referred to as Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) is a condition commonly experienced by dogs when their stomachs become full of gas, food, or liquid.Deep-chested dogs like Irish Setters have a high chance of struggling with life-threatening swelling in the abdomen due to bloat. That is why it is imperative to keep an eye on your dog’s digestive concerns. Bloat can prove to be fatal if left untreated.

Hip Dysplasia

This condition affects the dog’s rear legs and results in pain, and weakness, and can occur in other breeds too. Over time, hip dysplasia can also cause arthritis, muscular atrophy, and restricted mobility.

Ear Infections

The big appealing Irish Setter’s ears can easily develop infections but are curable. Frequent grooming and ear cleaning can help prevent this.


Spring brings more playtime with your pet, but it also brings the season of soul-sucking parasites. Your Red Setter’s body might get attacked by external parasites such as ticks, fleas, mites, and lice.Use the preventive spray suggested by your veterinarian and check your dog’s skin and coat hair frequently.

Canine Hypothyroidism

While the possibility of canine hypothyroidism occurring in other dogs is always there, Irish Setters are among the more susceptible breed.If your Red Setter is showing symptoms like weight gain, sensitivity to cold weather, fur thinning, excessive shedding, and reduction in energy, it might be hypothyroidism.

Irish Setter Breed Food and Diet

It’s important to feed your dog a diet rich in nutrients, minerals, adequate proteins, and healthy fats. A Red Setter puppy six months of age needs to be fed 3 to 4 cups of good-quality dog food to ensure proper growth, mental stimulation, and optimal functioning.

It is ideal to break down the meals into several parts for better digestion. And as your puppy develops into an adult – the diet might get reduced to two cups a day, depending on the weight and size of your adult dog.

Irish Setter Dog Grooming

Irish Setters have a double-layered coat, which sheds a lot during the spring and autumn season, making them a high-maintenance dog breed. They ideally need daily grooming, as this high-spirited & exceptionally active breed loves playing outside.

So, while excelling at dog sports, your Red Setter might get dirty, resulting in a battle you have to fight to give them a bath. Spoiler alert: they always win.

setter irlandés dog


brushingNormally, it needs to be done at least twice a week. However, three to four times when it’s the peak shedding season. The more often you brush, the lesser the shedding, making their coat stay clean for long.

Teeth Cleaning

You should brush Irish Setter’s teeth at least 2 to 3 times a week to avoid tartar build-up, mouth stinking, and rotting because of the bacteria. Maintaining their Oral hygiene is good for their overall well-being.

Nail Trimming

Your Irish Setter is going to run at the speed of light whenever it’s that time of the month; nail trimming. Trim nails 1 to 2 times a month, it’s best you go to a professional dog groomer than experimenting on the poor sweet creature.


Due to the fine long hair, the coats of the Irish Setter breed tend to get oily and dusty. Every 2 to 3 months is fine. It might vary with how naughty your dog is. However, use a natural ingredient shampoo for bathing your Irish Setter. The chemical ones make their skin dry and flaky and might result in a trip to the vet.

Ear Cleaning

Red Setter’s ears need to be checked often, preferably daily and looked for infections. If you see any signs of discomfort or itching over the ear area, go to the vet right away.

Life Expectancy

The Irish Setter breed tends to enjoy a healthy lifespan of 12-14 years on average and is among the dog breeds with the least health problems generally.

Irish Setter Training

Training Irish Setters is relatively easy as they are intelligent dogs who tend to adapt quickly through positive training.

irish setter breeders

You may ask, what is it? It refers to positive reinforcements like rewarding your dog with their favorite treats, toys, and remarks to make them do tricks (and get views on Instagram).

Consistency is key when it comes to training, so have frequent sessions if you want your dog to pick up new traits quickly and improvise. Their intelligence makes it fairly easy to train as compared to other dogs.

Exercise Requirements

Irish Setters are among energetic, sporting breeds; they require a big part of your time, energy, and attention. To channel their energy, most Irish setters need vigorous exercise of at least two hours daily. It’s best to have a fenced yard of your own.

The exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be walking. You can have fun enjoying other activities like fetch, hide and seek, or watching Netflix with your doggo. Although, make sure the precious creatures get little breaks in between – don’t exhaust your redhead too much.

irish setter colors

Although the Irish Setters are wonderful companions and beautiful dogs, listing out the positive and negative aspects of adopting them is absolutely necessary. Here are some pros and cons for you to assist you in making a decision that will save you from complications in the future.


  • Easy to Train
  • Wonderful companion
  • Low-biting potential
  • Sociable breed
  • Assistance dogs
  • Best for first-time owners


  • High-maintenance dogs
  • Stubborn breed characteristics
  • Clingy
  • Daily exercise requirements


Hooray! If you’ve made it this far. With an Irish Setter, you get lifelong loyalty, a play buddy to mitigate your loneliness and an affectionate dog with both beauty and brain. Grooming needs and exercise requirements shouldn’t overshadow Red Setters’ bright, compassionate, chirpy traits.

If you have decided on getting one, the parent breed club and online platforms are quite useful in that case. However, you need to be extremely cautious with scam breeders.

Before choosing your pet, take your time, do extensive research, read reviews and recommendations, and carefully weigh your options. However, nothing compares to adopting your Red Setter rescue from a rescue shelter.

A side note: Regardless of breed, if you genuinely believe you can care for the dog financially, emotionally, and socially, you should absolutely consider getting a dog/other animals.

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Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

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