Irish Setters have absolutely brilliant noses and—unlike scenthounds, who smell the ground—these dogs track their quarry by following scents in the air. They also run in zig-zags (a pattern called “quartering”), which lets them catch the scent of birds from all around. This breed, as you might expect, is often trained to locate, point, and retrieve birds.
But Irish Setters aren't just expert hunters. Their gorgeous red coats and loving, devoted demeanor has made them cherished canine companions. Several have even been First Dog! Irish Setters lived in the White House with two presidents.
Originally from Ireland (as you might have guessed from the name), this large-sized and high-energy breed can grow to between 60-70 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Sporting group.
|Breed's original pastime||Hunting|
|Average lifespan||12-14 years|
|Date of origin||1700s|
|Original function||Bird setting and retrieving|
|Today's function||Pointing, pointing field trials|
|Average size of male||Height: 27 Weight: 70|
|Average size of female||Height: 25 Weight: 60|
|Energy level||High energy|
|Affection level||Very affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Very friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Very friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Very friendly|
|Ease of training||Moderately easy to train|
|Protection ability||Not very protective|
|Grooming needs||Moderately maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||Medium tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Medium tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS AN IRISH SETTER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Oh, to be an Irish Setter! Boisterous, fun-loving, and young at heart, nothing keeps these good dogs down. Their playful, happy nature makes them very family-friendly, and boy, do they love kids. They don't mind other dogs or pets, either; and a stranger is most likely a friend this pup just hasn't met yet.
WHAT IS IRISH SETTER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Fast and enduring, Irish Setters are superior sporting dogs — they are built for speed and need lots of exercise. This dog lives to run. Whether you're training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, your Irish Setter will match you mile for mile. Once she's run enough, this four-legged furry friend is a calm and well-mannered housemate.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN AN IRISH SETTER?
Eager to please but somewhat distractible, the Irish Setter responds well to training. They're particularly willing to learn when there's food involved — isn't it funny how that works out? They excel at hunting and retrieving.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO IRISH SETTERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Irish Setters are moderate, seasonal shedders. Those luscious locks need regular grooming. Plan on brushing at least a few times a week to keep their silky hair from tangling or matting. Bathe your furry fashionista once a month.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO IRISH SETTERS HAVE?
Though most Irish Setters are fairly healthy dogs, some have been known to develop eye disease, epilepsy, and cancer. This breed is particularly susceptible to bloat, a condition that requires immediate attention from your veterinarian. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) and contact your vet at once if you suspect your dog might be suffering from this ailment.