The Ultimate Playful Pups: The Irish Setter Dog Breed

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various images of irish setters

Are you eager to welcome a bouncy pup into your home? Consider the Irish Setter Dog, fiery in temperament and color. Whether you’re looking for a hunting dog or a family-friendly companion, this regal, yet mischievous redhead gleans affection wherever it goes. As a sporting breed, Setters are the life of the party and keep their spirited and puppy-like enthusiasm, as well as oozing a wanderlust that will put a globe-trotter to shame.

A Brief History of the Irish Setter Dog Breed

Native to Ireland’s lush terrain, their ancestors hunted game birds and set their bellies on the ground when they had located their hunter’s next target. Their beautiful mahogany hair would soar through the fields, displaying their speed and agility, bounding ahead to meet their desire for new and exciting escapades.

It is believed that the Irish Setter breed was mixed in the 1800s by selective breeding of the English Setters, the Gordon Setter, the Pointer, and Spaniels, to create the ideal hunting companion.

There are Four UK Setter Breeds!

Irish Red Setters vs Irish Red and White Setter: They’re Not the Same!

Originally, a Setter’s coat was speckled with white until the breed was manipulated to be pure red in the early 1900s. Nowadays, the vermillion coats are what distinguish Irish Setters, whereas Irish Red and White Setters, their stockier cousins, survived extinction for their “shower of hail”.

The Sporty, Sleek and Silky Red Setter Appearance

Slender body, flowing red hair, graceful saunter, the Irish Setters description could be confused with a magazine model were it not for the long ears!

What are Their Grooming Requirements?

They wouldn’t be called one of the most beautiful breeds, were it not for their beautiful red coat of long, feathery hair. As a result, you should brush this asset every other day and make sure it is free of knots and debris.

Moderate grooming, including nail trimming, ear checks and brushing of teeth, is something you want your puppy to get used to. Take them to the vet should anything look out of the ordinary. You can expect seasonal shedding with this breed, so get that hoover ready!

beautiful red setter dog lying down

The Average Weight and Size of the Irish Setters

As an adult, your Big Red will most likely weigh in between 55 – 70 pounds and stand at about 24-27 inches in height. They are classified as a medium-large breed.

Their Temperament and Personality!

Swift-moving, elegant and adventurous when outside, sociable and affectionate when home, these sweet dogs will greet everyone in the room. With a personality as bold as their coloring, Irish Setters are unlikely to be described as timid or hostile.

Are They Good Family Dogs?

If left alone for too long, Irish Setters struggle with isolation distress. As a result, an active family that spends their leisure time hiking, cycling and anything else that gets them out and about, is well suited to this dog. Toddlers will most likely be run over by this boisterous character, so older children are better matched for this breed. However, if your toddler is robust and OK with having a boisterous fur sibling, the Irish Setter is a great family dog!

It is important to socialize and train your puppy so that their mischievous nature does not get too out of hand. The Setter’s lovable and faithful nature makes them brilliant Emotional Support Animals. Family pets have so much love and support to give to everyone!

A Busy Setter is a Happy Setter!

Looking for a running partner? Look no further! The Irish Setter is a great jogging companion. These dogs need 1-2 hours of exercise per day, so if you have an active lifestyle then you’ve found your match.

Setters have a large dose of wanderlust and love to explore so make sure you have a large and secure garden before homing an Irish Setter. Unfortunately, this means that apartment living is not for this breed. Remember their hunting roots and make sure they are stimulated daily. Naturally, other dogs or cats will be a great source of company for them, just keep them away from your aviary.

How Long Do They Live?

An Irish Setter can live a long and happy life of 12-15 years when given the right dog food and exercise.

happy irish setter dog playing in field

Potential Health Issues to Look Out For in Your Irish Setter!

An active lifestyle and controlled diet can afford any dog a disease-free life. Comprehensive Pet Insurance plans cover Breed-specific medical conditions and are worth considering. Here are eleven health concerns or health problems that could afflict your trusty rusty:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastric Dilatation (Bloating)
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Canine Leukocyte (CAD)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) 
  • Panosteitis
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)
  • Ear Infections

Be Sure to Get Your Puppy from a Reputable Breeder!

By getting your Irish Setter from a good and trustworthy breeder, a large number of hereditary diseases can be avoided. A reputable breeder should be able to verify health certificates for both parents.

Adding Poodle to the Mix: The Irish Doodle!

Depending on the build of the Poodle breed (miniature, standard or toy), the Irish Doodle hybrid comes in a variety of sizes. With both breeds bragging an active, intelligent and energetic temperament, you cannot go wrong with this mix. Increase the cuteness levels, reduce the shedding of hair (bonus) and be prepared to play every day for the rest of your precious Irish Doodle’s life.

Irish Setter Puppies for Sale!

Pets are a big responsibility and a long-term commitment. Therefore, if you’ve decided that that Irish Setter is the perfect dog breed for you, here are a few things to consider:

How Much Does an Irish Setter Puppy Cost?

Many factors influence the cost of a pure-bred puppy: lineage, breeding rights, show-quality papers, breeder reputation, etc. The average price is around $700, with top quality reaching $5000.

adorable litter of irish setter puppies

Adopt, Don’t Shop! Look Out for an Irish Setter Rescue Group!

We all remember Orphan Annie as the fiery redhead who needed a loving home. Through Irish Setter Rescue Groups, you can adopt a little Annie with fiery hair and an eagerness for adventure.

Irish Setters are the ultimate playful pups and will remain spirited for many years to come! Expect a bundle of fun and energy when you welcome one into your family.

Common Questions on the Irish Setter Dog Breed

Do Irish Setters need to be exercised regularly?

Is obedience training necessary for my Irish Setter?

Does my Irish Setter need a large garden or will they be happy in an apartment?

Do Irish Setters shed a lot of hair?

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