Irish Setter dog breeds are high spirited, intelligent and good natured sporting and companion dogs. These fun loving dogs do best under the leadership of experienced as well as novice dog owners with an active lifestyle.
The boisterous, medium to large sized Irish Setters are often not recommended for small children as these dogs can knock them over while playing or hurt them accidentally. Otherwise they are friendly with children.
Origin and Other Names
The breed was developed by crossing Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Terrier, English Setter, Pointer and Gordon Setter dog breeds. As the name suggests, Irish Setter dog breed was originally developed in Ireland as a gun dog for hunting birds. Earlier, the breed was also known as Irish Red Setter, particularly in United States.
Characterized by a high level of endurance, these dogs have a an elegant and athletic build with body slightly longer than tall. The muzzle is moderately deep and the nose, with wide nostrils, is chocolate or black in color. The medium sized and almond shaped dark eyes are set well apart. The long and hanging ears are set well back and low on the head.
Color: The Irish Setter hair coat is mahogany or rich chestnut red in color.
Height: On an average, these dogs are generally 26 to 28 inches in height. Females generally grow to about 24 to 26 inches in height.
Weight: Irish Setter dogs usually weigh around 65 to 75 pounds. The ideal weight for the bitches ranges between 55 to 65 pounds.
Irish Setter Dog Breed Health Problems
Bloating, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Celiac Disease, Bleeding Disorders, Allergies, Ear Infections and eye problems, particularly Progressive Retinal Atrophy are quite common in this dog breed.
These dogs are also prone to joint problems such as Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Spondylosis and other related health issues. Irish Setter puppies between four to eight months of age are susceptible to Hypertrophic Osteo Dystrophy (HOD).
Life Expectancy: The average life span of these cheerful dogs is generally 12 to 15 years.
Litter Size: The average litter size of Irish Setter dog breed is 7 to 8 puppies.
Irish Setter Dog Breed Grooming Requirements
The silky and feathered, medium length hair coat of an Irish Setter requires regular grooming, especially in case of show dogs. Brush the soft and straight hair coat of these average shedders on a daily basis to avoid matting and tangling.
You can occasionally trim the hair coat and remove excess feathering to enhance the overall appearance of the dog. These dogs need not be bathed frequently. Simply dry shampoo from time to time to keep the hair coat in its natural glossy condition.
In addition, regularly clean your dog’s long ears to avoid ear infections and trim the hair around the paw pads. Besides, other essential grooming activities like nail trimming, eye cleaning, teeth brushing etc should also be carried out on a more or less regular basis.
Irish Setter Dog Temperament
These dogs are characterized by affectionate, outgoing, friendly, lively, sensitive, intelligent, happy go lucky and highly energetic temperament. They tend to get along well with other pets and welcome strangers warmly without any reservations.
The enthusiastic Irish Setters can become independent and stubborn at times. Still, you can train your beloved dog easily if you patiently stick to effective positive reinforcements.
These exuberant dogs require a good amount physical and mental stimulation or else they tend to become bored and restless. They make for good watchdogs but not guard dogs.
Pros and Cons
These exuberant dogs require plenty of physical exercise or else they tend to become bored. Boredom and lack of proper attention, in turn give rise to destructive dog behavior. Hence, these dogs require one to two hours of daily long walks and play sessions.
They can be allowed to play regularly in properly fenced large sized yards. They are usually not recommended for apartment situation unless given sufficient opportunity for physical activity.