The Irish Setter is a sweetheart inside and out. If you choose to share your life with one, expect to be upstaged regularly by the extreme lustre of its bright chestnut-brown coat. (Seriously, we’re talking sunglasses-extreme.) This athletic breed will love you most if you can dedicate a couple of hours every day to walkies and outdoor playtime. The Irish Setter is a cheerful creature, well-suited to family life, and is famous for getting along with strangers too. The downside? It doesn’t make a great guard dog!
The Irish Setter, also known as the Red Setter, was originally bred from various Terriers, Spaniels and other Setters to be a hunting companion in Ireland. So what makes a setter a setter? This breed is good at sniffing out prey and silently directing the human in tow towards the prey’s location to finish the deed. The Irish Setter also comes in a white variety, which originally fell out of favour but has recently enjoyed a bit of a renaissance.
The average lifespan of an Irish Setter is 11-14 years.
Health problems include hip problems, osteosarcoma, epilepsy, eye problems such as PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), ear problems, and gastric torsion (bloat).”
The true darling
Say hello to one of the worst guard dogs ever! The Irish Setter will greet everyone it sees like a long lost friend. They’re smart, affectionate and energetic, but beware the wayward streak they’re prone to developing when they sense that they can get away with anything. This can be avoided with firm handling from puppydom onwards and sufficient daily exercise to keep yours from getting bored. They’re super sociable too and don’t enjoy being left alone.
As you might suspect, the Irish Setter’s glorious coat needs daily TLC to keep it looking its best. Have your brush on regular standby and remember to book the occasional trim as a treat.
This is a big dog with a cheeky streak. Confident training is needed to keep that cheeky streak on the charming side, rather than the destructive side.
Irish Setters are relatively easy to housebreak.
Where to find Irish Setters
Irish Setter Groups
Keen to swap stories and grooming tips with other Irish Setter owners? Find a breed group below.
Adopt an Irish Setter
Want to adopt an Irish Setter in need of a loving home? Find a rescue centre below.
Sold on the Irish Setter’s easygoing personality and flawless looks? Find an approved Irish Setter breeder below.