Irish Setter


A medium to large sized Irish Setter
Irish Setter Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)24-28in (61-71cm)
Weight55-75lbs (25-34kg)
Hair Colour(s)Chestnut, red
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size7-8
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftMedium

The Irish Setter is a medium-large sized, sturdily built and elegant dog. The body has wide and powerful hindquarters, straight and muscular front legs, and a long, fringed tail carried horizontqally. The head is long and lean with a long muzzle, a black or brown nose, long and low-set triangular ears, and dark, almond-shaped eyes. The coat is flat, straight, and moderately long, and the colouring is normally chestnut red or mahogany with splashes of white on the chest and feet.


Irish Setters are friendly, energetic and spirited dogs that have plenty of love and affection to bestow upon the right owners. They make great family pets and companions and can be very entertaining and sociable. Sensitive, eager to please and willing, they thrive on attention and if neglected can become very destructive. Some can be willful and headstrong, but as these are intelligent and responsive dogs, they are suitable for novice owners as well as the more experienced and are easy to housebreak. It is important though to train these dogs firmly at an early age to prevent bad habits from developing, as they tend to pick up bad habits pretty quickly. Irish Setters get along well with older children and have no guarding instincts, although their large size and boundless energy can prove a problem around smaller kids. They also get along well with other pets when socialised early. As they are sociable dogs by nature, they tend to be friendly around strangers too, which makes them unsuitable as watchdogs, although they will bark to announce the arrival of any visitors.

History & Skills

Irish Setters originate from Ireland, as expected of the name, and were derived from a variety of Setters, Spaniels and Pointers. They were bred as hunting dogs and have excellent senses of smell and are extremely swift over any terrain and in all climates. These days they make good family pets and retain their skills in hunting, tracking, pointing, retrieving, guarding, agility, and competitive obedience.

Breed Specific Ailments

Irish Setters tend to live between 12-15 years, and some of the health related concerns relating to this breed include hypothyroidism, bloat, epilepsy, PRA, and elbow and hip dysplasia.


Irish Setters are medium shedders and can shed more heavily at certain times of the year, and so are not necessarily suited to those with allergies. Their grooming requirements are average, and the coat will need brushing twice a week to keep it in good condition, and more frequently when they are shedding more heavily. Any stray hairs can be trimmed as required, and the hair around the bottom area should be kept trimmed for hygiene reasons. They should be bathed only when necessary. In addition, the ears should be kept clean and dry to reduce the chances of infection.

Exercise & Environment

Irish Setters are very active dogs and are not suited to small apartment type homes, and they do best in rural settings rather than urban ones. They need to be given plenty of exercise, otherwise they will get restless. A long daily walk and access to a secure yard or garden area for play should address their exercise needs.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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