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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Irish Setter


Irish Setter Facts

  • Group
  • Sporting
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 25" - 27"
  • Weight
  • 60-70 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Moderate
  • Colors
    • Red
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Irish red setter, Red setter


The Irish setter originated in Ireland.

Date Of Origin

This breed developed in the 1700's.


The Irish setter was probably created from English setters, spaniels, pointers, and Gordon setters to hunt upland game birds.
Originally, the Irish Setter was included in the family of Setters that included mostly red and white setters, although today in America the solid red is typical and the only acceptable variety to date in the show ring. The solid-red Setter first appeared in Ireland in the 19th century, and in 1812, the Earl of Enniskillen declared he would have nothing else in his kennel. Solid red became synonymous with dogs of "high mark," and the breed was revered for its remarkable sporting abilities.


The Irish setter is a medium to large size, lean dog that is slightly longer than it is tall. There is a long, lean head; almond shaped, brown eyes; long drop ears; and a black nose. The tail tapers to a fine point. The moderately long, flat coat has silky feathering on the ears, the back of the forelegs and thighs, the tail, the belly and the chest. It comes in a mahogany or rich chestnut red.


The Irish setter is very outgoing, lively and friendly. It is never hostile and gets along with children and other dogs. It is active and playful throughout its adulthood.


Extremely swift, with an excellent sense of smell and hardy over any terrain and in any climate, the Irish setter is used for all types of hunting. It even works well in wetlands. Its friendly, extrovert personality makes for a wonder family pet.

Health Concerns

eye problems, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, osteosarcoma.

Additional Information

This breed matures slowly and requires more attention and exercise than most breeds. It also requires professional grooming.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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