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Irish Setter

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Irish Setter

The Irish Setter has a silky mahogany coat with feathering on the ears, chest, tail, under carriage and the back of front legs. A small amount of white is allowed on the chest, toes, and forehead when showing this breed. Some puppies are born with silver-gray hairs on their ears and legs, although this turns to mahogany as they mature. The long head is chiseled with a well-defined occiput and a good stop. The muzzle is long and rectangular. The nose is either black or brown and the round eyes are brown. The triangular-shaped pendant ears are long and finely textured. The strong jaw should have teeth that meet in a level or scissor-like bite. The long, muscular neck slightly arches into well laid back shoulders. The fairly narrow chest is deep with well-sprung ribs. Legs should be strong and well-built. The stifle should be well bent and the hocks let down. The hind legs should be wide and strong. The tail is thicker at the root tapering to a point. It should be carried level with the back and should not reach below the hock.

Temperament Irish Setters are energetic, impulsive, affectionate and high-spirited dogs. They love their families. This breed will announce visitors, but will be outgoing towards them. Irish Setters are sweet and affectionate toward children and are always ready to play. They get along well with other animals, but should be raised with them. Temperament in this breed varies. Some can be high-strung and others reserved. They need to be well-exercised or will become destructive. They have a keen sense of smell and easily adapt to any terrain, in any climate. They are quick and even fair well in wetlands. The field lines of this breed generally have shorter coats, need more exercise and have smaller builds.
Height, Weight Male Height: 26-28" ; Weight: 65-75 lbs.
Female Height: 24-26" ; Weight: 55-65 lbs.
Health Problems This breed is prone to bloat so two or three meals are best. They are also prone to epilepsy, skin allergies, elbow and hip dysplasia. Check the ears often for inflammation.
Living Conditions Irish Setters should not live in an apartment. They do better with a large-sized yard. They do better in the country rather than the city as they are highly active dogs.
Exercise This breed needs plenty of daily vigorous exercise. They can become difficult to manage if they don't get enough exercise. They also should be allowed off lead as much as possible.
Life Expectancy About 11-15 years
Grooming This breed is easy to groom with regular brushing. Check the coat often for burrs, tangles and matting especially during the molting season. Bathe only when necessary. They are average shedders.
Origin Irish Setters are the oldest in the setter category even preceding the Gordon and the English setters. They are said to have been developed from old spaniels, setting spaniels, and a Scottish setter. They were first developed for hunting and have a keen sense of smell. However, due to their mischievous, high-spirited natures, some lines are better companions than hunters. In 1882, the Irish Red Setter Club was formed in Dublin. Its sponsor was the Earl of Emniskellen who had established a breeding program. During the 1940s the breed was almost eliminated by PRA. This disease causes night blindness. Since then, DNA tests have been established to identify carriers and hence remove them from breeding programs. Over the years, PRA has significantly been reduced in the breeding lines. In the United States, this breed was originally called the Irish Red Setter. They are recognized by the AKC and the UKC.
Group AKC Sporting, UKC Gun Dog