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Irish Setter Breed InformationSelect a Breed
Quick Facts
Life Span:12-15 years
Litter Size:8-10 puppies
Group:Gun Dog, AKC Sporting
Recognized By:CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Color:reddish browns from chestnut to mahogany, some white on chest and feet acceptable. No other colors are allowed.
Hair Length:Long
Size:Large
Shedding:Moderate Shed
Male Height:26-28 inches
Male Weight:65-75 pounds
Female Height:24-26 inches
Female Weight:55-65 pounds
Living Area:Indoors or outdoors prefers room to move and explore. A larger yard is important.

Description

The Irish Setter is a beautiful dog with its long and lean look. You will be impressed by its athletic and energetic qualities which provide many hours of laughter and enjoyment. Not only are they fun to be around but they are also extremely intelligent which makes them the perfect family dog.

When identifying this breed you will notice that the head of the Irish Setter is long and the muzzle is straight and also long. The nose is wide and the nostrils are large enough for you to notice them just by looking at the dog. Eyes are chestnut or dark hazel and almond shape. The hair on this breed's face is soft and a delight to touch.

This is a long dog with muscular legs. You will see that the length of this dog is much longer than the height of it. Their tails on this dog is fluffy and admirable. When this breed is happy, which is often, the tail wags vigorously back and forth.

Working dogs have a short coat while other breeds have a much longer one. The longer coat is silky and can be wavy on some dogs. You will see that on both the short and long coat Irish Setters that the chest, neck and underbelly have significantly longer hair.

Coat Description

The Irish Setters has a coat that is thick and soft. The hair will grow to about a medium length compared to other breeds. The coat is usually a red brown color. You will see lines on the coat on the tail, underbelly and legs.

History

Originally, a Red and White Setter breed the Irish Setter originated in Ireland during the 1700s. About 100 hundred years later, breeders started mating these red and white varieties so that they were solid red, which is the color of today's Irish Setter. At that time, they named the breed Irish Red Setter but have since been erased from registries.

This breed used to be a hunting dog because of their great sense of smell and retrieving abilities. In 1862, this changed and the breed was strictly used as show dogs and they started to lose their abilities as hunting dogs.

Temperament

This is a very friendly, passive and well-behaved dog. Even though Irish Setters are energetic they are also loving and close to their family. They love people and prefer to be around them at all times. This is why these dogs are not appropriate to be placed in an enclosed area.

This happy dog aims to please. Training is easy especially with housebreaking. Housebreaking is quite simple because this dog will actually go outside on its own if able to so it can relieve itself. Due to the Irish Setters intelligence, they catch on quickly. If you have other pets in your home, you shouldn't have to worry about the Irish Setter intentionally harming them. Since they are rambunctious and love to play them will chase cats so keep this mind if you own any small animals that may be bothered by this breed.

This dog does not usually have a problem with kids. They love people and love to play which are two of the best characteristics of children. This is one of the reasons they get along so well.

Health Problems

The Irish Setter is a healthy dog but they are susceptible to many of the same health concerns other dogs suffer. Most large dogs have hip dysplasia which is an arthritis type of illness that is painful and makes it hard for the dog to walk. They also can suffer from progressive retinal atrophy and gastric torsion if giving large amounts of food or water at one time. Some other health problems include:

[-]Epilepsy[/-]

[-]Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)[/-]

[-]Megaesophagus[/-]

[-]OCD (growth issues in young pups)[/-]

Grooming

Brushing this dog regularly will help cut down on shedding and will keep its coat shining and healthy. Of course, Irish Setters who have shorter hair will need less brushing than those who have longer. You only want to bathe this dog when it is absolutely necessary. This is because this breed has natural oils that protect the skin and hair. If you bathe them too much, these oils will dry up and this can result in dry skin and dander.

Trim the nails on the Irish Setter when needed, usually every few weeks. This is much less needed if your dog runs outside on concrete, which will file down the nails. You will also have to clean out the ears because wax builds up and dirt can become stuck inside, which could lead to infection and bacteria growth.

Exercise

Since the Irish Setter is an energetic and rambunctious dog, it is no surprise that they need regular exercise. You may want to take time everyday (preferably two or three times) to walk your dog, take your dog for a run while you peddle a bike, rollerblade, or run yourself. Playing out in the backyard is another great way for this dog to get the exercise it needs. They can usually play on their own or get exercise alone. Remember, they prefer being with others so do not use this method exclusively.

Training

Because of this breed's intelligence and activity level they are easily trainable. They are active dogs so they are usually ready to engage in some sort of interaction with their owners. You will find that the Irish Setter will stand at attention waiting for a command from you so that he can please you. It is important to socialize your dog as much as possible along with teaching good behavior and tricks.

Some issues you may encounter are that this dog can sometimes be distracted and stubborn. This usually happens when this breed has not received the exercise they need. Simply taking your Irish Setter outside for some fun will help him pay more attention to you later.

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