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Irish Setter: History, Temperament, Exercise

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About Irish Setter

Country of Origin, History of Irish Setters

The Irish Setter was bred for hunting, specifically for setting or locating and pointing upland gamebirds. The breed standard for the modern Irish Setter was first drawn up by the Irish Red Setter Club in Dublin and approved on 29 March 1886. It was noted as early as 1845 that setters in Ireland were predominantly either red, or, very red, or red and white, or lemon coloured, or white patched with deep chestnut.

In an effort to produce a dog that could excel at rat baiting and rabbit coursing, Black and Tan Terriers were crossed with the Whippet.

By 1860 Manchester had become the breed centre for these new terriers, and so they became known as Manchester Terriers. Because of their demeanor, they were called the Gentleman's Terrier in Victorian times.

Irish Setter Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the Irish Setter the right breed for you?

Is the Irish Setter the right breed for you and your family?

Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool

Check Your Irish Setter's Learning Style

Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Irish Setter's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper Irish Setter training methods.

Is your Irish Setter dominating over you?

Does your Irish Setter bark unnecessarily? Does your Irish Setter come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your Irish Setter and learn how to control your dog.

Do you make these mistakes with your Irish Setter?

Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your Irish Setter? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.

Irish Setter Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your Irish Setter needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Irish Setter Calorie Calculator.

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General Appearance of the Dog:

Irish Setters are deep chested dogs with small waists. They stand tall and elegant in appearance, with fairly long legs and a long neck. The ears hang and the muzzle is moderate with an obvious stop (forehead).


The coat is moderately long, silky, and of a red or chestnut color. The undercoat is abundant in winter weather, and the top coat is fine. Their coats should also feather in places such as the tail, ears, chest, legs, and body.


Males: 26-28"

Females 24-26"


Males weigh 65-75 lbs

Females weigh 55-65 lbs.

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Irish Setter Personality Traits

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Irish Setters are very high-energy dogs with a lot of spirit and stamina. They are intelligent, affectionate, and independent. These dogs are used for all types of hunting since they have a wonderful sense of scent and love to run and to swim.

Because of their independent spirit, they can be difficult to train and need a loving but firm trainer starting at an early age. They easily fall into bad habits, so start teaching them good manners immediately and insist on their being well-mannered at all times.

Both Field and Show lines make good pets, but if you want a smaller dog with a shorter coat, choose a field line (which also tend to be higher energy).

Are they suited to families with kids?

They can be a good family dog as they love children and can get along with other pets

Living Conditions

You must have a very well secured fenced yard and be willing to get them lots of exercise. This breed is definitely not an apartment dweller.


The Irish Setters have very long and soft coat that sheds constantly. The entire coat sheds twice yearly. Daily brushing is needed.

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Free Irish Setter Training Secrets

Free Course on Irish Setter Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

This breed is especially likely to bloat, so feed them 2-3 meals a day in raised bowls. They are also especially prone to epilepsy and severe skin allergies.

They suffer from eye problems, elbow and hip dysplasia, auto-immune disease, hypothyroidism, and ear inflammation.

Life Expectancy: 11-15 years.

National Breed Clubs



Group: Sporting Group.

AKC Ranking: 77

Train Your Irish Setter To Listen To You

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Sign up for our Free Irish Setter Mini Course to have a housebroken, obedient dog that happily comes to you every time you call.

You'll learn new commands to obedience-train your dog as well as how to housebreak your dog in 6 days or less.

You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

  • 3 dangerous mistakes that most Red Setter owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.

  • The 2 main reasons why your dog barks excessively and how to control its excessive barking.

  • How to obedience train your Irish Setter to permanently end behavioral problems like Jumping, Aggression, Pulling on Leash.

  • A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.

  • How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.

  • Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.

  • One hidden psychological trigger that all Irish Setters have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

  • Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.

Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Red Setter information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Red Setters have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The Irish Setter training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

Here are a few of our experts:

What Other Dog Owners Say…

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