Irish Red and White Setter

Irish Red and White Setter

Group: Sporting Group

Origin: Ireland

Height: Males: 22½ to 26 inches (57-66 cm)

Weight: 50 to 70 lbs (22.5-31.5 kg)

Irish Red and White Setter
Ch. Corranroo Chaos FDJ
Photo courtesy: Whitehot (Reg’d) IRWS,

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Breed Profile

The Irish Red and White Setter is considered to be the original Irish Setter and was very popular with sportsmen until the 1870s. The Red Irish Setter and the Red and White co-existed for many years, but when dog shows were introduced, the Reds’ were seen as more attractive in the show ring and their popularity soared. The Red and White Setter, however, was preferred by gameskeepers as he was easier to see in the fields. After coming to near extinction, the breed has made a significant comeback since the 1980s and was officially recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in January 2000. The breed is presently included in the American Kennel Club (AKC) Foundation Stock Service (FSS) Group and effective April 1, 2004, the Irish Red and White Setter was eligible to participate in AKC Pointing Breed Hunting Tests.

He is an aristocratic, sturdy, strong, elegant and intelligent dog with a kind expression. He makes a quiet family friend in the home while being exuberant outdoors. The Irish Red and White Setter is a very versatile pointing breed who can be trained to do just about anything. The Irish Red and White participates in many dog sports and activities, including hunting, conformation shows, agility, and obedience as well as working as a Therapy Dog.

His coat is short and fine on the head and front of the legs and of moderate length on the rest of his body. The coat is flat and straight with feathering on the ears, the back of the legs, on the stomach, chest and throat. The colour is pearly white with large red patches.


Health Issues

The Irish Red and White Setter is a healthy breed with an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. As with all breeds, however, they are susceptible to some health problems. The following is a listing of some of the health issues that may be of concern in the Irish Red and White Setter breed:

  • Cataracts
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Canine Leucocyte Adhesion Deficiency (CLAD)
    — See CLAD in the Irish Setter for information about this disease.
  • Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) — Formerly known as Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Bloat — As with any deep-chested dog and many large breeds, the occurrence of Bloat or Gastric Torsion is a real possibility in the Irish Red and White Setter. If you are not familiar with this condition, it is absolutely necessary to learn about it and know the symptoms — This is a real emergency and a life threatening condition that requires immediate Veterinary attention. See Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) — Bloat in the Health and Nutrition section of Canada’s Guide to Dogs for more information and First Aid for Bloat for an article describing some of the things you can do if you are faced with this situation.

If you are considering the adoption of a Irish Red and White Setter puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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