Group: Sporting Group
– Males: 27 inches (69 cm)
– Females: 25 inches (64 cm)
– Males: 70 lbs (31.5 kg)
– Females: 60 lbs (27 kg)
The Irish Setter was originally a popular gun dog not only in his native Ireland, but in England and North America as well. The solid red Setter first appeared in Ireland in the early 19th century and by the end of that century, the breed had moved into North America. Throughout the 1890’s, the outstanding hunting dog started to be seen in the show ring as well. This resulted in changes to the breed and today there are two very distinct types of Irish Setters — the smaller, lighter boned dog who is used in the field and the larger, heavier dog with much more coat who is seen in the show ring.
The Irish Setter is a wonderful companion who is fun loving, playful and affectionate. He is a true sporting dog who enjoys having lots of room for exercise. He is known to be bold and very intelligent. It is said that once trained, he is trained for life.
Not only is the Irish Setter a great family dog, he is quite often seen participating in a variety of dog sports and activities, including: Conformation, Obedience, Hunting or Field Trials, and Agility. In addition, his gentle and calm disposition make him an excellent candidate to work as a Therapy or Service dog.
His coat is short and fine on the head and forelegs, and of moderate length and flat on all other parts of the body. He has long, silky feathering on the ears, the back of the forelegs and thighs, the belly, brisket, and chest, with his tail fringe being long and tapered. His colour is a gorgeous mahogany of rich chestnut-red.
Like all breeds of dogs, the Irish Setter is susceptible to certain health problems, including:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Hip Dysplasia
- Canine Leucocyte (CLAD) in the Irish Setter
- Bloat — As with any deep-chested dog, the occurrence of Bloat or Gastric Torsion is a real possibility in the Gordon 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 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:
- Canine Inherited Disorders Database — Irish Setter
- Irish Setter Club of America Health Committee
- Health and Nutrition — Growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website which includes information on several health and nutrition related issues.
- Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) — Providing a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
- AKC Canine Health Foundation — Working towards developing scientific advances in canine health.
- OFA – Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER)
- Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
- Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)
- University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHip)
- HealthGene — HealthGene Corporation is the leading provider of veterinary DNA diagnostic services in Canada.
- Labgenvet — Laboratory of Veterinary Genetics is a Canadian diagnostic laboratory that offers a comprehensive service of DNA tests for veterinary genetic diseases.
- 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 — 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.
- The Irish Red Setter Pedigree Collection
- 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: www.caninehealthinfo.org
*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.