Breed overview the Irish Setter

by Amy Cooper
Irish Setter

Are you considering getting an Irish Setter? Or are you just interested in the breed? Well, this is the perfect place to start! This post is a short summary of the Irish Setter breed characteristics from their size to how much exercise they need.

Breed overview 

Irish Setters were originally bred as gun dogs so are classed as a working breed. They are a large breed standing at 25”-27” to the withers, weighing between 27 and 32 kg with a lifespan of 10+ years. They have a distinct long red coat that sheds with a light boned body and fine head. 


Irish Setter head

Irish Setters have a long coat, as I said above, so need a reasonable amount of grooming. They will need brushing at least every other day to prevent matting in their coat. Because of their hanging ears they are prone to ear infections, so they also need their ears checked and cleaned once a week. Obviously, Irish Setters will also need their nails trimmed and teeth cleaned regularly exactly the same as all other dogs.


As Irish Setters are a working breed they need a reasonable amount of exercise, ideally 2+ hours a day. They are a very high energy and bouncy dog so need space to run and burn off their excess energy. Not only do they need physical exercise like walking or running but also mental stimulation. This can be done by training, which your Irish Setter will love or using puzzle toys. 


Irish Setters are quite a healthy breed, but like most large breeds they do have some more common conditions. These include hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis dissecans, hypothyroidism, CAD, epilepsy, eye problems and bloat. However, all good breeders have both parents genetically tested/screened for these problems. This means that when you buy a puppy you know it’s got a much smaller chance of developing these problems when its older. 


Irish Setters are fun-loving, affectionate and playful dogs that enjoy companionship. This means that they will be very close to the family and want to be involved in all daily activities! Irish Setters can be mischievous, but this can be ironed out with good socialisation and training. They are also Velcro dogs which means that they will make a very close bond with their family and follow you everywhere like a shadow. 

So, overall, Irish Setters are outgoing and love people. They will get along well with children as they love to be involved as much as possible. So will make a great well rounded family pet!

P.S. you can shop all of our Irish Setter products here

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