Dog Health & More
Irish Setters originated as gundogs in their native Ireland, and the dog breed's popularity soon spread, thanks to the beauty of their rich mahogany coat and their enthusiasm as bird dogs. They're friendly, mischievous, and inquisitive, with a high energy level. This is a bold and boisterous family friend with the potential to do well in many canine sports and activities.
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Who says blondes have more fun? Any self-respecting Irish Setter would dispute that claim. These fun-loving dogs are tremendously likeable, not only for their flame-colored hair, but also for their athleticism, grace, and enthusiasm. When you live with an Irish Setter, you can be assured of having a happy, friendly companion who's always ready to rock and roll.
Originally developed as a bird dog, the Irish Setter retains the drive and energy of his forefathers. There's nothing he enjoys more than doing new things and going new places, especially if they involve birds. Although he's not seen as much in the field as some other sporting breeds, his hunting instinct is still strong. Once he's trained on birds, he never needs a refresher course.
While the Irish Setter loves everyone, he's not suited to every home. He's brimming with energy and requires a minimum of an hour of exercise daily. A large fenced yard or acreage where he can run is important, as is an active family who will include him in everything they do. He can develop separation anxiety or become destructive if he's left to his own devices.
Irish Setters come in two types: show and field dogs. Irish Setter show dogs are heavier and larger than field dogs, with a heavier, thicker coat. Both types meet the breed standard — a written description of how a breed should look and act. Regardless of size and coat, the Irish Setter should maintain his natural ability to be a gundog.
Beyond their talents in the field, Irish Setters excel at many other activities, including obedience, rally, tracking, and agility competition. With their wonderful temperaments, they make terrific therapy dogs and can be found visiting hospices, retirement homes, and children's hospitals, spreading the gift of their warmth, humor, and love.
Irish Setters are known for their intelligence, but they're also mischievous and independent. Training them requires much patience and consistency. This breed is slow to mature, so you'll have a full-grown dog with puppylike enthusiasm and activity levels for several years. Not surprisingly, they're great playmates for active older children, but they can be overwhelming for toddlers, who may find themselves bowled over by this rascally redhead.
The Irish Setter has been loved by movie stars, presidents, and ordinary people who admire him for his joyful spirit. He's a wonderful companion who will keep you fit and make you laugh throughout your life.