Irish Red Setters FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - IS

Q : WHAT IS AN IRISH RED SETTER ?

Q : HOW BIG WILL AN IRISH RED SETTER GROW ?

Q : WILL A DOG BE BETTER THAN A BITCH ?

Q : DO IRISH RED SETTERS NEED A LOT OF EXERCISE ?

Q : DO IRISH RED SETTERS REQUIRE A LOT OF GROOMING ?

Q : ARE IRISH RED SETTERS EASY TO TRAIN ?

Q : DO IRISH RED SETTERS HAVE ANY PECULIAR CHARACTERISTICS ?

Q : WHAT IS THE IRISH RED SETTER BREED STANDARD?

Q : WHAT IS AN IRISH RED SETTER ?

The Irish Red Setter is a setter belonging to the Gundog group and dating back to the 14th century. It is a medium to large dog with a moderately long and silky coat in a rich chestnut to mahogany colour. Small areas of white on the chest, throat and toes is permissible. The Irish Red Setter is an extremely friendly and loving dog and makes an ideal family pet as they are very good with children.

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Q : HOW BIG WILL AN IRISH RED SETTER GROW ?

The dogs are generally taller than the bitches and also heavier. There is no specified height for an Irish Red Setter under the English Kennel Club Standard; however the FCI Breed Standard specifies the desirable height at the withers of dogs to be 23 to 26.5  inches and bitches to be 21.5 to 24.5 inches. Males weigh approximately 60 to 70 lbs. (27 to 32kgs) and females 53 to 64 lbs. (24 to 29 kgs).

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Q : WILL A DOG BE BETTER THAN A BITCH ?

A bitch will usually have a season every six months and this will last approximately two and a half weeks. This can obviously be a problem if there are other dogs around as separation is the only sure method of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy. A bitch is usually more independent than a dog who tends to be very loyal to one person. In my experience the dog thinks he is the boss but the bitch knows she is the boss and lets the dog think he is!

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Q : DO IRISH RED SETTERS NEED A LOT OF EXERCISE ?

Yes, they do! Any setter will take as much exercise as you can give them! This is not the type of dog for someone who lives in a flat or apartment and has nowhere to give the dog a good run on a daily basis. An Irish Red Setter will easily run for a couple of miles on a daily walk and after a short break are ready to go again if you let them. They are an active breed and require long daily walks and off-lead running in wide, open space. They are, however, a breed with a tendency to “act deaf”, so careful training on the recall should be undertaken before letting your dog off-lead.

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Q : DO IRISH RED SETTERS REQUIRE A LOT OF GROOMING ?

An Irish Red Setter should ideally be brushed every day as this will keep the coat in good condition. They also require a bath on a fairly regular. The feathering of the coat can easily get knotted with small twigs, branches etc. if the dog is exercised near undergrowth and this should be removed as soon as possible. A comb as well as a brush is often required for the feathering on the tail and under the body and the backs of the legs. If you intend to show your dog you will need to trim him to improve his appearance for the showring. All dogs however should have the hair trimmed from between their toes so that this area does not get clogged up with mud and cause infection. If the hair on the ears becomes too long it may also get into the dog's food and can be very unpleasant - it is best to trim the excess hair from beneath the ears.

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Q : ARE IRISH RED SETTERS EASY TO TRAIN ?

No dog is easy to train - all training requires patience and understanding. Irish Red Setters are very intelligent and are eager to please - if you give them consistent commands then they will reward you with a well trained obedient dog ! Training should be done little and often - 5 to 10 minutes training each day is far more beneficial than 1 to 2 hours every two weeks. Irish Red Setters enjoy having a job to do. Lack of activity will lead to a bored, destructive or even hyperactive dog. This is not a breed that can be left alone in the garden for long periods of time. They respond well to calmness, being firm and consistent in commands which give the dog clear rules to obey.

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Q : DO IRISH RED SETTERS HAVE ANY PECULIAR CHARACTERISTICS ?

Yes, an Irish Red Setter plays enthusiastically but gently with children and is extraordinarily sweet and affectionate as a pet. They get on well with other dogs but do need early exposure to cats and other small pets in order to live in harmony with them. They are not good guard dogs as they are not naturally aggressive. They will however bark to excess, especially if bored so it is best to keep them happy and active. They have a tendency to eat anything they find so place edible items away from their reach. One of my dogs once took a whole chicken from the oven tray as I went to put the family’s meal on a kitchen top so be warned they are very quick!

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Q : WHAT IS THE IRISH RED AND WHITE SETTER BREED STANDARD ?

The Irish Red Setter Breed Standard is a picture in words that describes each breed of dog and is owned by the Kennel Club and all changes are subject to approval by the Kennel Club General Committee. The Kennel Club's breed standard for the Irish Red Setter can be found at the following link - click here

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