Breed Category: Gundog
Country of Origin: Ireland
Average Size: 60-70 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 27-35 kg
Average Life Span: 13-15 years
Grooming Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: Medium – High
Most Suited as: – Family Pet
The history of the Irish red-and-white setter can be traced back to the 17th century where at one time in Ireland they were immensely popular. This popularity took a dramatic turn for the worse in the creation of the pure red, red setter. Demand for this new spectacularly coated breed skyrocketed resulting in such low demand to the bi-coloured red and white setter that it almost disappeared. It wasn’t until early in the 20th century interest in the breed was renewed and steps were taken to ensure it is continuance. Breed numbers are now stable or increasing slightly and it is recognised as a distinct breed to the red setter, popular in its own right.
They were traditionally used for hunting small game in which they used to good advantage a keen sense of smell, alertness, gameness and high levels of endurance. They are a well rounded all-purpose dogs and are able to cope with all kinds of weather and terrain
As the name suggests they are easily identified by their white coat with red spots and markings on the body head, legs in the feet. Often they have red markings freckling their muzzle. The coat requires only moderate care – light brushing several times a week to remove tangles and foreign objects. They are lean but well-muscled, longer than they are high and they move in an agile and free-flowing manner. They appear slightly more robust than they actually are due to their soft, feathery and oft times wavy coat. The coat or a sticker in winter so in springtime expect to need to brush them more often as they shed.
There are beautiful athletic and graceful animal which are a delight to watch either play or when working as a hunting dog. Males stand up to 70 cm at the Withers and weigh up to 35 kg with females being roughly 15% less tall and massive. They have a naturally gentle and friendly facial expression, eyes are brown or hazel and their muzzle is square. They have a low set tail which is long and feathered, the positioning of the tale likely assists their good balancebalance and free-flowing movement.
The Irish red-and-white setter is somewhere between a hound dog and a spaniel in terms of temperament. They can be strong willed, independent and stubborn yet they are intelligent and trainable. If trained with a firm, loving and reasonable hand they will demonstrate willingness to please. Some owners have described training them as an exercise in convincing the setter that the setter itself came up with the task set by the owner and decided to do it.
They are incredibly affectionate, fun loving and loyal family dogs. They are good with adults and children are usually happy to live with other household animals. They are very happy and excitable man known to run around madly, swerving and jumping when it play.
They are bottles of energy and require lots of exercise. This is not a dog that is going to be ideally suited for indoor living is excited willful red-and-white setter will have a tendency to crash around the house. They need lots of outdoor games and mental stimulation, a large yard is important is no replacement for the long daily walks that they will require.
Before giving them off lead exercise in public to ensure you are trained to at least consider obeying come and sit commands. Though their playful natures and low levels of aggression are unlikely to get them into trouble with other dogs you are going to wish them to return on your terms rather than theirs and neither do you want them to go tearing off excitedly towards a busy road.
Typically the Irish red-and-white setter is a sturdy and healthy breed typical of working bred dogs. They’re not without some known health conditions such as hip dysplasia and cataracts but no more so than other breeds. They have also been known to suffer from a canine bleeding disorder called von Willebrand disease and an autoimmune disorder called canine leukocyte adhesion deficiency so it is vitally important to speak to your chosen breeder about the brief history of your potential puppy.
Expect your time with your Irish red-and-white setter to be extended from medium to large sized dog they are long-lived averaging 13 to 15 years in age with some individuals living even longer.