This dog that is of the setter family originates from Ireland and mainly used for hunting game. It is believed to have come from a combination of English native dogs such as the Spaniels, Pointers and English Setter. Around the late 1800’s the Irish setter landed in America and quickly gained popularity by demonstrating great ability and skill in hunting. Their popularity continues to grow strong as they demonstrate great resilience during hunting in various kinds of terrain. Their sharp sense of smell can detect their target a distance away and quickly guides the hunter in the right direction.
The Irish setter has excellent instincts of detecting birds. It thrives in the field and enjoys new challenges. It is very keen to retain its skills once it has been trained. They are highly active and will keep one always fit and cheerful. It has a long neck and stands moderately tall. It has a healthy body frame when well kept. On average it weighs in at about 25 – 29 Kgs for female and 28 – 33 Kgs for male. It stands in the height range of 22 – 27 inches tall depending on the sex. They are easily adaptive to vast climatic conditions and terrains and will serve well particularly as hunting dogs.
They have high energy levels and tend to be very friendly, cheeky and analytical. They thrive in outdoor activities particularly sports and may get destructive or uncontrollable if they do not receive a sufficient dose of their regular exercise daily. The owner also needs to be firm when handling this breed of dog as they may easily get familiar leading to the dog displaying a level of disobedience. They get overly attached to their owner and may suffer emotional distress when separated from them.
Due to their high energy levels, it is important to ensure that they have received sufficient exercise each day. Probably an hour of outdoor activity is good. Also, they will require room to run so it is important to consider having sufficient compound space. It is important to train them when they are young in order to manage their nosy and mischievous behavior. It is important to treat them with firmness yet being gentle as they may get resentful to loud, aggressive owners.
Some of the common diseases that Irish setters are prone to include: bloating stomach, hip dysplasia that may lead to arthritis, eye problems, ear infections and epilepsy. It is important to ensure that the dogs are kept in a clean environment and fed in small portions twice a day. Feeding of the dog also depends on its size and age. It is important to ensure that the dogs are fed with good quality food from authorized distributors. Be consistent in feeding the dog properly and it will likewise respond by eating well and being healthy
Coat color and grooming
The Irish setter has a beautiful silky coat that is either Indian red or mahogany in color. Its hair is short on the head, legs and back but becomes long on the body particularly the underbelly. It is important to daily groom the dog to prevent hair entanglement.
With family and other animals
They are generally friendly dogs with people and other animals. Due to their hyperactive personality it is important to be cautious having children around them.