Adopting An Irish Setter

History and origin: The red-and-white Irish Setter first appeared in Ireland in the late 18th century and was perfected as the dog we know today in the 19th century. This breed has evolved from the crossing of Springer Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniels, and English and Gordon Setters.  Though originally used as a gun dog, this breed now does little hunting in the United States and is mostly kept as a companion dog.

Description: The Irish Setter stands 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 55 and 70 pounds.  He has the agile, sleek build of an athlete.  The long, silky, medium to long shedding coat needs daily brushing to keep it looking glossy.  He may need a touch-up clipping every few months.  This dog is a deep chestnut color and is one of the most beautiful breeds.

About the breed: This breed is beautiful, affectionate, great with children, a first-class gundog, and a successful show dog.  He is happiest as a house-pet and requires a lot of affection from his family.  He has a flamboyant personality and can be exasperating to train.  This breed is friendly, zany, pushy, independent-minded, and will constantly test your patience.  Irish Setters are good with strangers and loves everybody, which does not make him a good guard dog.  Though easily distracted and not overly bright, he is nevertheless much more resilient under the pressures of training than Gordon Setters.  He can be noisy and will want to stick his nose where it does not belong.  He is a very active, busy dog; the elderly will not be able to keep up with him.  Irish Setters need a lot of exercise and can be quite destructive if left alone too long or not given enough exercise.  In addition, he needs to be given a task to keep him happy and satisfied.

Feeding:  Recommended feeding for this breed is 1 ½  — 2 ½  cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal amount or 5 cupfuls of a complete, dry dog food.

Ideal home: This athletic, high-strung breed needs a house with a fenced yard.  Children are fine, provided no roughhousing or chasing is allowed.  The owner of an Irish Setter must be a firm and patient leader.  He makes an excellent companion for joggers and athletic people. The elderly and the disabled should pass on this breed.  Owners of Irish Setters must begin obedience training early.  The “Come” command may be difficult to teach because of the Irish Setters’ inquisitive nature and excellent nose, which constantly leads them astray.