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The Irish Red and White Setter

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Characteristics and Caregiving Tips

If you’re looking for a loyal and energetic companion dog, the Irish red and white setter may be the perfect breed for you. This is a medium-sized dog that is known for its distinctive white with red patches coat. Developed originally in Ireland for game bird hunting, the Irish Red and White Setter is a breed that loves to run and play — a great family dog!

Irish Red and White Setters have become beloved family pets. These dogs have a very friendly and affectionate demeanour and they eagerly enjoy being with their human families. That said, these are high-energy dogs that need plenty of exercise, play, and love to stay happy and healthy. 

The Irish Red and White Setter History

The Irish Red and White Setter is actually the older of the two acknowledged Irish Setter breeds. This energetic and obedient breed dates back to 17th century Ireland. They were bred and primarily used back then as hunting dogs. It is believed today that these dogs were born by crossing the Irish Water Spaniel, the English Setter, and the Pointer. Originally, this breed was called the “White Setter” due to its lovely and distinctive white coat.

Development

Over the years, this distinct breed began to develop a red coat as well. Thus, the breed name was appropriately changed to the “Irish Red and White Setter.” Then, in the 1800s, the breed was refined and standardized by Irish breeders. The new breed was acknowledged by the Irish Kennel Club in 1882, and — At Last — by the American Kennel Club in 2009.

The Irish Red and White Setter is still used as a hunting dog, but it has become a favoured breed as a family pet and show dog. These dogs are now favoured family pets for their friendly personality, smarts, and easy training. Considering an Irish Red and White Setter for your family?  Then, be ready for a high-energy dog that loves to run and play.

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Appearance

The Irish Red and White Setter appearance is probably the most defining feature of this breed.  

Here’s a short list of those features for you:                                   

Size

Irish Red and White Setters are medium to large-sized dogs.  Males usually range from 24 to 26 inches and weigh 65 to 75 pounds. Females are a little smaller at 22 to 24 inches tall and they usually weigh 55 to 65 pounds.

Coat

The Irish Red and White Setter coat is one of their most striking features. The healthy coat is usually long and silky with lovely patches of deep red. Feathered legs, ears, and tail are beautiful features of this breed’s coat. These features need regular grooming to keep the coat looking so gorgeous.

Colour

The Irish Red and White Setter’s unique coat is recognized as white with patches of deep red. The red patches are random shapes and sizes and they are usually all over the dog’s body. The white coat is almost always the dominant colour, with the random red patches dotting the head, ears, body, tail head, and tail.

The Irish Red and White Setter is a beautiful and distinctive breed with a show-stopping unique coat that will turn heads. Whether you’re looking for a loyal companion, family dog, or a faithful hunting partner, the Irish Red and White Setter will be a pleasing breed choice for you.

Temperament

Irish Red and White Setters usually have a friendly and affectionate temperament. They love being with good humans and are loyal and devoted companions. Next, we’ll explore this breed’s personality as well as its training needs.

Personality

These dogs are noted for their ‘happy-go-lucky’ personality and love to be with their people. They are very social dogs and live for human interaction like attention and affection. They are usually safe around children and other pets. But, they can be cautious and easily spook around strangers so early socialization is very important.

Young Irish Red and White Setters can be rambunctious with high energy levels. They need lots of daily exercise and stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. They love to run, play, and explore, so a fenced yard is a must. They also enjoy hiking, swimming, and other family friendly outdoor activities.

Irish Red and White Setter Training

Training an Irish Red and White Setter is a fun and rewarding time, but it takes patience, consistency, and know-how. Why? Because these dogs are really smart and eager to please, but they can be stubborn at times. Positive reinforcement using treats and praise always works best with these dogs.

Positive reinforcement always works best with these dogs.

Early socialization and obedience training are necessary for Irish Red and White Setters to learn good behaviour around people and other pets. They also should be taught basic commands like sit, stay, down, heel, and come. Training should be fun and positive to keep these dogs interested and engaged.

Irish Red and White Setters are friendly, affectionate, and high-energy dogs that make great individual companions and beloved family pets. They need lots of good exercise and mental challenges to keep them stimulated and healthy. They love to play but remember that early socialization and obedience training are key for this breed.

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Irish Red and White Setter Health

Like most dogs, Irish Red and White Setters are prone to specific health issues. 

Some of the most common health issues facing Irish Red and White Setters may include:

  • Hip dysplasia: This is a genetic condition of the hip joint that causes severe pain and discomfort. Medication and physical therapy usually help the dog, but in some cases, surgery may be required.
  • Ear infections: Because their long, floppy ears can trap moisture and dirt sometimes causing infections, cleaning the dog’s ears regularly is mandatory prevention.
  • Eye problems: Irish Red and White Setters may get certain eye conditions like cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy. While this sort of thing usually comes with advanced age, younger dogs can be affected too. Please get regular eye exams which can help catch these problems early.

Irish Red and White Setter Care

Proper care goes a long way in keeping Irish Red and White Setters fit and healthy. 

Here are some tips you can use:

  • Regular exercise: These dogs are active and need plenty of exercise. Try to give yours at least an hour of active exercise every day.
  • Balanced diet: Feed your dog a balanced diet!  Be absolutely sure that it meets their nutritional needs. Be careful not to overfeed to prevent obesity. 
  • Frequent grooming: Brush your Irish Red and White Setter’s coat often to prevent matting and tangles. Bathing as needed for good hygiene but not too often since bathing too much can dry out their skin and remove their natural oils.
  • Routine vet check-ups: Schedule routine check-ups with your vet to catch any health issues early. Be sure to keep up to date on all vaccinations and preventative care measures.

Final Thoughts

Sharing life with an Irish Red and White Setter can be a very rewarding and happy experience for individuals and families alike. These dogs are a beautiful and loyal breed that are often great dogs for active owners.  Train and love your Irish Red and White Setter best buddy and you’ll likely discover a very rewarding life experience.


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