The Irish Setter is a large gundog breed that originated in Ireland. It is also known as the “red setter” to differentiate it from the other Irish setter breeds: the Red and White Setter and the now believed to be extinct Hail Setter. The Irish Setter is a racy-built gundog characterised by a long head with a glamorous coat, light bones and a very refined head. The first thing one will notice when seeing the Irish Setter for the first time is the soft, silky shiny coat of red or chestnut colour. Beautiful featherings adorn the upper portion of the ears, on the back of the front and back legs, and on the belly, forming a fringe extending to the chest and throat. The feet are also well-feathered between toes as well as the tail, which has moderately long hair, forming a fringe. The Irish Setter, besides being a graceful hunter is also a remarkably affectionate dog, which is why it is also trained as a therapy dog. The average Irish Setter height ranges between 61cm to 71cm while weight ranges between 29kg to 34kg for males and between 25kg to 29kg for females.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The first mention of a dog similar in working ability and appearance to the modern Irish Setter was in a Latin book entitled “De Canibus Britannicus” published in 1570. The breed mentioned here greatly resembles the Irish Setter as we know it today. Further references to early Setters can be found in “The Country Farme” published in 1616 which makes the setter breed one of the oldest breeds. During the 18th century, the Irish people began to actively breed their own type of Setters, particularly those with very large estates where game birds can be found. By 1845, the predominant Setter breeds in Ireland were either red, red and white, lemon, or white with deep chestnut patches. The modern solid red colour that we see today is a result of selective breeding practices. Working Irish Setters are lighter and have less feathering that is generally shorter than the show ring Setters.
Bred to be a successful hunter, the Irish Setter is also extremely affectionate and will enthusiastically greet visitors at any time of the day. This people-friendly attitude makes it unsuitable as a guard dog. It is an excellent companion dog and a family pet. It loves having a job to do and lack of activity can lead to boredom which can translate into unpleasant behaviours such chewing, digging, or hyperactivity. It should not be left alone in the backyard for long periods of time. It thrives best when it is around its human companions and because it is highly affectionate, the Irish Setter is also widely used as a therapy dog in schools and hospitals. In the field, the Irish Setter is an excellent locator, pointer and setter of upland game birds. It is a tireless hunter that can cover a wide area in any type of environment, wet or dry.
The Irish Setter can sometimes have a stubborn streak and has a tendency to play deaf especially when something caught his attention. Proper and early obedience training particularly on mastering the recall should be carried out as early as possible in the dog’s life, especially if it will be allowed to walk off-lead later in life. The best training method is firm and gentle training coupled with positive reinforcements.
A young Irish Setter’s coat is short so grooming is quite easy. It is important to show the puppy that grooming is an enjoyable session so that it will grow up knowing that grooming is a pleasurable experience. An adult Irish Setter has a thicker and longer coat. Regular grooming sessions must be adhered to in order to keep the coat matt- and tangle-free. Pay close attention to the area behind and under the ears because this is where most matts form which can cause problems to the dog. Use a thinning scissor to remove small hair balls that formed small lumps hidden under the coat. Check the armpits, groin area, in between toes and under the tail for the same problem.
The Irish Setter is generally a healthy breed but it is affected by a few health issues including canine leukocyte adhesion deficiency (CLAD), seizure, gastric torsion or bloat, canine hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, osteosarcoma, Von Willebrand’s disease, celiac disease, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). The average lifespan of the Irish Setter is between 12 and 15 years.
The adult Irish Setter is an active breed, owing to its hunting lineage. It requires about 1 to 2 hours of daily exercises like long walks and off-lead running preferably in a large open area where it can channel its loads of energy. An insufficiently exercised Irish Setter can become bored which can translate into hyperactivity and worst, destructive behaviour. However, it is not a good idea to exposed a young Irish Setter to rugged exercises until he is old enough to do so. A few minutes of play time in the garden until he is about 4 months old is enough and then up to 15 minutes of simple walk/play/run until about 6 months of age.
Children and Irish Setters get along quite very well, but the breed can be quite exuberant with small kids. As a very loving breed, the Irish Setter also gets along well with other dogs. However, being a natural hunter, the Irish Setter may pose a problem to small household animals. Some Irish Setters don’t get along well with cats, although early socialisation is always the key to correcting this issue.