Irish Setter


A probable blend of spaniels, pointers, and other setters, the Irish Setter was developed by Irish hunters who needed a skilled bird-setting and retrieving dog large enough to be seen from a distance. Originally bred as red and white, the solid red of the Irish Setter gained favor in the 1800s. The breed’s elegant, striking looks have made it a champion in the show ring; its good-natured attitude and clownish personality have made it a beloved companion.


Large; females 25 inches, 60 pounds; males 27 inches, 70 pounds.


Mahogany or chestnut red.


Tireless hunter and an amiable companion if exercised enough. Rollicking personality, full of gusto, eager to please. Good with children, but may be a bit rambunctious for toddlers.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Active owner or family in a suburban or rural home.


Lots of exercise (minimum one hour of exertion a day), a social life, brushing every two to three days, consistent and gentle training methods, fenced yard.

Life expectancy:

12 to 14 years.