Irish Red and White Setter
The Irish Red and White Setter is a playful, energetic, fun-loving, affectionate and intelligent breed. Sounds great, right? Well, while it’s true that this adorable dog breed has endless positive traits, potential owners should be aware that she has endless amounts of energy. If this energy isn’t burnt, you might have destructive pooch on your hands! Originally bred as a hunting dog, this rare dog breed is a great match for active couples or families who have lots of time to dedicate to exercising and adventuring.
Key facts about the Irish Red and White Setter
Origins and history
The Irish Red and White Setter was bred in Ireland (if the name didn’t give it away!) to hunt birds and small game. She was, of course, originally red and white. However, when breeders decided they preferred the dog with a solid red coat, the original Red and White Setter almost faced extinction. Thankfully, in the early 1940s, a group of dedicated breeders helped the breed make a comeback - though the breed is still extremely rare to this day.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 7 - Pointing Dogs
Section 2 : British and Irish Pointers and Setters
Physical characteristics of the Irish Red and White Setter
Female : Between 22 and 24 in
Male : Between 24 and 27 in
Female : Between 40 and 51 lb
Male : Between 44 and 55 lb
White with red patches.
Type of coat
Mid-length, fine, soft and silky but slightly wavy, with fringes on the back of her limbs, ears, and tail.
Hazel, light brown or dark brown.
The Irish Red and White Setter is a medium-sized, athletic dog with an elegant appearance. The body and limbs are lean yet powerful and muscular, while the neck is relatively long and, again, muscular. The broad head and face features a squarish muzzle, clear stop, round eyes and eye-level ears. Overall, she is an attractive looking, agile, and athletic breed.
Good to know
The Irish Red and White Setter is classed as a vulnerable breed and has almost faced extinction several times.
This breed is affectionate and friendly to pretty much everybody it meets! To her owner, in particular, she will display an endless show of love and loyalty.
The Irish Red and White is a super playful breed who’s always happy to join in with family games, sports and activities.
While this breed can be calm and content in the home providing her exercise needs are met, she’s a naturally high-energy and active dog who will quickly become hyperactive if under-exercised or bored.
This pup is definitely smart, which means she’ll learn new tricks and commands with ease. She has a determined and courageous character, which emerges when she is at work.
While the Irish Red and White Setter makes a fantastic companion dog, it’s important to remember that she was bred to hunt. Therefore, this breed has a natural prey drive for small animals and wildlife.
Fearful / wary of strangers
She may be suspicious of people who don’t strike her as friendly.
Despite the Irish Red and White Setter’s loving and warm temperament, she has an obvious independent streak in her personality, making obedience training all the more important.
Behaviour of the Irish Red and White Setter
This breed will tolerate a few hours left alone, but is a naturally sociable pup, and might struggle with longer periods of alone time. If you’re planning on leaving a dog of this breed alone a lot of the time, it might be worth getting another dog for company.
Easy to train / obedience
The Irish Red and White is an intelligent dog, meaning she is fairly easy to train. This breed won’t react well to harsh corrections or negative training methods - she loves to please, so plenty of positive reinforcement works well.
May bark occasionally, but not without reason.