Is the Irish Setter the dog for you?
The Irish Setter has often been called the most beautiful of all dogs.
With its flowing, silky red coat, long ears, soft expression and regal bearing, this dog turns heads wherever it goes.
The Irish Setter's personality is fun loving, playful and affectionate. The standard calls for a "rollicking" temperament, and anyone who has had the pleasure of raising an Irish Setter puppy can tell you exactly what that means. It is mischievous and independent, intelligent and stubborn, but always anxious to please.
Most Irish Setter breeders and owners will tell you that Irish Setters do not like to consider themselves dogs, but rather one of the family.
From the hard working field dog to the pampered show dog, all Irish Setters enjoy being part of the family as well as enjoying all of the comforts home life has to offer. They are good with children and love to play with them all day long. Irish Setters are probably too good natured to be watchdogs but they are very protective of their domain and will at the very least sound an alarm at anything out of the ordinary that they hear or see.
Because an Irish Setter is fun-loving and mischievous by nature, from puppyhood on, a sense of what is right and wrong must be instilled in your Irish Setter. Bad habits can be avoided from the very beginning by proper supervision and ongoing training. A fenced yard is a must. A special area in the home set aside for the Irish Setter when company comes to visit will also help your Irish Setter from making a breach of good conduct.
If an Irish Setter is to be a house pet, it is highly recommended that it be given some sort of obedience training. It is wise to enrol a six-month old puppy in a local obedience class. Not only will the puppy learn to mind its manners, but it will learn proper socialization as well. This training will help to develop your Irish Setter's manners for the enjoyable years ahead as a true "member of the family" dog.
They are excellent in the house, wonderful with children and also get on well with other animals. Some believe that the setter is difficult to train, but this is not so. The Irish Setter is very smart, sometimes smarter than its owner, so one must use care and patience in training this dog.
Irish Setters are an active breed and require time and exercise, but they are most adaptable and will fit into any home as long as they get their share of attention and love.
A daily walk or run are a must if you wish to have a happy and adjusted Irish Setter.
So, if you want a good looking, good natured companion and family member and are prepared to give regular exercise and quality time, then an Irish Setter could be the breed for you.
Are Irish Setters are nervous, untrainable, hyper or highly strung?
In the late 1960s and 70s, the Irish Setter became extremely popular as a pet. Its striking colour and coat and glamourous appearance made it a natural candidate to be a canine fashion accessory. Sadly such popularity led to careless breeding practices; people with nothing more in mind than supplying puppies to anyone with the cash to buy them started producing puppies.
Dogs that were the result of breeding with no regard for temperament went to owners who had no idea what to do about raising an active, fast growing puppy. Irish Setters were no longer scarce. Of course it didnít take long for things to change and there was a swift decline in demand and there were far too many Irish Setters waiting for new homes in animal shelters.
Today there are fewer but more knowledgeable, educated, reputable breeders who care about their dogs and the health and welfare of the puppies they produce. The majority of Irish Setters are now the happy, friendly, lovable, and highly trainable dogs they were meant to be. Of course Irish Setter lovers think energy and exuberance is a delightful trait that really adds to the fun of life with their dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are Irish Setters Smart?
Irish setters are very intelligent dogs and can easily learn the full range of 'obedience' commands. They are energetic and agile dogs which make great companions for both individuals and families.
2. How big will my puppy grow?
Irish Setters are large dogs and will reach a height of around 26-27 inches.
3. Do I need a lot of room for my puppy?
Irish Setters are happiest if they have room to run. However, many people are able to keep their dog(s) happy in small houses by making sure that they exercise them twice a day.
4. What sort of temperament do Irish Setters have? Are they good with children?
Irish Setters have a gentle, fun-loving nature. They are good with other dogs and are exceptionally good with children. Of course, as with all dogs, they should never be left alone with children.
5. Do Irish Setters like water?
Irish Setters are gun dogs bred for hunting. All gun dogs love water and the Irish Setter is no exception.
6. Do Irish Setters bark?
Like most dogs, Irish Setters will generally bark if they detect disturbance in their environment. Their friendly nature however, means that they may not be good watchdogs.
7. What about health? Do Irish Setters suffer from inherited problems?
Irish Setters are generally very healthy dogs. See the health pages on this site. Responsible breeders will have their breeding stock screened.
Irish Setters can be expected to live into their teens.