Irish Setter Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
The Irish Red Setter is an exceptionally glamorous dog with his richly gleaming chestnut coat and handsome kind looks. The Irish Setter was developed during the 19thC, probably by selective breeding from the Irish Red and White Setter in order to create a self-coloured dog. It is claimed that, ironically, the solid coloured dog was hard to distinguish in dead grass and bracken and so a white handkerchief was tied to his neck to assist in spotting him. The Irish Setter was trained to find game for netting and then for the gun, and although not used so commonly for working he still has the true instincts.
In 1835 the Irish Setter was described as rare and in the Dublin Show of 1874 there were more classes for the Irish Red and White Setter, and it was not until 1876 that he became known, separate from the Red and White, as the Irish Red Setter. The breed club was formed in 1882, and since then the breed has gone from strength to strength.
Like many of the larger breeds he has a long puppyhood; he is full of boundless energy and naughtiness, until he suddenly emerges like a butterfly as a beautiful, affectionate member of the family, and you can almost always leave your slippers in the kitchen in the knowledge that they will (probably) still be there when you next look.
An Irish Setter must be a poor representative of the breed not to look like a quality dog; it is true that some are terribly narrow all through, whereas they should be well-boned and powerful in his hindquarters, but they do have a real air of class and refinement.
Plenty of time and exercise is vital; they have a lot of energy which must be channelled and they are demanding of your time and attention, but you will be amply rewarded for your investment in them. Unusually, there are no height or weight restrictions in the Breed Standard; they are simply required to be “racy, balanced and full of quality”.
The coat is reasonably easy to manage; the body coat should be flat and the feathering silky and straight. To give him his correct outline his throat needs to be kept tidy and the ears neat, which is probably the most difficult part of his presentation without obvious trimming.
A lovely dog, not a breed to be taken on lightly, but if you can give him the time you will be amply rewarded.
Rescue and Rehoming
In the unfortunate event you need to re-home your dog, first speak to your dog’s breeder. If you are looking to give a home to an older dog, contact Irish Setter Rescue. It is always wise to speak to people who are expert in the breed so you can get the best possible advice.