Is the Irish Setter a Good Dog Breed?

Do you want to learn more about the Irish Setter breed and how good they are before getting one? The medium- to large-sized Irish Setter is a dog breed renowned for its unique red coat and outgoing personality. The Irish Setter, developed initially as a hunting dog, has grown in popularity as a family pet and friend. Yet, like other dog breeds, the Irish Setter has certain qualities and attributes that prospective owners need to consider before taking one home.

To help you decide if the Irish Setter is a suitable match for you and your lifestyle, we’ll review the breed’s history, behavior, and temperament in this article and any possible health problems. Keep reading to learn more!

History of the Irish Setter Breed

It’s hardly surprising that this stunning redhead comes from Ireland, a nation noted for its magnificent and lovely dogs. The Irish Setter originated in the eighteenth century and was likely created by crossing Gordon Setters, English Setters, and Spaniels. The Irish Lord of Enniskillen may have originated the craze for solid red canines. He wouldn’t have any other sort in his kennels by 1812. Jason Hazzard from Timaskea throughout County Fermanagh & Sir St. George Gore were two other Irish breeders of an era who favored the red dogs.

Among the three American Kennel Club setter breeds, the Irish Setter is the newest and most likely derived from the English Setter. The bright red hue was simple to identify under concealment, and the Irish hunters sought and required a quick working dog with a sharp nose. The Irish canines were originally red & white, but with the appearance of a “landmark” dog, the influence shifted in favor of the all-red canines.

A magnificent, lighter-boned, red-mahogany dog named Champion Palmerston entered the picture in 1862. Most of our contemporary Irish setters descend from him. Most fanciers refute the rumors that the Irish Setter’s ancestors were pointers. The Irish Setter is a popular household pet and sometimes a hunting dog nowadays. The Walt Disney film and the “Big Red” novels formerly inspired the breed, which had some sharp swings in popularity.

Irish Setter Breed Overview

The Irish Setter may make a wonderful dog breed with the appropriate owner. They are wonderful family pets & companions because of their well-known for being amiable and loving. They may be an excellent option for folks who prefer outdoor sports like jogging or hiking since they are generally active & energetic.

Yet, it’s crucial to remember that Irish Setters need a lot of physical activity and mental stimulation since they may become destructive without it. There may be better choices for households with smaller animals like cats or rabbits since they have a high hunt drive. Moreover, Irish Setters are sensitive to conditions including ear infections and hip dysplasia. Prospective owners must be aware of these hazards and ready to provide their dog the care and attention it needs.

The proper owner who is willing to offer the required exercise, training, and care, the Irish Setter may be a magnificent dog breed. When choosing a dog breed, like with any other, it’s crucial to complete your study and consider your tastes and way of life.

What Makes Irish Setters Good Pets

is irish setter a good dog

The famous dog breed, the Irish Setter, is renowned for its eye-catching red coat, lively personality, and devotion to its owners. Irish Setters are regarded as being good for the following reasons:

🐶Friendly and Loving

Irish Setters are renowned for being friendly animals who like interacting with humans. Because they enjoyed playing with youngsters and overall gentleness and patience, they make wonderful family pets.


Irish Setters are an energetic breed that enjoys running and playing. Active folks who like hiking, running, and other outdoor activities find them wonderful companions.


Irish Setters are bright, well-behaved dogs. They can pick up a wide range of orders and tricks and react well to positive reinforcement tactics.


Irish Setters are adaptable and may live in a large home with a huge yard or a tiny apartment. They may survive in any setting as long as they have adequate exercise and care.


Irish Setters are renowned for their owners’ dedication and loyalty. They make excellent watchdogs and, if necessary, will defend their family. Irish Setters are generally excellent dogs since they are friendly, active, smart, flexible, and devoted. They need the right socialization, instruction, and exercise to flourish as pets, just like any breed.

Pros And Cons Of Irish Setters

is irish setter a good dog

Irish hunters have historically utilized a variety of Setter dogs to pursue game and birds, including the Irish Setter. But, in the correct circumstances, these happy, affectionate, lively dogs may also become wonderful family companions. The Irish Setter is indeed the 71st most common dog breed in the USA and was first recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in 1878.

We’ll examine the Irish Setter’s pros & cons, outlining some of the breed’s benefits and drawbacks. Now that the introduction is through let’s look more closely at some of the pros & cons of having an Irish Setter.

Irish Setter Pros

🔹Beautiful Appearance

Irish Setters are most well associated with their gorgeous ruby-colored coats. This is the breed’s distinctive mark. Mahogany or chestnut in color, its coat’s feathering contributes to the breed’s quick aspect. Irish Setters are expected to have straight, fine, glossy coats that are longer on the legs’ chest, ears, tail, and rear. The coat should be as straight, wave- and curl-free as possible. You should be ready for the dog to get much attention if you choose an Irish Setter.

🔹Wonderful Family Dogs

The Irish Setter is a dog breed highly renowned for being a great family member, as the AKC said in the introduction. Irish Setters are “famously wonderful family dogs,” they continue, “sweet-tempered companions for the parents, and boisterous playmates & tennis-ball fetchers for the kids.”

They get a perfect five-star rating from the organization for being loving with the family, nice with small children, and good with the other canines. So, with the proper socialization and training, the Irish Setter will blend in well if you have kids or other pets. But please remember that no family dog should ever be left alone or with small children, no matter how nice they are.

🔹Strange Personalities

The Irish Setter is the ideal breed to choose if you want a canine companion that can make you smile with its goofy antics. These canines seem classy, yet they have silly personalities. It should be no surprise that Irish Setters develop more slowly than other dog breeds, given their reputation as “big babies at heart.” While they are friendly dogs that like meeting new people and pets, they eventually yearn for attention from their families and prefer their companionship.

They are a lot of fun and have incredibly lovable, silly personalities. Before beginning to calm down, they keep their puppy characteristics for a good three to four years. Despite having a strong off switch in the home, they have a lot of energy.

🔹Intelligent Dogs

Irish Setters are commonly considered stupid or difficult to teach, although the AKC describes this as having a “devil-may-care” attitude toward training. In fact, according to the renowned book on canine Intelligence called The Intelligence Of Dogs, the Irish Setter is the 35th most common dog breed. Theoretically, they need to be able to comprehend new orders after fifteen to twenty-five repetitions & comply with the initial order 70 percent of the time or more.

The misconception that all Irish Setters are “bimbos” was debunked by one ex-Irish Setter. While they have a reputation for being bimbos, and I had had people approach me when I was walking to tell me about the stupid IS they grew up with, this was not how I encountered them. To increase your chances of acquiring an intelligent dog, look for a breeder that participates in dog sports like agility.

Irish Setters are an energetic dog breed that enjoys having access to the outdoors. It should come as no surprise that they like using their Intelligence and sense of smell as they are a hunting dog breed originally intended to detect birds and other games. If you’re considering getting an Irish Setter, consider looking at agility activities that will challenge your dog’s instincts. The AKC recommends sports including obedience, hunting, agility, & rallying.


Irish Setters are affectionate dogs that like showing and receiving love from their family. They are a kind dog breed that gets along well with other house pets. Although medium-sized dogs like relaxing in the evenings or cuddling on the couch (particularly after they are three or four years old). Since every dog is unique, few Irish Setters will naturally be more loving than others.

The most devoted dogs are Irish setters. While they may be wild pups, once they reach the age of two or three, they become enormous love bugs that can’t stand apart from their owners.

Irish Setter Cons

🔸Require a Lot of Exercises

Dog-walking professionals estimate that an Irish Setter will need Ninety minutes of exercise daily. The Irish Setter is not the right breed for you if you’re searching for a dog with little activity needs. If Irish Setter breeders have the time to devote to exercising their dogs, they may easily rack up 15 kilometers a week. Short training sessions help keep your Irish Setter’s attention. Quick bursts of positive reinforcement training will work best with this delicate breed.

🔸Challenges to Obedience

While Irish Setters are not “bimbos,” they can struggle with obedience. They are high-spirited dog that sometimes disobeys orders, particularly if they are outside exploring. Irish setter incline to be outdoors. They are a breed of extremely intelligent dogs, yet they can also be independent learners and unreliable listeners.

You could thus have some problems with obedience. For this reason, it’s a good idea to begin teaching your dog from a very young age to improve your chances of success. Obedience training might assist in tempering their naughty tendencies.

🔸Prey Motivation

Given that the breed was bred to hunt & set in the field, it’s unsurprising that Irish Setters have a strong prey drive. It’s in their blood to hunt birds and other little guinea hens. As a result, if you’re strolling in an area with possible creatures of interest and don’t trust their recall, you’ll need to put your Irish Setter on a leash. Irish Setters must ensure that their garden and yard are broken free in case their dog decides to go off.


Following our prior point, Irish Setters have inconsistencies in a recall. This is a problem that many Irish Setter owners have had with their dogs, so it’s an area of training that you’ll want to devote a lot of effort. Although I do not own an Irish Setter, I have worked with dogs with poor recall. It’s safer for me to have them on a leash. If you want to let your dog off-leash, consider investing in dog trackers to track where your Setter is.

Training recall might be difficult, but it is attainable. It’s also very much a need since these dogs like running off-leash. Setters also are more slowly to mature than other breeds, having a lengthy adolescence. They may be rather boisterous and uncontrollable until 2-3.

🔸Coat of Spay

If you pick a setter, be warned that they suffer greatly from spay coats, and you will destroy the coat of possibly the most beautiful dog on the globe if you spay and neuter. There are several instances of Irish Setter parents who addressed this as a matter for consideration and conversation with the breeder and veterinarian. Their lovely flowing coats sometimes become frizzy and drab after being changed, which is true among all Setters.

Maybe it connected to the “spay coat,” although my coat shed very little. My breeder indicated that certain dogs have a single coat & some have a double coat, so it all depends on where you buy yours.

How to Care for an Irish Setter Dog

is irish setter a good dog

Irish setters are easy to care for. This hairy dog species is dedicated to its families and enjoys socializing with humans of all ages. Due to the breed’s lively personality and propensity to make friends with strangers, it’s reasonable to infer that an Irish setter isn’t ideal for a guard dog.


The lovely red coat of such an Irish setter doesn’t need as much upkeep as you may think. Despite its flowing look, it requires little care; its coat must be rubbed twice a week and washed occasionally. A dog’s undercoat thickens and is lost in the spring to keep warm throughout the winter months. As the coat is blown out, focus on grooming; use a rougher brush to remove thin hair and avoid fur balls from drifting about.


Frequent, vigorous exercise is critical for this athletic canine’s mental and emotional wellness. These dogs thrive on high-intensity physical exercise, such as walks, runs, & continuous tennis ball retrieval sessions. A fenced yard is ideal for this breed since it lets them run and play securely, but daily exercise, mostly in the form of walks and runs, is still required. Every day, schedule at least one hour of activity.


Although their sweet demeanor, Irish setters need continuous, positive reinforcement throughout training. This furry breed, like every other one, requires a steady and encouraging training strategy. Since the Setter was developed to flush the game, it’s crucial to remember that smaller animals may activate the Setter’s inherent hunting drive. This propensity, however, can frequently be moulded and held in control with effective, continuous exercise.

Red setters have exceptional intellect and trainability. They excel in fly ball, docks diving, & obedience, and field trials. Compared to other dog breeds, they do not do well alone. Their calm demeanor and great attention make their excellent service and therapy dogs. Dogs of this breed, however, might suffer from anxiety issues because of their intrinsic desire for human companionship.

Irish Setter Health Problems

Irish Setters, like other breeds, are prone to certain health difficulties. You should be aware of these disorders if you’re considering getting an Irish Setter as a family dog. When purchasing a puppy, look for a breeder that can provide you with health certificates for both the mother and father. Health certificates certify that a dog is clear of a certain condition.

👉Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition whereby the thighbone does not fit properly in the hip joint. Some dogs having hip dysplasia have discomfort and lameness in one or both of their back legs. Arthritis may develop in older dogs.


A low hormonal level characterizes hypothyroidism. Fertility is a minor symptom. Obesity, mental dullness, drooping eyelids, poor energy, and unpredictable heat cycles are all signs. The hair of the dog becomes harsh, brittle, and shedding, while the skin gets harsh and black. Lifelong medicine is used to treat hypothyroidism. A dog that takes thyroid medicine regularly may have a good life.


It is a potentially fatal sickness that affects large, deep-chested dogs, particularly if they eat, drink, or move frantically after eating. When the stomach is inflated with gas or air, it twists. The dog cannot belch or vomit to evacuate additional air from his stomach, which obstructs blood flow to the heart—the dog’s blood pressure drops, resulting in shock. Without medical attention, the dog may die.

Bloat may be seen in dogs with a swollen abdomen, excessive drooling, or retching without vomiting. Restless, depressed, lethargic, frail, and with a racing heart. Take your dog to the vet if you see any of these symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Irish setters good as family dogs?

Yes! Irish setters are ideal family pets if raised with children or other animals from a young age. If you have tiny children, start teaching them how to care for just a pet as soon as they can grasp a newspaper. If you have a puppy, this is extremely crucial.

Are Irish setters suitable as apartment dogs?

On the other hand, Irish setters are high-energy dogs that demand frequent playing. They flourish in bigger homes or those with secure outside spaces where they may participate in frequently physical exercise.

Are Irish Setters aggressive?

Expect your Irish Setter to be something other than a security dog since they are sociable. They accept anyone and are not aggressive in any way. Irish setters are attentive and wise and get along nicely with most humans and pets. Above all, they enjoy being a member of the family.

Can an Irish Setter guard you?

While Irish Setters are autonomous, they build deep ties with family members. They protected their families and made terrific watchdogs, but don’t expect them to be guard dogs. The Irish Setter is a lively and joyous family member who does not like being alone at home.

What do Irish Setters good at?

Irish Setters thrive in canine sports, including agility, hunting, agility, docks diving, rally, & flyball, and their sensitive disposition makes them excellent therapy and support dogs.

Final Thoughts

The Irish Setter is a fantastic dog breed many like because of its beauty, charm, and friendly temperament. Although they do need some attention & exercise, their loyal & playful nature makes them an excellent addition to every family or person willing to offer them the affection and attention they deserve. Before bringing a dog into your house, study and understand its requirements and features, just like you would with any other dog breed. Yet, if you want friendly, extroverted, and active companionship, the Irish Setter is a great choice. Do you want to know which setter is best? Click Here!