Is An Irish Setter A Good First Dog  

Is An Irish Setter A Good First Dog  

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The Irish Setter is a breed of gundog that first gained popularity in its homeland of Ireland and quickly expanded throughout the globe due to the attractiveness of the breed’s rich mahogany coat and its eagerness to hunt birds.

Here it makes sense to ask first, is an Irish Setter a good family dog?
It is said that Irish setters make great family pets. They have a positive outlook on life and are always excited and upbeat.


Secondly is an Irish setter a good first dog? 

To be honest, it doesn’t. Irish setters are good dogs, but their high energy levels can be a challenge. They are hunting dogs and need a lot of exercise. 

They are friendly, playful, and curious, with much energy. This dog is an outgoing and lively addition to the family and can excel in various canine activities and sports. He enjoys going on long runs, swimming for exercise, and playing fetch.


Is An Irish Setter a Good First Dog? Pros and Cons 

Remember that not every dog breed is a good choice for everyone. Make sure the canine you’re thinking of buying is a good fit for your family and lifestyle. 

An extremely active and spirited dog like Irish setter is not the ideal choice for you if you have a fixed and passive lifestyle.


WEIGHT60–70 pounds
HEIGHT25–27 inches 
LIFE SPAN12–14 years 
TEMPERAMENTGentle, very active
EXERCISE NEED40 minutes/day
ENERGY LEVELVery Energetic
COLOURSMahogany Red, Chestnut
Overall Grooming RequirementsModerate

Breed Overview

Irish Setter Appearance


is an Irish setter a good first dog  


The average Irish Setter is between the sizes of a medium and big dog. Males weigh 5 to 10 pounds more than females, who usually weigh around 60 pounds.


The most noticeable thing about an Irish setter is his coat, which is rich mahogany or deep chestnut color. He has long, silky hair and a dense undercoat that keeps him warm in the winter. They have a modest amount of shedding, peaking in the spring when their undercoat thickens. So, to prevent their hair from getting dirty or tangled, Irish setters need regular brushing.


Irish setters were bred to be gun dogs, so they have athletic builds with broad shoulders, narrow waists, and long, lean-back ends. Irish setters are distinguished by their long, lean muzzles and huge, shaggy-haired, hanging ears. Rare variants may have black, reddish, or golden irises, although brown is the most common color for these animals’ eyes.


Irish Setter History and Origin


If you know anything about Irish dogs, you know that they are some of the most beautiful and refined in the world, so it makes sense that this lovely redhead is from Ireland, a country renowned for its excellent and beautiful canines. A hybrid of English Setters, spaniels, pointers, and Gordon Setters, the Irish Setter was likely produced in Ireland sometime in the 18th century.


There may be a hint to their ancestry in that the original Irish Setters were also known as red Spaniels and Modder Rhu. Instead of the uniform dark red, we see now, and they were often white and red. The red coats of certain dogs were so heavily spotted with white that they were nicknamed “shower of hail” dogs.   

The first Irish Setter brought to America was named Elcho. Arriving in 1875, he quickly rose to prominence on and off the field. In 1878, Admiral became the first Irish Setter ever registered with the American Kennel Club. They shot to prominence as a household name, and a crowd-pleaser at dog shows across the United States.


Due mainly to the media attention given to an Irish Setter named Big Red in the 1960s and 1970s (including a film adaptation) and the presence of an Irish Setter named King Timahoe in the White House during the Nixon administration, the breed’s popularity skyrocketed at that time. The American Kennel Club now recognizes 155 breeds and variations of dogs, with the Irish Setter coming in at position #68.  

Irish Setter Personality


The Irish Setter is a dog that loves to have a good time since it is active, lively, and affectionate. He’s naughty and won’t think twice about plundering your drawer in front of guests.

An actual companion dog, Irish Setters are friendly and pleasant. They aren’t trained to be guard dogs but will defend their pack if necessary. However, they make excellent guard dogs and will bark at any unfamiliar faces.


According to the International Spitz Club Association, Irish setters take longer to reach full maturity than other dog breeds. Because of this, an Irish setter’s personality might resemble a hyperactive, young pup occupying an adult’s body.


There are several influences on temperament, such as genetics, upbringing, and environment. Good-natured puppies enthusiastically explore their surroundings, play with toys, and seek human interaction.  The Setter’s kind nature makes him popular with strangers, but that doesn’t guarantee he’ll thrive in every home.


For sure, he can be a very obstinate animal. If given half a chance, he’ll take the whole thing. If you put in the time and effort, you can break his bad habit.  


Is an Irish setter a good first dog? The people who don’t have the time or tolerance to deal with his boundless enthusiasm and may find him a nuisance. He requires daily commitments of at least sixty minutes.  Meet at least one parent — generally the mother — to check their pleasant temperaments. You can also gain insight into a puppy’s potential personality by meeting their siblings or relatives.  


Irish Setters, like other dogs, benefit significantly from early socialization, during which they are introduced to a wide variety of people, places, things, and activities. Inviting guests and taking him to crowded parks, dog-friendly establishments, and leisurely walks can help him improve his social skills. Your Irish Setter puppy will develop into a balanced dog with proper socialization.


 Irish Setters Health Issues 

Like other breeds, Irish Setters are prone to specific health issues. Knowing about these diseases is crucial if you’re considering an Irish Setter as a family dog.

When buying a puppy, select a breeder who can show you health certifications for both or the mother parents. Health certifications confirm a dog is free of a specific ailment.


Irish Setters should have health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (fair or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease; Auburn University for thrombopathia; and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) for normal eyes. OFA’s website confirms health certifications.  


Hip dysplasia: This is an inherited disorder in which the thighbone doesn’t fit in the hip joint. Some dogs with hip dysplasia display pain and lameness on one or both rear legs. Ageing dogs can get arthritis. 

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or Penn Hip Improvement Program check for hip dysplasia with X-rays. Hip dysplasia-affected dogs shouldn’t breed. Ask the breeder for documentation that the puppy’s parents are hip dysplasia-free.  Hereditary hip dysplasia can be induced by a high-calorie diet or accidents from jumping or falling on slippery flooring.


Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD): This orthopedic disorder causes abnormal joint cartilage formation and commonly affects the elbows and shoulders. It causes severe joint rigidity, so the dog can’t flex his elbow. Four to nine-month-old dogs can have it. Overfeeding “growth formula” puppy diets or high-protein foods may help.  


Hypothyroidism: is a low thyroid hormone. Infertility is a modest symptom. Obesity, mental dullness, eyelid drooping, low energy, and erratic heat cycles are indications. The dog’s fur becomes coarse, brittle, and shedding, and its skin becomes rough and black. Hypothyroidism is treated with lifelong medication. A dog on regular thyroid medication can have a happy life.  


Canine Leukocyte: (CAD) decreases white blood cells’ capacity to fight infection. Irish Setters have this immune-system-damaging illness. This condition causes immunological problems and recurrent infections. Breeders seek to eradicate Canine Leukocyte from their breeding lines, and a DNA test can determine if a dog is gene-free. Ask a breeder whether their dogs have been CLAD-tested.  

Epilepsy: Irish Setters can have moderate or severe epilepsy. Epilepsy can be genetic, caused by metabolic abnormalities, brain infections, tumors, toxins, or head traumas, or of unknown cause (referred to as idiopathic epilepsy).  

Seizures might cause strange behavior like racing furiously, staggering, or hiding. Idiopathic epilepsy in dogs has a fair long-term prognosis. Epilepsy is treatable but not curable. With careful treatment, a dog may live an entire, healthy life. See a vet for a diagnosis and treatment if your Irish Setter develops seizures.


Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA):  This degenerative eye condition causes blindness from photoreceptor loss. PRA can be detected years before a dog’s blindness. Blind dogs may have a long and happy life because of their other senses. Don’t shift furniture often. Reputable breeders check their dogs’ eyes periodically by a vet and don’t breed dogs with this condition. A new PRA DNA test will limit the disease’s occurrence.


Hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD): This causes lameness in puppies 4 to 8 months old and is connected to high protein and calcium in the diet. Fever, appetite loss, inflamed joints, tiredness, and walking reluctance are different symptoms. Sometimes lethal. HOD is challenging to diagnose in Irish Setters, so ask your vet. Steroids, antibiotics, and painkillers are prescribed.


Gastric torsion (bloat): It is a life-threatening illness that affects huge, deep-chested dogs, especially if they eat quickly, drink quickly, or move furiously after eating. The stomach twists when bloated with gas or air. 

The dog can’t belch or vomit to expel extra air from his stomach, obstructing blood flow to the heart. Dog’s blood pressure decreases, causing shock. The dog can die without medical care. Dogs with a bloated belly, profuse drooling, and retching without vomiting may have bloat. Restless, dejected, sluggish, feeble, and with a fast heart rate. Get your dog to the vet if you detect these signs.  


Pan osteitis: This typically affects juvenile giant breed dog limb bones. Inflammation in the bone causes lameness. No cure, but anti-inflammatories and painkillers help. The condition lasts 1 to 6 months, with intervals of agony and good health.


Take Care of an Irish Setter Dog


Irish setters are good dogs to take care of. This hairy dog breed is devoted to its family and loves spending time with human companions of all ages. It’s safe to assume that an Irish setter isn’t the best choice for a guard dog due to the breed’s outgoing nature and propensity to make friends with total strangers.  




Regular, strenuous exercise is essential for this athletic dog’s mental and emotional health. These canines thrive on high-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walks, runs, and endless sessions of tennis ball retrieval. Even though a fenced yard is perfect for this breed since it allows them to run and play safely, regular exercise in the form of walks or runs is still necessary. Plan on at least an hour of activity every day.




The beautiful red coat of an Irish setter doesn’t require as much maintenance as you may expect. It is minimal maintenance despite its flowing appearance; their coat has to be brushed twice a week and given a wash once in a while.


To remain warm throughout the colder months, a dog’s undercoat grows thicker and is shed in the spring. While the coat is blowing out, you’ll need to pay extra attention to grooming; use a slicker brush to remove weak hair and prevent fur balls from floating around.



However, Irish setters still require consistent, positive reinforcement during training despite their kind personality. This hairy breed, like all others, needs a training method that is consistent and encouraging.

To ensure a healthy and happy adult dog, socialize your Setter from an early age with people of all ages and with animals of all sizes. The Setter was bred to flush game; therefore, it’s important to remember that smaller pets may trigger the Setter’s natural prey drive. But with good, consistent training, this tendency can often be shaped and kept in check.


The intelligence and trainability of red setters are extraordinary. In addition to field trials, they excel at the fly ball, dock diving, agility, and obedience. They don’t perform well alone compared to other dog breeds. Their calm disposition and keen focus make them ideal service or therapy dogs. However, because of their innate need for human company, dogs of this breed sometimes suffer from separation anxiety.


Are Irish Setters Good Dogs with Children and Other Pets  

Irish Setters make excellent family dog, as they are very friendly and social. They will be happy to spend time with you and your family as well as friends of the family.


 While Irish Setters are excellent companions for older, more energetic youngsters, they may be too boisterous for younger children. An Irish Setter might easily knock a toddler down while playing.

Dogs and small children should never be left alone together without supervision to avoid any potential for biting or ear or tail tugging on either side. Don’t let your kid bother a dog when it’s eating or sleeping, and make sure they know not to try to grab the dog’s food.


 Regardless of how well-behaved a dog may seem; it is never safe to leave a youngster alone with one.  Dogs and cats get along well with Irish Setters, mainly if the cats are reared with them, but the birds in the home may be seen as prey if the dog is bred to hunt birds.  


Diet and Nutrition


Two to three cups of premium dry food twice a day are ideal.  PLEASE TAKE INTO ACCOUNT your adult dog’s size, age, build, metabolism, and level of exercise when determining his daily food intake. 

 Like humans, dogs are unique and therefore have different dietary requirements. It’s almost a given that a very active dog will need more than a dog who doesn’t do much. The quantity of dog food you shake into your dog’s bowl is also affected by the quality of the food you buy. Higher-quality dog food will go further toward nourishing your dog.  


Instead of putting food out all the time, measure and feed your Irish Setter twice daily. To begin, you should examine him from below. Use your eyes and your hands to determine if he’s overweight. A waistline ought to be discernible. Then rest your hands on his back, spreading your fingers and keeping your thumbs down his spine. Without using too much force, you should be able to feel his ribs but not be able to see them. In that case, he has to eat less and exercise more.  


Irish Setter Adoption/Purchase


Irish setter rescues rehome these gorgeous canines. Many breeders provide Irish setter puppies. Find a reliable Irish setter breeder. Always meet one or both of the puppy’s parents. When looking for an Irish setter, check with local rescue organizations.

The National Breed Club suggests Irish setter breeders produce the following health certifications:  

Optigen testing for PRA  

 Hips OFA-certified  

 CERF Eye Examination  

OFA Thyroid


  F A Qs


 Are Irish setters good apartment dogs?


The contrary is true; Irish setters are high-energy dogs who require regular playtime. They’ll thrive in larger houses or ones with secure outside areas where they may engage in regular physical activity.


Are Irish setters good family dogs? 


Yes! If reared with children and other pets from an early age, Irish setters will be excellent family pets. If your family has small children, teach them how to care for a pet from the time they are able to hold a newspaper. This is especially important if you have a puppy.


Are Irish setters aggressive?


Irish setters may pursue smaller pets or animals because of their intrinsic prey drive, but they are not violent and usually get along great with other dogs and humans when taken for walks, to dog parks, etc. 

 What kind of personality does Irish Setters have?


An Irish Setter will make you smile with its cheerful disposition, a warm embrace, and eager obedience. He is an energetic individual who will like having a task to complete. Make sure he doesn’t get bored with the training by sticking to a routine but making the sessions exciting and engaging. 



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