Irish Red and White Setters

Type: Gun Dog

Height: Males - 24.5 to 27 inches; Females - 22.5 to 24 inches.

Weight: 40 - 75 lbs.

Life Span: 10 - 15 years.

Litter Size: 6 - 12 puppies.

Country of Origin: Ireland

Activity: Medium

Watch-dog: High. Irish Red and White Setters are alert to the sounds around them.

Guard-dog: Low. They are more wary than the Red Setter, but are mostly friendly to anyone.


Description: Well-proportioned and athletic, Irish Red and White Setters are powerful and good-natured. They are more heavily built than the Irish Setter, with more sturdiness, as well as likeliness to injure themselves. Aristocratic, keen and intelligent, the Irish Red and White Setter has fairly recently grown in numbers. They are strong, powerful, well-balanced and proportioned without lumber. They have a square, tapering muzzle and strong hind and forelegs. They have a tail that has feathering, though they feather less than their cousin the Irish Setter. They display a kindly, friendly attitude, behind which is discernible determination, courage and a high spirit. The Irish Red and White Setter may first appear aloof, but warms to companionship quickly. Irish Red and White Setters are more wary of strangers than the Red Setter, but still hold onto the lively, active spirit of the Setters. They are practical gundogs, and are a "thinking dog." Owners have said of the Irish Red and White Setter: "They are 'thinking dogs' and consider you well before deciding you are worthy of their friendship." Having an exciting zest for life, the Irish Red and White Setter makes a perfectly reliable family pet.

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Other Names: Red and White Setter

Colors: The base color is white with solid red patches (clear islands of red color), both colors show the maximum of life and bloom. Flecking but not roaning is permitted around the face and feet and up the foreleg as far as the elbow and up the hind legs as far as the hock. Roaning, flecking and mottling on any other part of the body is most objectionable and is to be heavily penalized. Black spots on the roof of the mouth indicate true Irish lineage.

Coat: Long silky fine hair called

Temperament: Irish Red and White Setters are active, affectionate and fun. They are playful and excited around their family, giving them a spirit of happiness. They are cheerful dogs, eager to do things. They are affectionate, outgoing and lively. They are intelligent, trainable and get along well with children and other dogs. Some may be mischievous if not trained.

With Children: Yes, absolutely wonderful children's companion in every respect, from the first-time dog owner to seasoned experienced owners.

With Pets: Yes, but will chase the cat. They thrive on companionship of their own kind but do perfectly well as the only pet.

Care and Training: Irish Red and White Setters are low-maintenance, need regular brushing, and nail and ear care. Regular grooming as a pup is a useful tool in the bonding experience, leading to trust when training begins. Irish Red and White Setters require daily brushing, exercise and space. Irish Red and White Setters are very malleable, quick on the uptake. They are high in intelligence and are very trainable, but do require more time to learn. They are slower at training than the other Setters.

Learning Rate: High, but slow. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - High.

Living Environment: Irish Red and White Setters benefit from regular exercise but adjust well to any living situation, provided they are regularly mentally challenged. They also need free space. The best owner for this breed would be a dog-experienced, active owner living in a country setting.

Health Issues: As the breed has not been

History: The original Irish at the turn of the eighteenth to nineteenth century was parti-colored, red and white. Red setters were rare and it was not until about 1850 that the American dollar influenced the breeder into producing the whole colored variety. It seems that it was from this time that the parti-colored member started its slow decline. The "auld" Red & White was almost finished. It must have been about that time that the serious challenge to the red and white began, from being the dominant breed in the early nineteenth century to 1875 where at Rotunda Gardens in Dublin 66 Irish entered, 23 being parti-colored and the following year at Cork there were 96 entries, 26 were red and white. For a good many years the red and white had not been as popular as the whole colored specimen and became nearly extinct except for the few enthusiasts who kept the breed alive. The Rev. Noble Houston from County Down was an enthusiast of the breed and it is possible that it was he who kept the breed alive. In the early 1940s an attempt was made at the revival of the breed and it is from here that present owners can trace their pedigrees. The Irish Red&White Club was formed in 1944 in Ireland. The Irish Red&White Setter Club of America, Inc. was formed in 1984. Some of the important foundation lines are Glenkeen, Winnowing, Knockalla, Meudon, Mounteagle, Knockane and most recently Autumnwood and Redwing. With this basic start and with the enthusiasm of the exhibitors today, this ancient Irish breed should never again reach the point where extinction is a possibility where it was 11 years ago. Mrs. Cuddy, who kept the breed alive with foresight and knowledge from 1948 till the late 70s, told us in 1977 it would take 10 years to get the breed established, 10 more to get uniformity and a further 10 to get people to accept the fact that they are not Red Setters in a parti-colored coat, but a separate, distinct breed unto itself with a proud and rich legacy. In 1993 Ireland had an Irish setter on a postage stamp.

First Registered by the AKC: 2009

AKC Group: Sporting

Class: Gundog

Registries: ANKC, ARAB, FCI (Group 7), KC(GB), UKC, AKC, TKC