OVERVIEW OF THE IRISH SETTER
The Irish Setter is a glamorous dog whose elegance is only outweighed by its flamboyant and mischievous personality. This vibrancy is on full display when we consider its coat. From deep hues of mahogany to light shades of chestnut and red, there is a tasteful tincture to it.
This topcoat boasts a wavy texture throughout the body and feathers up around the pup’s deep chest, tail, legs and ears. The dog’s ears hang and have a silky texture at the back. Sandwiched between them are the pup’s medium-brown eyes that have a soft and adorable look to them. The amalgamation of all these features gets us a dog that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who lays their eyes on it.
Something similar happened to the Irish Earl of Enniskillen in the 19th century. In those days, Irish Setters were a mix of white and red. The earl, however, was so dazzled by the red shades, he ordered his kennel managers to only house red dogs. What followed was selective breeding to bring out the red in these pups and the result was the pure red strain we see today.
A few decades later, this dog breed found itself on the shores of Continental America. Here, it became a conformation champion, thanks to its lithe grace and agility. Fast forward one century, the Irish Setter found immense popularity due to the extensive media representation it got in the 70s. It even graced the floors of the White House when the Nixon administration adopted King Timahoe.
Today, the Irish Setter is often found in suburban homes, hospices, children’s hospitals and retirement homes. Here, they display their amazingly cool temperaments to spread warmth and laughter. This disposition also makes them great therapy dogs. Parallel to this warm side, the Irish Setter can also get aggressive when it comes to defending the humans they love. This makes them a good watchdog as well.
Size-wise, an adult Irish Setter stands at 27 inches, in the case of males, and 25 inches, in the case of females. This adulting will only be limited to the height, though. On the personality and attitude side of things, you can expect your Setter to mature late in their lives or not at all.
IRISH SETTER FOOD AND HEALTH
Clocking in weights of up to 60 pounds, in the case of females, and 70 pounds, in the case of males, the Irish Setter may very well be considered a large dog. This large size is supported by an equally large appetite. The exact size of this appetite, however, and its nutritional requirements will vary, depending on your pup’s activity levels and age.
Generally speaking, you can expect a daily dietary requirement of two to three cups of dried dog food. We recommend splitting this feed into two or three meals. This will prevent your pup from flatulating. Speaking of gas, since the Irish Setter is a large-sized dog, it is at risk of developing bloat, or Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV).
Bloat can cause a life-threatening gas build-up in your pooch’s body. This build-up can potentially restrict blood flow and put your dog into permanent shock. Symptoms of this digestive emergency include severe stomach pains, dry heaves, collapsing and white foam in vomit. You should book an appointment with the vet upon witnessing any such symptom.
A visit to the vet is also recommended for general checkups every few weeks. They will ensure your canine is in tip-top shape. Any emerging medical conditions can also be anticipated in these checkups and nipped in the bud.
Medical conditions like Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, and Epilepsy are relatively common among Irish Setters. The ensuing medical bills can get overwhelming. So, consider investing in a good pet insurance scheme from somewhere like Allstate, Geico, or Nationwide.
Going for checkups or screenings shouldn’t be the only time you interact with your vet, though. You must also consult them when incorporating any new food or supplement into your pet’s diet. They will not only steer you clear away from products containing potential allergens but also guide you towards ones more beneficial for your pooch.
LEASHES AND COLLARS FOR YOUR IRISH SETTER
Going on walks with an Irish Setter isn’t exactly the easiest. We’ve got their mischievous and inquisitive nature to thank for that. Their sensitive noses can attract them to the slightest hints of vanilla, lavender, and basically anything pleasant. Also, these canines have a tendency to be easily distracted by birds or butterflies.
Such distractions and low attention spans will lead to them tugging at their leash and potentially hurting you and themselves in the process. This is why you must get a retractable leash for your Irish Setter. Consider ones with a soft and comfortable grip that won’t hurt your hand when pulled. Options like the TUG 360° Retractable Dog Leash are great for this dog breed since they tick all these boxes of a good-quality dog leash.
Since Setters are extremely tug-friendly dogs, you must tie their leash to the harness instead of the collar. The latter choice can strain their neck. A harness, on the other hand, will distribute the force throughout their body.
This piece of equipment will also make it easier for you to lift your pup up. We recommend going for adjustable harnesses for a more comfortable fit. The rabbitgoo Dog Harness is a great option in this regard.
Finally, a good quality collar is a must-have when you adopt an Irish Setter. This collar will help with identification purposes. It will also allow you to class up your pooch’s outfit and twin with them.
When in the market for a new dog collar, make sure you go for something soft and durable. Nylon is a great material in this regard. You must also think about the fit. Anything that causes matting or rashes should be a big no.
BEST CRATES, BEDS, AND DOG HOUSES FOR IRISH SETTERS
Equal parts curious and intelligent, this breed is perhaps one of the hardest dogs to train. Consistency is key here. And, a little mix-match of firmness and positive reinforcements goes a long way.
Plenty of dinner table disasters can be averted by crate training your dog before the guests come over. Consider throwing in an interactive toy to keep them busy. You can also use crate training techniques to prevent destructive behaviors when the pup is left unsupervised.
Although, try to keep these unsupervised sessions to a minimum. You see, Irish Setters can get extremely unhappy when left alone for more than a few hours. This is why crate time should also be kept to a minimum.
If you’re in the market for a new crate for your four-legged friend, consider the PRECISION PET ProValu Wire Dog Crate. It’s sturdy, roomy, and super easy to assemble. What more can you ask for?
Speaking of roominess, your dog’s crate must be big enough for your pooch to stand in. They should also have enough space to turn around and exit from either door. These doors should be kept open to project a friendly vibe to the place.
You should also throw in a dog bed here to help your paw pal make itself at home. Speaking of dog beds, we recommend going for something like the Furhaven Orthopedic Dog Bed. The enhanced cushioning will ensure your ball of fur gets a good night of sleep and the orthopedic foam will guarantee superior support for your canine’s hind legs and hips. This support is extremely important, considering large dog breeds like the Irish Setter are at risk of developing hip dysplasia as they get older.
Since this type of Setter is an active breed, you can expect it to take long snooze times. When it isn’t sleeping, though, you’ll find it hard to match its energy levels. An hour-long exercise session every day should be a must, even if it is simply running around the backyard. Just make sure the yard is fenced for security reasons.
You can also construct a dog house here where your pooch can take some shut-eye during play breaks. Although, be sure to never let your dog stay in this structure for too long since, as mentioned earlier, they don’t really enjoy alone time as much.
When building a dog house for your Irish Setter, you should first think about its size. As far as the width goes, you should aim for something small enough to keep your dog insulated and yet roomy enough for it to completely turn around.
On the height end, a good rule of thumb is to go 33% higher than your dog’s height. Anything that forces your little friend to significantly lower its shoulders to peer out should be a big no. We also recommend opting for wooden materials since they’re more weather resistant and provide superior insulation.
IRISH SETTER TOYS
Their love for water and playtime makes Irish Setters great companions for a day at the beach. So, think waterproof and floating toys. Something like the ChuckIt! Amphibious Bumper Floating Fetch Toy can provide the two of you with hours of fun.
Although, do remember these dogs have extremely strong jaws. So, make sure any toy you opt for can stand the test of strong teeth. This is especially important if your Setter is chew-friendly. Opt for indestructible toys in that case, like the Jolly Pets Romp-n-Roll.
Along with recreation and mental stimulation, a good chew toy will also improve your canine’s dental health. Just make sure the toy’s composition is non-toxic. While you’re at it, an eco-friendly construction should also be preferred.
GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR IRISH SETTER OWNERS
The crown jewel of the Irish Setter is definitely its stunning coat. Interestingly, it isn’t that much of a hassle to maintain. All you need to do is brush it twice a week. Although, you can increase this frequency to get a smoother finish.
Use a pin brush for regular grooming. A long-tooth comb, on the other hand, may be used to work out any mats or tangled hair. While brushing its coat, be sure to keep an eye out for any sort of rashes or redness on the dog’s skin as these can indicate an allergic reaction. In case of major swelling, you should immediately book an appointment with the vet.
Speaking of vets, we also recommend getting an ear cleanser as per their recommendation. You can dab a cotton ball into this solution to clean your dog’s ears. This should be done every week. While cleaning the ears, you must also check them for any signs of infection in the form of redness or tenderness.
As far as bathing goes, Irish Setters are pretty adept at cleaning themselves. So, they may not need a bath for weeks on end. If your pooch starts to stink during this time, you should take out the tub.
When bathing them, make sure to use a high-quality dog shampoo, like this one from Burt’s Bees. Prioritize products that come enriched with moisturizing ingredients and leave a pleasant smell in their wake. Although, the latter part should be avoided if your canine is sensitive to smells. On that note, if your ball of fur has sensitive skin, be sure to consult your vet before getting a new shampoo for them.
IRISH SETTER ACCESSORIES
There’s an entire world out there full of interesting and amazing dog accessories that you can buy to spoil your furry friend. You can get bows, hoodies, boots, and jackets to instantly class up your Irish Setter.
Smart gadgets, on the other hand, can open up so many new avenues to connect with and engage with your four-footer. Take the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher, for instance. With the help of this bad boy, you can match your Setter’s seemingly endless energy levels when playing fetch.
You can also opt for a smart pet bowl, like this one from PETKIT. This technological marvel allows you to accurately measure your pooch’s feed for precise calorie tracking. Also, its BioCleanAct™ antimicrobial plastic body keeps all the nasty bacteria and germs at bay.
To learn more about large breeds like the Irish Setter, check out our breed hub page.