Irish Red and White Setter

August 14, 2020 // 7 minute read

Furry Friends Gear is independent: we research, test, and rate the top products to help you make the right buying choice. We sometimes use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on your purchase at no added cost to you. Learn more...

Irish Red and White Setters are often mistaken for their Irish Setter cousins. However, what many do not know is that this dog breed is the original Irish gundog. The Irish Red and White Setter has a powerful and solid body, with great stamina to get their job done on any day.

As their name implies, these dogs come in red and white colors, mainly so their hunter can easily spot them. The coat is short and flat in most of their bodies, but you will notice feathering on the ears, abdomen, tails, and at the back of their legs.

Irish Red and White Setters are not the kinds of dogs to get if you’re not active. These dogs need their exercise, and they need someone who can cope with that. And if you think you’re an excellent fit for this breed, then you have undoubtedly found yourself an excellent partner.

Irish Red and White Setter Facts

Irish Red and White Setter Breed Statistics

Dog Breed GroupSporting Group
Breed SizeMedium
Height24.5-26 inches (male); 22.5-24 (female)
Weight42-60 pounds (male); 35-50 pounds (female)
Lifespan11-15 years

Irish Red and White Setter Breed Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive


Irish Red and White Setters first appeared in Ireland around the 1600s. These dogs were the original Irish gundogs, even before the famous Irish Setters were made.

Irish landowners developed these dogs. They were favorites, mainly because they were easy to see, and are excellent bird dogs and companion dogs with amazing scenting ability.

Unfortunately, as dog shows became frequent, breeders started to desire a dog with solid-red coats. So, when the Irish Setters were created, these red-and-white dogs slowly disappeared.

When the two world wars came, Irish Red and White Setters almost went to extinction. Fortunately, they were saved by the efforts of two men, Huston and Elliott. Slowly, they increased the breed’s number and even managed to send a few dogs to England, Spain, and the US.

By the 1980s, more Irish Red and White Setters were imported to America, and the breed’s number slowly increased. By 1995 and 1999, the United Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club finally recognized the dog breed consecutively.

Ten years later, in 2009, the American Kennel Club followed suit and registered their first Irish Red and White Setter. Now, the dogs rank 146th among the popular dogs in the US. They are also one of the rarest breeds with only a few dogs registered each year.

Irish Red and White Setter Temperament

Irish Red and White Setters are courageous, spirited, and determined dogs. Most owners describe them as good-natured, affectionate, and truly make an excellent family friend.

True to their hunting dog origin, these dogs are highly energetic. They have natural skills of pointing and retrieving, which makes them great partners for hunters. Their undeniably high energies also make them a perfect fit for anyone who loves the outdoors.

It’s always best to accommodate an Irish Red and White Setter’s needs. You should also make sure that he doesn’t become too bored as this will only cause very destructive behavior. However, if given the right outlet to spend their energy, you won’t have any problems.

Irish Red and White Setters love children, especially those who know how to behave. Toddlers would need supervision, though, given the size of these dogs. They also get along well with other dogs and pets, which is excellent if you have other pets.

Although these dogs are alert, particularly when hunting, they are not excellent watchdogs nor guard dogs. They are too friendly, and would surely make him want to greet strangers with a wagging tail.

So, just like any other dog breed, early socialization is essential to make him more well-rounded. Training is also crucial and must be given with consistency. Positive reinforcements should work well on him, while harshness won’t.

Irish Red and White Setter Dog Breed

Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Irish Red and White Setters, just like any other dog breeds, require a high-quality and well-balanced diet. Every meal must consist of all essential nutrients needed for their growth – proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. When buying ingredients for their meal, you should always check that every ingredient is of high-quality. It’s also best to add fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet to better aid digestion. If you’re giving your Irish Red and White Setters dog food and dog treats, choose premium quality ones. This shouldn’t contain fillers, additives, and by-products that are of low nutritional value and may harm your dog. You should also ensure that none of the ingredients listed can cause allergies. It’s always safer to ask your vet for the right feeding guide, particularly the number of calories to feed your pet in a day.
  • Grooming: Irish Red and White Setters have soft, flat, medium-length coats that shed occasionally. However, it would need daily brushing to ensure that mats and tangles don’t form. This will also help keep shedding at a minimum, especially if it’s the shedding season. There’s no need to do lots of clipping and trimming as these dogs need to look as natural as possible. However, you can trim out some rough edges if you do need a cleaner look. Baths can be given once a month, depending on your dog’s daily activities. However, it’s essential to clean their ears every week to prevent ear infection. Nails should also be trimmed every two weeks to keep it from getting too long.
  • Exercise: Irish Red and White Setters are highly energetic dogs that require lots of exercise. This is very important if you don’t want a destructive dog inside your home. Puppies are best to be given low-impact activities to protect their growing joints. Usually, this is only in the form of long walks on a leash or free play session in a securely fenced yard. As they mature, they’ll be great partners for long-distance bike rides, jogging, running, or even hiking.
  • Health: Irish Red and White Setters are generally healthy dogs. However, as dog owners, there are some health conditions that you need to be aware of. Below are some diseases Irish Red and White Setters are susceptible to: Posterior Polar Cataracts, Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Hypothyroidism, and Immune Disorders. As most of these diseases are hereditary, it’s best to meet at least one of your dog’s parents to see what genetic disease they might acquire. You can also let him take some screening tests to detect diseases early. You should continuously observe your pet’s behavior, and if you notice any changes, take him immediately to the vet.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Irish Red and White Setters is 11-15 years.

Irish Red and White Setter Care

Famous Irish Red and White Setters

  • Judith Cunningham: The foundation of the Irish Red and White Setters that we see today.

Fun Facts about Irish Red and White Setters

  • Irish Red and White Setters originated from Ireland in the mid-17th century.
  • The dogs almost became extinct in the 1850s due to the popularity of pure Red Setters.
  • The dogs were only revived sometime in the 1940s.
  • They always come in red and white coat colors.
  • These dogs were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2009.

Check Out Other Sporting Dog Breeds:
American Water Spaniel, Boykin Spaniel, Brittany, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Curly-Coated Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, Kooikerhondje, Labrador Retriever, Lagotti Romagnoli, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Pointer, Spinoni Italiani, Sussex Spaniel, Vizsla, Weimaraner, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Wirehaired Vizslas

Subscribe to Newsletter


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Furry Friends Gear also participates in affiliate programs with Clickbank and other sites. Furry Friends Gear is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

Don`t copy text!
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap