Irish Setter

Sporting Group

Irish Setter lying down in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

Females ~25 in, Males ~27 in

Weight

Females ~60 lbs, Males ~70 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-15 yrs

History

The Irish Setter's setting dog ancestors originated during Roman times where they were used to silently locate game birds and "set" until their human hunting companion could throw a net over the birds. Setters became established as their own group of hunting dogs by the 17th century, during which time different colored dogs were being interbred. In Ireland, red, red-and-white, and white setters were all considered Irish Setters. In the late 1800's, red Irish Setters were becoming more popular and officially became their own breed in 1886.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Irish Setters will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆

★☆

★☆

Intelligence

★★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★★


Exercise Needs

★★★★★


Energy Level


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★☆


Prey Drive


Shedding

★☆

Common Traits

Happy, friendly, and outgoing

Intelligent, independent, and can be mischievous

Extremely high energy and need an active family who will give them at least an hour of exercise daily

Slow to mature and may never outgrow puppy-like behavior

Prone to separation anxiety and may become destructive if left alone for long without mental stimulation