The Irish Red Setter is a breed originating in the 18th century and bred for hunting. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the breed is its beautiful red or chestnut coat, with long, silky bangs. In addition, on a personal level, they are noted for their affectionate, loyal and energetic nature.
Dogs of the breed are of medium size with an athletic and proportionate appearance. Males weigh approximately 32 kilograms, and females 27 kilograms. The weight is 69 centimeters in males and 63.5 centimeters in females. The life expectancy of this breed is 12 to 15 years. They belong to Group 7 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which groups show dogs.
Breed history in brief
The Irish Red Setter has a long and rich history as a hunting and companion dog. It was developed in Ireland in the 18th century specifically for bird hunting and is believed to be descended from the Irish Red and White Setter and another unknown red dog. The Irish Red Setter Club was founded in 1882 with the aim of promoting the breed, and in 1886 published the breed standard. The popularity of the Irish Red Setter increased throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, becoming a beloved companion and show dog. Today, it remains a popular choice for both hunting and as a loyal family companion.
The Irish Red Setter breed is characterized by a balanced build and a pure appearance, with a deep, narrow chest in front and a muscular loin. Its head is long and fine, with an almost square muzzle at the end. The eyes are medium sized and hazel/dark brown in color. Its ears are pendant and low set, and its tail is long and carried low or level with the topline.
The coat is short and fine on the head, front of the limbs and tips of the ears, and of moderate length and smooth on the rest of the body. The bangs are long and silky on the ears, back of the limbs, belly and between the toes, while the tail bangs are moderately long and tapering towards the tip. The typical color of the breed is chestnut with white markings on the chest, throat or toes.
Generally, the Irish Red Setter is a friendly, affectionate and outgoing dog, who enjoys the company of his family and gets along well with children and other animals. They are an active and energetic dog that needs plenty of exercise and activities to keep them happy and healthy. They are intelligent and astute dogs, which makes them excellent companions for training and obedience.
Common health problems
The Irish Red Setter breed is characterized by good health. However, they are prone to develop certain disorders or pathologies such as atopy, cataracts, cerebellar cortical abiotrophy, cerebellar hypoplasia, instability or malformation of the cervical vertebrae, alopecia, entropion, volvulus-gastric dilatation, globoid cell leukodystrophy, gluten-sensitive enteropathy, hemophilia B, hypothyroidism, idiopathic epilepsy, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, lissencephaly, megaesophagus, perianal fistulas, persistent pupillary membrane, seborrhea, nictitating membrane eversion and tricuspid valve dysplasia.
In addition to the aforementioned conditions, the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) of OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) recommends testing for the following diseases: hip dysplasia, autoimmune thyroiditis and progressive retinal atrophy.
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