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  • Temperament: Courageous, Spirited, Determined
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 142 of 194
  • Height: 24.5-26 inches (male), 22.5-24 inches (female)
  • Weight: 42-60 pounds (male), 35-50 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 11-15 years
  • Group: Sporting Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Irish Red and White Setter head facing left
Irish Red and White Setter sitting in three-quarter view facing forward
Irish Red and White Setter coat detail
Irish Red and White Setter

Find a Puppy: Irish Red and White Setter

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Irish Red and White Setter is bred primarily for the field. The standard as set out hereunder must be interpreted chiefly from this point of view and all judges at bench shows must be encouraged to judge the exhibits chiefly from the working standpoint. The appearance is strong and powerful, well balanced and proportioned without lumber; athletic rather than racy with an aristocratic, keen and intelligent attitude.

HEAD

The gentle expression displays a kindly, friendly attitude. The eyes are dark hazel or dark brown; round, with slight prominence but without haw. The ears are set level with the eyes, well back, lying close to the head.

BODY

The neck is moderately long, very muscular, but not too thick, slightly arched, free from all tendency to throatiness. Topline – The topline of the dog, from the withers to the croup should be level, not sloping. The croup should be well rounded and sloping slightly downward to the tailset. Body – The body is strong & muscular with a deep chest and well sprung ribs. The back is very muscular and powerful.

FOREQUARTERS

Angulation-The shoulders are well laid back. Elbow-The elbows are free, turning neither in nor out. Legs-The forelegs are straight and sinewy, well boned, with strong pasterns. Feet-The feet are close-knit with plenty of feathering between toes.

HINDQUARTERS

The hindquarters are wide and powerful. Legs-The legs are of strong bone, well muscled and sinewy. The thighs, from hip to hock, are long and muscular. The stifle is well bent. The hock is well let down and turns neither in nor out, hocks are of moderate length and strong. Feet-The feet are close-knit with plenty of feathering between toes.

COAT

Long silky fine hair called “Feathering” is present on the back of the fore and hind legs and on the outer ear flap, also a reasonable amount is on the flank extending onto the chest and throat forming a fringe. All feathering is straight, flat and not overly profuse. The tail is well feathered. On the head, front of legs and other parts of the body the hair is short, flat and free from curl but a slight wave is permissible.

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About the Irish Red and White Setter

Sportsmen thrill at the sight of a noble Red and White frozen on point, motionless as a statue. These medium-to-large bird dogs are powerful, solid, and sinewy, with enough stamina and bird sense to get the job done any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The stunning coat—vivid red “islands” floating on a sea of pearl white—has a practical function: It enables hunters to spot their dog at a distance. The handsome face projects a keen but kindly expression.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Irish Red and White Setter

Find a Puppy: Irish Red and White Setter

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Irish Red and White Setter Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Irish Red and White Setter should be fed a high-quality dog foodappropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) and activity level. Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.

GROOMING

Grooming the Irish Red and White Setter is a fairly simple job. It is important that the breed look as natural as possible, although scissors or clippers might be used to tidy up the rough edges just for the sake of neatness. An all-over grooming once a week with a soft brush and a slicker or comb to eliminate any tangles will keep the dog looking his best. The ears should be checked weekly for any excess wax and debris. A bath every month or so is usually sufficient. Nails should be trimmed every few weeks, as needed.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

EXERCISE

The IRWS is a high-energy dog and requires a lot of exercise. A bored and under-exercised IRWS can be a handful to live with. Provide the IRWS puppy with plenty of low-impact activity to channel his abundant energy and stimulate his mind. While this breed is in its growth stage (puppy to 18 months), it is important to give them regular exercise and long walks while also protecting their forming joints—this means no jogging or biking. Free exercise in a fenced area is ideal and means the pup stops when he is tired. Upon maturity, the Irish Red and White Setter is an ideal walking, hiking, and biking companion.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Needs Lots of Activity

TRAINING

The breed’s high spirits can make them a challenge to train. A key is to keep training sessions short, interesting, and upbeat. The IRWS is very eager to please and reacts well to a positive training approach involving lots of praise. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. His intelligence, energy, and devotion to his human make him a natural at obediencehuntingtracking, and agility.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Easy Training

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

Irish Red and White Setters are generally healthy dogs, although there are some issues the breed can be prone to. Some that present themselves occasionally include posterior polar cataracts (cataracts that form in the back of the eye), hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, von Willebrand’s disease (a blood clotting issue), hypothyroidism, and immune disorders. The breed’s gene pool is not large, so genetic testing is especially important. Responsible breeders will screen their stock for conditions that can affect the breed.

Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Canine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency DNA Test

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Irish Red And White Setter
Irish Red and White Setter
Irish Red and White Setter
Irish Red and White Setter

History

Before there was the all-red Irish Setter we know and love, there was the Red and White—a fixture of Ireland’s hills and bogs since at least the 1600s. In those days setters would sneak up on game birds by crawling on their bellies, then freeze in a “setting” position and indicate with their tail until a hunter threw a net over the birds. Nets eventually gave way to firearms, and the best setter lines adapted their crouching style of hunting to the new technology.

Did You Know?

The Irish Red and White Setter is AKC's 159th breed.
In December 2003 the AKC Board approved the eligibility of some Foundation Stock breeds, which meet certain criteria, for competition in AKC Companion Events (Obedience, Tracking, and Agility), effective January 1, 2004. The breeds must have a minimum of 150 dogs with three generation pedigrees recorded in the FSS®, a national breed club with members in at least 20 states, and an AKC approved breed standard. The Irish Red and White Setter was one of 20 breeds who met the requirements. Requests by breed clubs to have their breeds compete in the various Performance Events would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
There is usually some black on the roof of mouth of an Irish Red and White Setter.
The Irish Red and White Setter has been assigned the Sporting Group designation.
At the May 2008 Board Meeting, the Irish Red and White Setter became eligible for AKC registration, January 1, 2009 and was eligible for competition in the Sporting Group, effective January 1, 2009. There will be an open registry for the breed until January 1, 2012.
At the August 2006 Board Meeting, the Irish Red and White Setter was approved to compete in the Miscellaneous Class this became effective June 27, 2007.
At the February 2004 Board Meeting, the Irish Red and White Setter became eligible to compete in AKC Pointing Breed Hunting Tests effective April 1, 2004.
The Irish Red and White Setter has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 1996.
The Irish Red and White Setter Association, Inc. was named the American Kennel Club Parent Club in 2005.
Ireland included the Irish Red and White Setter with the Irish Setter on a postage stamp during the early 1900s.
The Irish Red and White Setter may set or drop slightly instead of standing while on point.
In 1877, at the Westminster Kennel Club show entries for the Irish Red and White Setter were 13 (all imports).
In 1879, Westminster Kennel Club divided classes for Irish Setters and Irish Red and White Setters with an entry of 61 Irish Red and White Setters.
In 1880, Westminster Kennel Club did not offer divided classes for Irish Setters and Irish Red and White Setters and had an entry of only 8 Irish Red and White Setters.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Irish Red and White Setter is bred primarily for the field. The standard as set out hereunder must be interpreted chiefly from this point of view and all judges at bench shows must be encouraged to judge the exhibits chiefly from the working standpoint. The appearance is strong and powerful, well balanced and proportioned without lumber; athletic rather than racy with an aristocratic, keen and intelligent attitude.

HEAD

The gentle expression displays a kindly, friendly attitude. The eyes are dark hazel or dark brown; round, with slight prominence but without haw. The ears are set level with the eyes, well back, lying close to the head.

BODY

The neck is moderately long, very muscular, but not too thick, slightly arched, free from all tendency to throatiness. Topline – The topline of the dog, from the withers to the croup should be level, not sloping. The croup should be well rounded and sloping slightly downward to the tailset. Body – The body is strong & muscular with a deep chest and well sprung ribs. The back is very muscular and powerful.

FOREQUARTERS

Angulation-The shoulders are well laid back. Elbow-The elbows are free, turning neither in nor out. Legs-The forelegs are straight and sinewy, well boned, with strong pasterns. Feet-The feet are close-knit with plenty of feathering between toes.

HINDQUARTERS

The hindquarters are wide and powerful. Legs-The legs are of strong bone, well muscled and sinewy. The thighs, from hip to hock, are long and muscular. The stifle is well bent. The hock is well let down and turns neither in nor out, hocks are of moderate length and strong. Feet-The feet are close-knit with plenty of feathering between toes.

COAT

Long silky fine hair called “Feathering” is present on the back of the fore and hind legs and on the outer ear flap, also a reasonable amount is on the flank extending onto the chest and throat forming a fringe. All feathering is straight, flat and not overly profuse. The tail is well feathered. On the head, front of legs and other parts of the body the hair is short, flat and free from curl but a slight wave is permissible.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
White Check Mark For Standard Color 199

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Red Patched Check Mark For Standard Mark 100

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