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Irish Red and White Setter Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

If there were ever a dog that just has a look as though it should be the key character in a oil painting over a fire place, it’s got to be the Irish Red and White Setter!

The weird thing…

Is that it appears that if you look at the original “Dogs Playing Poker” painting, the dog second from the left does seem to strongly resemble a Red and White.

That said however…

In our minds, the painting would have to be an “action portrait” because these guys are one of the most playful and energetic dog breeds out there. He is powerful and sturdy, blessed with enormous stamina.

He can run, run and run…

For miles, if needed. He follows you absolutely everywhere. Take him out when you go cycling, running or walking. Take him with you on a hike. The little guy loves going on an adventure. He is an outdoorsy-type and loves traveling.

He’s also perfect family dog…

And while he may have been originally bred to be a hunting dog, these days the Red and White Setter is nothing more than a family dog or companion dog. Which he is perfectly suited for because he is very loyal to his family and gets extremely attached to his owner.


Is he going to be right for you?  That’s the real question and the one that we’ll try and help you answer in this here blog all about the Irish Red and White Setter, because at the end of the day, not all dogs are right for all people, and the last thing that we would want for you to do is adopt a dog that isn’t suited to your lifestyle simply because he’s as handsome as the Irish Red and White.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Irish Red & White Setter Dog Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Ireland

Original Purpose:  Bird setting and retrieving

Height: 22 to 26 inches tall

Weight: 50 to 75 pounds

Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Dog Group Classification: AKC Sporting

Origin of the Red and White Setter

Now it should come as no surprise that the Irish Red and White Setter is believed to have originated in Ireland, but “when” the first came into existence is still a bit of a mystery.

That said however…

Paintings and writings from the late 17th century make mention of these guys so we can say for sure that they’ve been around for at least 300 years or so.

Back then…

These dogs were the favorites of hunters as they were fast, had tremendous stamina and could be easily identified in the thick forests because of their dark red and white colors.

But unfortunately…

During World War I these guys like many other domesticated animals were almost lost to extinction.  Fortunately, after the war had concluded, folks realized that they were about to lose these guys forever and they were brought back to life thanks to the efforts of two cousins, Rev. Noble Huston and Dr. Elliott.

Their efforts…

First, replenished Ireland’s numbers and then they took matters one step further and began to export the Irish Red and White to many countries, such as England, the United States and Spain ensuring the breeds safety for generates to come.

Their work was…

Continued by a couple, Maureen and Will Cuddy. They formed the Irish Red and White Setter Society in 1944, which continues to this day.


This breed was finally recognized as different from its cousin, the Irish Setter but not for quite a long time.  In fact, it wasn’t until 2009 that the American Kennel Club (AKC) finally got around to “officially” recognizing the breed which in our opinion is seems a bit slow, but who are we to comment on it.

The Irish Red and White Setter…

Is also recognized by the United Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club. As of today, there are more than 500 of these dogs in the United States – not a big number, but not bad for a breed that had almost become extinct in the first half of the 20th century

Physical Characteristics

The Irish Red and White Setter is a strongly built dog, slightly stocky but not bulky. It is medium-sized, very athletic and has tremendous stamina. He can rise up to a height of 22 to 26 inches and weighs between 50 to 70 pounds.

These guys also…

Have a very silky, medium-length coat, of the color white with patches of deep red. Fortunately, these guys don’t shed all that much therefore they don’t typically require as much grooming as some of the other dog breeds.

Comparisons Breeds

The Irish Red and White Setter is not as popular as his close cousin the Irish Setter. He is just as friendly and affectionate as the Irish Setter and has the same independent streak about him.

You can compare him to other dog breeds such as the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Flat-Coated Retriever, Bull Terrier, Lagotto Romagnolo, Curly-Coated Retriever, Springer Spaniel, English Setter, Cocker Spaniel, Entlebucher Mountain, Portuguese Podengo, Fox Terrier, Water Spaniel, Chinese Shar-Pei, German Shorthaired Retriever, Basset Griffon Vendeen, Welsh Corgi, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Irish Setter Dog, Dogue De Bordeaux, Cesky Fousek, and the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.

Personality of the Irish Red and White Setter

By temperament and personality, the Irish Red and White Setter is a tireless and enthusiastic dog that likes going on long walks and hikes. He loves…

Chasing things and people and is a lovely sight to watch when on the run.  He’s also a very friendly dog with a calm and composed disposition. And you can pretty much bet that if your Irish Red and White Setter gets angry or aggressive, it’s probably because your at fault because it’s next to impossible to get these guys upset.

For this reason…

These guys make for good playmates for older children, but not for toddlers as he tends to become too excitable at times and given the fact that Irish Red and White Setters do love to chase, at times this may be too much for really small children.

The good news…

Is that these guys generally do quite well with other dogs and cats provided that they have grown up with them.  Which reminds us that if you do choose to adopt an Irish Red and White Setter be sure to enroll him or her in obedience training and socialization training right away so that you won’t need to “break” any bad habits later on.

But before…

You do decide to adopt an Irish Red and White Setter, just remember that these dogs do love spending time outdoors, so if you can’t see yourself going on long walks or hikes or spending a few hours each week at the dog park, do yourself a favor and look for a different kind of dog because this probably isn’t the right “kind” of dog for you.

Irish Red and White Setter Health Problems

The Irish Red and White Setter is a very healthy breed, but even he suffers from certain health issues, heath issues such as:

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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