Despite the fact that the first mentions of a dog called a setter are found in the literature of the 16th century, namely in the book “De Canibus Britannicus”, published in 1570, the Irish Setter as an independent breed was formed much later. This happened around the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century.
At this time, this breed was already widely known in its homeland, and was actively used by hunters, constantly expanding the number of its adherents. Moreover, some Irish nobles had their own nurseries, were engaged in breeding and selection, and also kept records telling in detail about crossing, types of colors and other characteristic features, from which you can learn a lot about the process of the development of the breed.
It must be said that in the 18th century, the Irish Setter did not have a solid red color, as it is today. This happened precisely as a result of selection. There is an assumption that hunters deliberately focused on such a color as monochromatic red in order to hide the dog as much as possible and make it more invisible in the forest thicket. After all, if the pet has white spots, it is much easier to see it.
The breed standard, approved on March 29, 1886 by the Irish Red Setter Club in Dublin, remains largely unchanged to this day.
These are large dogs, athletic build, muscular, with a voluminous chest. The color is red. The ears are drooping, the coat is long, the limbs are of medium length, the tail is longer than average, covered with hair.
The Irish Setter has all the qualities of a true hereditary hunter. He perfectly feels the prey, he has excellent instincts, excellent sense of smell and hearing, keen eyesight. At the same time, the dog always watches its owner, and if you are a hunter, it will not be difficult for you to teach it to obey not only commands spoken aloud, but also gestures.
By the way, the pet intuitively knows that you need to hunt quietly, you don’t need to bark and give out your presence all the more. However, if you are not fond of hunting, this does not mean that the breed is not suitable for you. Quite the opposite. It can be a wonderful family dog, a great travel companion, and a friend for the whole family.
His developed mind needs stimulation, and the desire to be with the owner, so to speak, on the same wavelength, to do a useful thing together, helps in training. The dog has a high energy level and needs long walks, running, exercise and active play.
Great for children, loves to spend time with them, play a variety of games. However, this animal is large, so the child must be taught how to handle it correctly, and children under five years old must not be left alone with him. Basically, these are affectionate and kind dogs. Some individuals may react nervously to too young children who make a lot of noise and screaming. But, in general, they love their family endlessly.
The Irish Setter gets along well with other pets, including cats (if introduced at an early age). But with smaller animals, there can be problems, since it is still a hunting dog. If you live in a private area, this is a great choice for a dog, but he can live in a city apartment as well if you provide the right level of activity and walking.
The Irish Setter breed can suffer from several diseases. This list includes:
- dysplasia of the hip joint;
- progressive retinal atrophy (PRA);
- enlargement of the stomach volvulus (bloating);
- von Willebrand disease;
- patent ductus arteriosus;
- celiac disease.