Irish Red and White Setter – Choosing an Irish Red and White Setter

Irish Red and White Setter – Choosing an Irish Red and White Setter

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Outside Ireland, the Irish Red and White Setter is not a well-known breed of dog. This beautiful, working gun dog is similar to but older than the better known Irish Setter. As of June 2007, this breed is a member of the American Kennel Club’s sporting class.

History and Origin

According to paintings and oral history, it seems that the Irish Red and White originated around the 17th Century. The Irish Red Setter, who probably developed from the Red and White Setter, quickly became very popular and the Red and White Setter faced extinction.

During the 1920s, two dedicated breed enthusiasts, Rev. Noble Huston and Mrs. Maureen Cuddy worked to increase numbers of this breed. In 1944, a Red and White Setter Club developed and today the breed is popular in Irish field trials and shows.


This athletic dog stands approximately 22.5 to 26 inches tall at the shoulders, weighing 50 to 70 pounds. His coat is long, fine, and silky with a base of color of white with solid red patches. His muzzle is long and square, and his ears lie close to his head. His tail is moderate in length.


As a gundog, the Irish White Setter is athletic, extremely energetic, intelligent, and driven. He is loyal and dedicated to his family.

Home and Family Relations

The Irish Red and White Setter makes a lovely family dog, a faithful companion who does well with children and other pets, partially due to his lack of guarding instincts. Because this dog is bred to work and hunt, he does best with an active family who can provide for his sporting desires.


Daily brushing is necessary to keep the Irish Red and White Setter’s coat free of tangles and debris. Bathing should be performed as needed. This dog is an average shedder.


This independent dog can be more challenging to train than other bird dogs. Training and socialization at an early age are critical. With firm handling and the proper outlet for their energy, these dogs are well-behaved.


Common Diseases and Disorders

  • Hypothyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid gland, which is the butterfly-shaped glandular organ located in the neck just below the voicebox.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease is caused by a deficiency of von Willebrand’s factor (vWF), one of the elements that allow blood to form clots.
  • Cataracts are any opacities in the lens of the eye that interfere with vision.
  • Hip Dysplasia is a painful, crippling disease that causes a dog’s hip to weaken, deteriorate and become arthritic.
  • Gastric Torsion, also known as bloat, is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.
  • Life Span

    The life expectancy of the Irish Red and White Setter is approximately 11 to 15 years.

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