Irish Red and White Setter dogs are friendly and high spirited working dogs belonging to the Setter family. These breed originated in Ireland but was on the verge of getting extinct before the early 20th century. Then, with the help of an active breeding program, enthusiasts like Northern Ireland clergyman, Noble Huston, and breeder Maureen Cuddy helped revive the breed gradually.
These dogs were initially used as pointing bird dogs in order to hunt pigeons, quails etc. Characterized by a keen sense of smell, these dogs are nowadays used for tasks like hunting, retrieving, tracking, agility and other such activities.
They are usually available in field lines and show lines. As the name suggests, field lines are bred for hunting and field work. Therefore, they are comparatively smaller with smaller hair coat and tend to have higher levels of energy. Irish Red and White Setter dog breed is quite similar to its younger cousin Irish Setter.
Irish Red and White Setter breed dogs are medium in size and athletic and well proportioned in build. The eyes are round in shape and dark hazel or dark brown in color. The ears, lying close to the head, are set level with the eyes. There is feathering on the back of the forelegs and hind legs, and on the outer ear flap. The moderately long tail is strong at the root and tapers to a point. It is carried level with or below the back.
Color: The parti-colored hair coat is characterized by base white color accompanied by solid red patches.
Height: These dogs are generally 24 to 26 inches in height. Female Irish Red and White Setters are usually a bit shorter, that is, 22 to 24 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal weight for Irish Red and White Setter dog breed ranges between 50 to 75 pounds.
These dogs have been known to be susceptible to health issues like Von Willebrand disease, an autoimmune disease called Canine Leucocyte Adhesion Deficiency (CLAD), etc. They are also prone to Posterior Polar Cataract (PPC), a mild form of Cataract that generally does not lead to blindness.
Life Expectancy: The average Irish Red and White Setter life span is generally about 10 to 15 years.
Litter Size: 6 to 12 puppies
The short to medium-length, flat and straight hair coat of an Irish Red and White Setter is easy to maintain. It needs to be brushed and combed regularly, preferably on a daily basis to prevent tangles. The average shedding hair coat requires extra care during shedding times.
Besides, Irish Red and White Setter grooming also includes nail trimming, checking and cleaning the eyes and ears and brushing the teeth on a regular basis. Bathe the dog only when necessary.
Irish Red and White Setter temperament is intelligent, courageous, affectionate, reliable, outgoing, playful and highly energetic. These dogs need to be trained and socialized early in life. Though fairly independent still, these dogs are highly trainable. However, do keep in mind that these sensitive dogs usually do not respond well to harsh training methods.
They are usually playful with kids and get along well with other pets in the house, but may show aggression against other dogs. These dogs are generally wary of strangers but mostly friendly with everyone. Therefore, they can not be entrusted with guard dog duties. Nonetheless, they make good watchdogs. These dogs are usually not recommended for inactive and casual first time dog owners.
The active and lively Irish Red and White Setter dogs are moderately active indoors but still require moderate to high amount of exercise. Lack of adequate physical and mental stimulation can give rise to destructive behavior and restlessness. Thus, the ritual of daily long brisk walks or jogs is a perquisite for keeping these dogs fit and happy. Besides, they require plenty of space in a properly fenced large-sized yard to run freely.
Due to their activity needs, these exuberant and cheerful dogs are usually not considered suitable for sedentary apartment situation. The field lines require even more exercise on a regular basis. Irish Red and White Setter breed dogs adapt well in cold as well as hot climates.