Irish Red and White Setter

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Photo of Irish Red and White Setter


Not well known outside of Ireland, the Red and White Setter is the older of the two Setters. They nearly became extinct in the late 19th century when their newer kin, the Irish Setter (or Red Setter), became wildly popular. But thanks to a concentrated record-keeping and breeding program beginning in the 1920s, Red and White Setters were re-established, and given their own classification and championship status by the Irish Kennel Club in 1978.


Energetic, affectionate and loving with no guarding instincts, Red and White Setters can be the ideal family dog. They do need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, so they do well with active families and lots of space to run. With lots of vigorous exercise and play, they can settle happily indoors to hang around with the family, but will greet guests with enthusiasm. Without enough exercise they can get bored and develop problem behaviors while trying to entertain themselves.


Their smooth, silky coats are white with solid red patches, with short hair on the head and body, and long feathering on the chest, belly, backs of the legs, ears, and between the toes. They are strong, yet regal-looking, with a pleasant expression and round, brown eyes.


Their independent spirit can make them a challenge to train for a passive owner, but given firm and consistent handling and plenty of exercise, they will be eager to learn. Teach them to heel and to let you go first through doors and gates to avoid bolting, and teach them good manners, especially around jumping up.

Grooming & Care

Their silky, single coat needs only light brushing to keep it beautiful and tangle-free; they are average shedders, so brushing will also keep hair around the home to minimal levels. Bathe only when necessary and peek in those ears weekly to make sure they’re clean and healthy.

Health Concerns

Irish Red and White Setters can be prone to an autoimmune disease called Canine Leucocyte Adhesion Deficiency (CLAD), as well as von Willebrand’s Disease. Check with your breeder for genetic testing to make sure you’re getting a puppy from healthy lines.

Famous Irish Red and White Setter

Sir Francis Loftus of Mount Loftus had a line of Red and Whites from 1817 to 1840, 3 of which appear in a well-known painting.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 4
Schedule 6
Home 43
Children 50
Experience 11
Quick Facts
Grooming 110
Exercise 60
Challenges They won’t let you take a day off
Height 22 to 26 inches
Weight 50 to 75 pounds
Life 11 to 15 years
Home Alone 84
With Kids 88
With Strangers 94
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

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