History of the origin of the Irish setters The first written records of the Irish Setter breed were made a long time ago, back in the middle of the 15th century In those sources, the term “setter” did not denote a specific variety of dogs, but united under its name a group of animals related to hunting wild birds Until now, it has not been possible to reliably determine which canine varieties can be attributed to the progenitors of the modern Irish setter Scattered information that has come down to us indicates that the formation of the genotype of the breed was attended by Blundhounds, Spaniels, Pointers, and even wolfhounds According to the studbooks, purposeful breeding of setters began in the second half of the 18th century However, it took almost a century before the breed was officially identified as a separate type In the next couple of decades, several clubs of Irish Setter lovers were registered and the breed standard was approved When breeding activity for the Irish setter was still gaining momentum, there were cases of mating between the hunting and show varieties These experiments led to the fact that the puppies began to degenerate breed traits Concerned about the state of affairs, the breeders stopped such mating Interesting fact: It is known that the Americans gave preference to the show setter varieties, cultivating the qualities of the show breed Therefore, the Irish American “made” setters are somewhat different in appearance from their European counterparts And Russian breeders have always relied on the breeding of hunting lines Moreover, the breeding work was carried out very actively Even before the revolution, there were many elite-level nurseries in the country, which had the highest patronage of princely families The breed was constantly improving due to purebred producers imported to Russia from Europe But since no special attention was paid to show qualities, the domestic livestock of setters did not take part in international exhibitions Irish Setter description of the breed This intellectual is always friendly and very communicative He confides in the world around him and all living beings – be it his fellow tribesman, a person or even a cat The Irish Setter is active most of the day, sometimes it seems that he does not know at all what fatigue is, and his energy would be enough for two Of course, a setter is a hunter first and foremost However, aggression, death grip, viciousness and an unbridled desire to dominate are not at all included in the circle of his priorities He is an intellectual and a “gentleman” with excellent hunting skills and instincts His becoming, proud posture, high fast legs have always been the invariable and most beautiful attribute of elite hunting The breed standard determines the height at the withers: For males – 58-67 cm; For bitches – 55-62 cm The hair of the setters is smooth and silky, of medium length On the belly, it forms the so-called “fringe”, which is more pronounced in show individuals They also boast a special satin tint of their red-chestnut hair Worker setters are much more modest However, too long curly coat is considered a disqualification of the breed Interesting fact: The classic coat color, according to the breed standard, is chestnut Small white patches on the neck, chest and forehead are acceptable Black – no The Irish Red Setter owes its distinctive stature to its well-proportioned body and long, muscular limbs In movement, the dog is especially beautiful It moves in a classic gallop, while keeping its head high The hind legs give a springy push, and the front ones give a high, beautiful reach Another characteristic feature of the breed is its ears They are set low on the setter, hanging along the muzzle, framed by silky hair and very soft to the touch If the ears of the setter curl up into a tube or hang down like a burdock, this is considered a disqualifying sign The tail of the setter is straight or saber-shaped The base of the tail is massive, tapering towards the tip Bitches have a tail 2-3 cm longer than that of males If the tail is short or too bent, the breeding commission recognizes it as a defect Popular colors of Irish setters The ancestors of the Irish Setters were red or white-red in color They were even called “red spaniels” But Irish breeders have made every effort to achieve a unique red-chestnut shade of the breed’s coat Now this particular color is considered the most popular and appreciated by lovers of Irish setters all over the world The intensity of the color is determined by the quality of the coat, its structure, density and thickness of the hair For example, on the legs, ears and tail of a setter, the hair is thinner than the hair on the body, so it tends to be less dyed In general, the color of the coat of the classic Irish setters has several shades – from red to red and red-chestnut The direction of the breed also significantly influences the color of the Irish Setter As you know, show varieties are the owners of a brighter shade of wool, they deserve the title of “Irish Red Setter” But working setters cannot boast of such a dazzling coat and color intensity The breed standard allows for white spotting of dogs if the marks are located on the chest, neck or on the tips of the paws If the spotting is more pronounced, then you have a representative of a special breed – the Irish red and white setter The nature and habits of the Irish setters The hunting orientation of the breed leaves an imprint on the character and habits of the Irish Setter Dogs are reckless and active, easy-going, well-controlled, but cannot boast of special
endurance When the setter hunts, he mainly relies on his intuition, which he has well developed, and minimally uses his hearing and sight The increased temperament of the animal prevents it from concentrating for a long time on any one object or type of activity This feature makes it difficult to train setters Their training is not an easy process, requiring the owner to have sufficient patience and a clear plan of activities with the pet Starting from 3.5 months, puppies are quite capable of assessing the situation around them for hierarchy, so it is important not to miss the moment and establish the status quo in time, which will simplify communication between the owner and the pet in the future From this age, you can start training the dog and teaching the basic commands Fun Fact: Irish Setters are self-sufficient and stubborn Therefore, one should not expect from them unquestioning and precise execution of commands, as, for example, from shepherd dogs They are less executive, although obedient; they often improvise when executing commands This should be taken into account, so as not to overdo it in training and not completely discourage the pet from pursuing classes Communicating with an Irish Setter is challenging but fun The owner and the pet simultaneously study each other’s habits, and the setter tries not to yield to humans in cunning and resourcefulness If he does not want to follow the commands, he demonstrates a lack of understanding with such genuine regret that an inexperienced dog breeder can follow the lead of the sly and cancel the lesson But if the setter is caught in deceit, you should not force him to obey by force, it is better to show your disappointment with his unwillingness to work Remorse will not allow the pet to continue “circus”, and he will return to classes You should not abuse such tricks, the owner of the Irish setter has to be on the lookout and not fall for the tricks of a savvy pet If it is possible to find a balance of relations in this matter, then the threat of raising an obstinate lazy person will be minimized Overall, the Irish Setter is very performant He gets along well with children, can play with them for a long time, without showing aggression even in response to an unceremonious treatment Loves long walks in the fresh air and active games They just perfectly reduce the pet’s cravings for adventures After walking and running until you drop, the setter, returning home, will most likely prefer to rest somewhere in a secluded corner If you do not give an outlet for his excess energy, he will have to look for entertainment for himself on his own, and he will undoubtedly find them Don’t try to make the Irish Setter your home watchman or security guard His innate friendliness, simple-minded disposition and lack of aggression are more conducive to friendly communication with strangers than to defense Interesting facts about Irish setters The Irish Setter is an amazing and interesting breed Dog lovers around the world appreciate her not only for her professional hunting qualities, friendly character and high intelligence, but also for her exceptional appearance, which, in turn, is actively used for commercial purposes by marketers and advertisers Thanks to its good looks, the Irish Setter has become a media persona His image often appears on our T.V screens and on the Internet Setter commercials have very high ratings, regardless of which product category the ad belongs to And even the Irish bus company has chosen the Irish Setter as its logo It is known that U.S President John F. Kennedy was presented with an Irish Setter puppy during his visit to Ireland, which later became his favorite At one time, the Irish red setter was chosen as a pet by the father of A.S Pushkin – Sergei Lvovich Speaking about interesting facts about this breed, it is worth noting that the metabolism in the body of the Irish Setter is much faster than that of other breeds Therefore, the setter usually eats more food than any other dog of similar build and height Rehabilitation centers around the world use the Irish Setter as an excellent companion to work in nursing homes, hospices and as a home dog therapy for people with disabilities Pros and cons of Irish setters At first glance, the good-natured, handsome Irish Setter will suit almost any owner But this is a superficial judgment In fact, the owner of such a dog should be a person who will be able to find the right approach to raising a pet and will have enough time to communicate with him Before deciding to buy a puppy, you need to weigh the pros and cons The breed has undeniable advantages: Setters are friendly, non-aggressive and outgoing It’s hard to find a kinder breed They are always ready for dialogue with the owner and are infinitely loyal to him; The active and playful disposition of the setter allows him to become an excellent “nanny” for the master’s children and an excellent companion for games; The presence of other pets in the house does not pose a problem for the Irish Setter He gets along quite well with other animals on the same territory and sometimes even shows a kind of guardianship over the others, feeling heightened responsibility from the position of an older and stronger comrade; The Irish Setter is a great hunter His main passion is birds and swamp game And if this interest coincides with the owner’s, then a strong partner tandem develops, pleasing both and strengthening the bond between the person and his pet; With an outstanding intellect, the Irish Setter is capable of self-learning and perfectly adapts to any life circumstances; The care and maintenance of the Irish Setter at home is practically no different from other dog breeds If you do not pamper him too much, then in everyday life and food it is quite unpretentious
However, there are some disadvantages, you should pay special attention to them: The luxurious hair of the setter needs constant careful care, especially for show-class dogs, but the hair of the working setters also needs to be looked after, otherwise it will fall off, become overgrown with mats that will have to be cut; Training ability is not the Irish Setter’s strong suit Due to his playful nature and irrepressible energy, it is difficult for him to focus on monotonous and boring lessons; It is necessary to understand that the natural temperament of the setter does not allow him to sit still for a long time He needs long walks, active games and physical activity If the owner cannot provide these conditions for the animal, then it is better not to consider the Irish setter as a potential pet Breeding Irish Setters Breeding work for Irish Setters is very active due to the high demand for these dogs But in order to get high-quality offspring and to prevent the degeneration of the breed traits of the setter, certain conditions must be observed A bitch is formally considered ready to reproduce if she has reached the age of 15 months But ideally, the dog should be allowed to mate after the third heat, and for some setters, the first heat occurs at the age of two This fact must be taken into account Earlier pregnancies can cause irreparable harm not only to her health, but also to the health of future puppies An important fact: Setter males entering the breeding phase must surpass most of their relatives in all characteristics, which must certainly be confirmed by certificates from competitions and shows They are allowed to mate at the age of two to four years If we talk about the show category of the Irish Setter, then we can distinguish two types of show dogs with the best characteristics – these are “Irish” with American and English registration The British have succeeded in forming the classic form of the breed in all its manifestations American breeders have somewhat overdone in cultivating the show qualities of the setter, and now the overseas representative of the breed has an appearance somewhat different from the traditional one The Irish Setter breeding process is not without the frustrations of deviating from the standard in puppies So, for example, the breed’s disqualifying features are: Wide or shortened head shape; Burdock hanging ears; Too long and too curly coat; Stooped back, humped back; Crescent shape and insufficient tail length; Lack of pigmentation on the lips, eyelids or nose Currently, the majority of Irish Setter owners have nothing to do with hunting and have such a dog exclusively as a companion However, many breeders are happy to pay attention to the pet’s show career Irish Setter Care The main expenditure of effort in keeping an Irish setter, of course, is the grooming of the pet’s coat It’s not easy to achieve the famous gloss and shimmer This is especially true for show dogs, in which the coat is significantly longer than that of the hunting varieties Although it is long for all setters, especially on the stomach Such wool invariably clings to burrows, thorns and dry grass during walks and constantly gets dirty She also falls over and gets entangled in tangles Therefore, you need to be prepared for daily thorough combing of the pet’s luxurious hair Natural bristle brushes are usually used for this procedure The more thorough the process of daily brushing, the more pride your pet will be at shows Especially keen breeders use various oils and masks to care for their handsome coat, helping to eliminate dryness, brittleness of individual hairs, restore shine and achieve ideal length The bathing process of the Irish Setter, in addition to its hygienic function, is also a kind of beauty procedure, for which special detergents are used to moisturize the skin, as well as various conditioning compositions for a healthy shine and smoothness of the coat By the way, you need to brush the setter just before bathing, because it will be much more difficult to tidy up the matted wet coat Interesting fact: In order to save yourself some of the problems with grooming your hair, it is advisable to walk your pet in dirty and wet weather in a special protective overalls The rest of the Irish Setter care can be called standard, suitable for most breeds This is a regular haircut, clipping the hair on the paws between the toes, cutting nails, daily examination of the teeth, ears and eyes, cleaning them with special products and solutions – if necessary Perhaps the drooping ears of the setter require a little more attention Due to their structural features, they are poorly ventilated and require additional forced “airing” to avoid unnecessary infections and the appearance of parasites Diet of Irish Setters When feeding an Irish setter, it must be borne in mind that the animal has rather long legs, and it will be uncomfortable, and simply harmful, to bend over to the bowl during each meal or with a portion of water Therefore, setters need a special bowl stand, which will most likely have to be changed a couple of times as the pet grows up The diet of the Irish Setter should be formulated taking into account its physical activity If the dog goes hunting or has other increased physical activity, then the food for it should be more nutritious and dense than that of an ordinary couch potato Setters are generally quite indifferent to food, use it only to maintain their strength and very rarely overeat In this case, the main task of the owner is to balance the pet’s menu in such a way that the food is nutritious and contains all the necessary vitamins and trace elements In the case of using industrial feed, this is easier to do – it is enough to choose premium feed with a fat content of 16% or more
If preference is given to natural food, then it is, as a rule, red meat, unconditioned meat and offal in combination with oat or buckwheat groats The natural diet of the Irish Setter can and should be supplemented with the following useful complementary foods: Bone broth; Chicken eggs (no more than two pieces); Fish fillet (preferably sea fish); Seasonal vegetables and fruits; Fermented milk products (no whole milk); Vegetable a little (about a teaspoon per dose) In addition, a dog on a natural diet should receive vitamin supplements, the choice of which is best left to a veterinarian As with all pets, the Irish Setter should be absolutely prohibited: Food from the master’s table; Any sweets and pastries; Exotic vegetables and fruits; Fish and chicken bones; Fried, salty and too fatty foods; Raw onions and garlic Diseases and health problems Diseases and health problems If the owner cares about the health and well-being of his pet, then the Irish setter will live at least 12-15 years In general, the health of the breed depends on the responsibility of the owner of the kennel If the breeder is serious about breeding, it is imperative to carry out genetic testing of the litter, carefully selects candidates for mating and does not allow closely related crossbreeding, then the animals may not even show hereditary diseases inherent in the genetic code If the owner is not too concerned about such troubles, then his pets may well have serious health problems Namely: Otitis The disease is associated with the structural features of the setter ears, which, with insufficient care and hygiene, are prone to infections and inflammation; Dermatitis Most often it has an allergic nature, it is caused by disturbances in the diet or diet; Hypothyroidism Disruption of the thyroid gland can be triggered by an inactive lifestyle with an increased fat diet of the pet; Epilepsy A congenital disease that does not respond to treatment, but with the right approach, can be brought under control Osteosarcoma Swelling of the animal’s motor joints leads to significant lameness and is often visible visually In some cases, it is removable by surgery or restrained by appropriate drugs Here you cannot do without serious veterinary assistance; Idiopathic megaesophagus This is a hereditary form of the disease, is an expansion of the esophagus The problem can be corrected with surgery Pyometra Suppurative inflammation of the uterus in bitches It occurs in dogs that have given birth, more often in those who have experienced an overly multiple pregnancy; Spinal cord pathologies Congenital form Of course, it is difficult to fight hereditary diseases, but if you do preventive examinations with a veterinarian on time, carry out mandatory vaccinations and deworming, and carefully monitor your pet’s well-being, you can avoid most of the setter’s health problems Irish Setter. price and how to buy correctly The choice of an Irish Setter puppy depends on the purpose of the acquisition – whether the future owner needs a show dog or a hunting variety of the breed In the latter case, you should not waste time visiting exhibitions, it is more advisable to immediately contact the official hunting club, which is supervised by nurseries that breed working setters You should be prepared for the fact that working setters lose to their exhibition counterparts in terms of external characteristics Their coat is lighter and shorter, and the puppies themselves are smaller and generally look more faded Important Fact: When choosing a show-class Irish setter, it is worth carefully examining the puppy’s pedigree No matter how convincing the owner of the kennel is, there is no point in expecting outstanding show qualities from a puppy whose parents do not have official awards It is worth considering the fact that Russian breeders have been cultivating the hunting line for a long time, so domestic producers give offspring that are excellent in their performance characteristics, but rather modest in appearance However, now some nurseries in Russia are working on the genetic material of imported producers, bringing into the country purebred European representatives of the breed It is quite possible to buy a puppy with a high show potential from them True, the number of such nurseries is small, you will have to spend time searching for them Whom to choose – “boy” or “girl”? The answer to the question also depends on the ultimate goal of acquiring the puppy Irish Setter bitches outwardly are much inferior to males in beauty, but they are more affectionate, docile and domestic Males are more obstinate and active, but differ in a much brighter appearance and richness of wool Prices for Irish Setter puppies vary widely Many nurseries offer to buy a baby for quite a moderate 200 U.S dollars But too low a price should alert the future owner, it is necessary to study the puppy’s veterinary documents as carefully as possible so as not to acquire a sick or problem animal Show-class dogs from foreign producers or representatives of reputable hunting nurseries are usually much higher The Irish Setter is an intelligent, active and friendly dog, and he also has outstanding hunting skills But keeping such a pet requires a significant return from its owner You need to be ready for daily long walks and active games, for trips to nature, for hard and long training If the Irish Setter is deprived of all this, he will wither within four walls, which will invariably have a detrimental effect on his health The Irish Setter really needs the love and attention of its owner and always reciprocates.