Although the Irish Red and White Setter is one of the newest breeds to be recognized by the American Kennel Club, it has a long history in Ireland which dates back to the 17th century where it was as a versatile gundog and companion. There are two types of Setters, the Irish and the Red and White, with the latter believed to be the older of the two.
Around 1850, the Irish Setter – ‘one of the world’s most beautiful breeds’ – became so immensely popular that the Red and White Setter became very rare and was thought to be extinct.
Credit is given to Rev. Noble Huston – an Irish clergyman who in the 1920s initiated a program to revive the breed. Not only was he successful, but it’s claimed he also developed the foundation stock of the modern Irish Red and White Setter.
In 1944, the breed was reported to be once again established and the same year the Irish Red and White Setter Society was formed in Ireland. It is not known for certain exactly when this breed first entered the United States, although it has been said they were shown here prior to World War II. In the 1960s, a few dogs were imported but it was not until the ’80s Irish Red and White Setters were brought to the U.S. for breeding purposes. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Irish Red and White Setter in the Sporting Group in 2009.
Height: The height for a male Irish Red and White Setter when measured at the shoulder is between 24.5-26 inches (62-66 cm). Females are a bit shorter and measure 22.5-24 inches 57-61 cm).
Weight: The weight of an Irish Red and White Setter can range from 50-75 pounds (23-34 kg).
Coat Type: The Irish Red and White Setter has a long, fine and silky coat with plentiful feathering. The coat should be brushed weekly and bathed when necessary to keep it in good condition.
Color: The color of the Irish Red and White Setter’s coat is primarily white with solid red patches.
Temperament: The Irish Red and White Setter is very friendly and spirited. This breed is very loyal and devoted. Irish Red and White Setters make a wonderful family pet and companion and are also great with (active) kids. This breed is easy to train, but training should be done in a patient, gentle manner. Irish Red and White Setters are packed with energy therefore needs to be exercised daily. This is a tireless breed so keep it active by running, free play and long walks. If the Irish Red and White Setter is under exercised or bored, he may become destructive.
Health Problems: The Irish Red and White Setter is a healthy breed. Although considered extremely rare, the inherited disease Posterior Polar Cataract (PPC) has been found in this breed. Other health concerns include cancer, heart problems and allergies. The life expectancy for an Irish Red and White Setter is between 11 – 15 years.
• In 1978, the Irish Red and White Setter was classified as a separate breed from its cousin, the Irish Setter, by the Irish Kennel Club.
• It is almost certain the Irish Setter was developed from the Irish Red and White Setter making it the younger of the two.
AKC: Sporting Group
ANKC: Gundogs Group 3
CKC: Sporting Dogs Group 1
FCI: Group 7 Section 2 British & Irish Pointers & Setters
UKC: Gundog Breeds