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Irish Setter

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An Irish setter is a large and energetic bird dog. It is a typical hunting dog, which is extremely suitable for hunting large birds. It is, however, also suitable as a family dog, especially in the house of an active outdoor family. It is not suitable as a guard dog given that it is not watchful by nature. It is important that it gets plenty of exercise every day; otherwise it will display unwanted behaviour.

Character and behaviour
An Irish setter is a friendly and intelligent hunting dog. It is good with children and gets along fine with other pets. It may become a challenge to train an Irish setter given that it has a tendency to be stubborn and get bored. Thus, it is important for the owner to be authoritarian and consequent without using harsh methods.

It is also important that the Irish setter is not allowed to jump on people. Not as a puppy either. As long as the dog is provided with enough exercise and training an Irish setter is a delightful dog.

History of the breed
The Irish setter is actually a mixture of many different breeds. Among them are pointer, Gordon setter, English setter, and Irish water spaniel. It originates, as the name implies, from Ireland.

The first Irish setters were white and red and it was from this breed that the Irish setter was slowly developed. It is the tallest of the four setters. Today, it is used as a versatile hunting dog and a show dog. In some countries, however, it must pass a hunting test in order to win a title as a show dog.

Appearance, grooming and health
The Irish setter is characterised by the red colour of the coat. It is a large dog with a long and narrow head with almond shaped dark eyes. It has a friendly expression partly because of its long triangular ears, which are low set hanging close to the head. The legs are long and straight and the tail is long with long hairs.

The Irish setter is 26-28 inches and weighs 65-75 pounds.

The red coat is long on the chest, underneath the stomach, on the back of the front legs, and the front of the back legs. It requires regular brushing in order to avoid tangling. Besides, it is important to look for ticks and vermin regularly. It is an average shedder.

The Irish setter has a tendency to suffer from bloat, thus feeding the dog 2-3 times a day is recommended instead of one big meal. They might also be prone to suffer from genetic health issues e.g. hip dysplasia, skin problems, or eye problems. Life expectancy is 11-15 years.

What you should know about the breed:

  • A very energetic dog.
  • Can be a challenge to trai.
  • Not suitable for living in an apartment.
  • Fairly easy to house train.
  • Requires a lot of exercise in order to calm down.

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