Irish Setter

This flame-coated breed hails from Ireland, where it was bred as a hunting dog. The Irish Setters popularity soon spread across the world cementing the breeds’ status as a loveable family pet.


Irish Setters dog breed

As puppies Irish Setters are said to be playful and mischievous, but also intelligent and eager to please. As a highly-strung, intelligent and active dog Irish Setters must have good training instilled in them from a young age, they should know not to jump on people, and to heel on a lead. They are good-natured, but a sense of right and wrong is a must in order for this dog to fit right in with the family way of life. As with all dogs though they should never be left alone with children.

Irish Setters are best suited to an active home. They are sports dogs after all and need lots of mental and physical exercise in order to avoid becoming destructive. They might also be best suited to experienced dog owners, or those willing to be firm in their handling and activities as this breed needs a strong leader.

Irish Setters absolutely love everybody! With the right training their benevolent temperament makes them ideal therapy dogs, with visits to hospitals, aged care facilities and even hospices all open to the right kind of dog.

Irish Setters are bred in two varieties: Field and Show dogs, with the show variety being slightly heavier. Both types however, accord to standards of breed description. It is best to adopt an Irish Setter from a reputable breeder with some knowledge of temperament and training to ensure you are obtaining a great dog you and/or your family will love! 


Irish Setters range in height between 66-71cm in height (males). Females are typically smaller, standing between 61 and 66 centimetres in height.


Male Irish Setters' weight range from 29 to 34kg. Females tend to weigh between 25 to 29kg.

Average Lifespan

11 to 15 years.

Grooming and care

It is recommended to brush their coat as often as possible to keep them well-groomed and ensure they uphold their nickname as being the ‘prettiest’ breed of dog out there.


Irish Setters need a large outdoor area or daily exercise to keep them happy.

Health Concerns

Despite their athletic composition these dogs are prone to disorders such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, skin allergies and hypothyroidism. For the latest research in breed-related problems in Irish Setters, visit the University of Sydney's LIDA (Listing of Inherited Disorders in Animals) website.