The Irish Red and White Setter is good-natured, affectionate, highly intelligent, eager and happy. Irish Red and White Setters are excellent companions for children, but they will chase cats or other household pets if not socialized with them from puppyhood. These dogs thrive on companionship and being part of a family. Irish Red and White Setters are generally quick to learn and straightforward to train. They have tremendous stamina and are always eager to work and are therefore best suited for a working lifestyle, but Irish Red and White Setters will happily adapt to their environment, provided they are physically and mentally challenged.
The Irish Red and White Setter is reasonably low-maintenance with grooming. They should be brushed regularly and the nails need to be clipped short and the ears kept clean.
Irish Red and White Setters are exuberant outdoors, but are generally quiet family pets when indoors. Although these dogs are best suited for the country they can adapt to an urban family environmet, provided they receive adequate exercise and are stimulated mentally.
Irish Setters were originally mostly red and white, and solid red setters were reasonably rare. Around 1850 breeders selected red as the preferred color which resulted in the Red and White Setters coming close to extinction. It wasn't until the early 1940s that an attempt to revive the breed was made. Irish Red and White Setters were bred as hunting dogs that would set on game (point) in the field. The Irish Red and White Club was formed in 1944 in Ireland and the Irish Red & White Setter Club of America, Inc. was formed in 1984.
General Appearance: Strong, powerful, athletic and racy.
Color: Clearly particolored, i.e. the base color is pearl white with solid red patches.
Coat: Finely textured with good feathering. A slight wave is accepted but not curly hair.
Tail: Tapering, well feathered and carried level with the back or below.
Ears: Set level with the eyes and lying close to head.
Body: The body is strong and muscular with a deep, narrow chest and well sprung ribs.
- Similar to the other Irish Setters, the Red and White Setters take more time to train than most other gundogs, but once these dogs are trained they make obedient companions.
- The Irish Red and White Setter is prone to injure itself more than calmer breeds, as their deep chests allow an intense and sudden twisting of the stomach (gastric torsion) to occur, which is a life or death emergency.