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"To err is human, to forgive, canine."

Author Unknown
 



 

Irish Setter

The Irish Setter (Irish: Madra rua, meaning red dog), also known as the Red Setter, is a breed of gundog and family dog. The term Irish Setter is commonly used to encompass the Show-bred dog recognized by the AKC as well as the field-bred Red Setter recognized by the Field Dog Stud Book. It is in the Setter Family.

Appearance
The coat is moderately long and silky and of a deep red color. It requires frequent brushing to maintain its condition and keep it mat-free. The undercoat is abundant in winter weather. Irish Setters range in height from 25 to 27 inches (64-69 cm), males weigh 60 to 70 pounds (27-32 kg) and females 53 to 64 pounds (24-29 kg). The FCI Breed Standard for the Irish Setter stipulates males: 23 to 26.5 inches (58-67 cm), females: 21.5 to 24.5 inches (55-62 cm).

Temperament
This happy, playful breed is known for its joy of living and thrives on activity. It loves to run in wide open spaces. It is faster and has more endurance than other setter breeds.

In general, Irish Setters are friendly, enjoy human company, and actively look for other dogs to play with. They are affectionate and like to be petted. Irish Setters are excellent with children. Irish Setters are not naturally aggressive, although can bark to protect the area from strangers.

They require more exercise than do most other breeds, including a chance to run every day until they reach old age.

Health
Irish Setters are a moderately healthy breed. Like almost all pedigree dog breeds, they are susceptible to certain genetic disorders:

• Hip dysplasia
• Progressive retinal atrophy
• Epilepsy
• Entropion
• Hypothyroidism
• Hyperosteodystrophy
• Bloat
• Osteosarcoma
• Von Willebrand's disease
• Patent ductus ateriosus

History
The breed Irish Red Setter was developed in Ireland in the 1700s from the Old Spanish Pointer, setting spaniels, and early Scottish setters.

Early Irish Setters were white with red blotches on their coats, but today the Setter's coat is a rich mahogany color. The Irish Red and White Setter is more closely related to those early Setters. The modern setter was first named in Ireland by Harry Blake Knox.

The Irish Setter's name in Gaelic is Madra rua or "red dog". The Irish Setter was bred for hunting, specifically for setting or pointing upland gamebirds. They are similar to other members of the setter family such as the English Setter and Gordon Setter. Irish Setters are extremely swift, with an excellent sense of smell and are hardy over any terrain and in any climate. The Irish Setter is used for all types of hunting. It even works well on wetlands.

Often called a red setter,the irish setter was also once called a red spaniel,and is one of the most popular breeds of setters

The original uses of the irish setter were as a game retrieving & setting The Irish Setter is also commonly found as a companion pet.

"Red Setter" controversy
The Red Setter is a variant of the Irish Setter or Irish Red Setter. The Red Setter is a pointing breed of dog used to hunt upland game. Considerable acrimony exists between the partisans involved in the debate over this breed.

 

Irish Setter
Other names: Red Setter (Modder rhu - Gaelic for red setter), Irish Red Setter
Country of origin: Ireland

The Irish Setter was brought to the United States in the early 1800s. It commanded great respect in the field and was one of the most commonly used dogs among the professional meat hunter fraternity.

In 1874, the American Field put together the Field Dog Stud Book and registry of dogs in the United States was born. The FDSB is the oldest pure-bred registry in the United States. At that time, dogs could be registered even when bred from sires and dams of different breeds. At about this time, the Llewellin Setter was bred using blood lines from the Lavarack breeding of English Setter and, among other breeds, bloodlines from native Irish Setters. Around the same time, the red Irish Setter became a favorite in the dog show ring.

The Irish Setter of the late 1800s was not just a red dog. The AKC registered Irish Setters in a myriad of colors. Frank Forester, a 19th-century sports writer, described the Irish Setter as follows: "The points of the Irish Setter are more bony, angular, and wiry frame, a longer head, a less silky and straigher coat that those of the English. His color ought to be a deep orange-red and white, a common mark is a stripe of white between the eyes and a white ring around the neck, white stockings, and a white tage to the tail."

The Setter that was completely red, however, was preferred in the show ring and that is the direction that the breed took. Between 1874 and 1948, the breed produced 760 conformation show champions, but only five field champions.

In the 1940s, Field and Stream magazine put into writing what was already a well-known fact. The Irish Setter was disappearing from the field and an outcross would be necessary to resurrect the breed as a working dog. Sports Afield chimed in with a similar call for an outcross. Ned LaGrange of Pennsylvania spent a small fortune purchasing examples of the last of the working Irish Setters in America and importing dogs from overseas. With the blessing of the Field Dog Stud Book, he began an outcross to red and white field champion English Setters. The National Red Setter Field Trial Club was created to test the dogs and to encourage breeding toward a dog that would successfully compete with the white setters. Thus the modern Red Setter was born and the controversy begun.

Prior to 1975 a relationship existed between the AKC and the Field Dog Stud book in which registration with one body qualified a dog for registration with the other. In 1975 the Irish Setter Club of America petitioned the AKC to deny reciprocal registration, and the AKC granted the request. It is claimed, by critics of the move, that the pressure was placed on the AKC by bench show enthusiasts who were unappreciative of the outcrossing efforts of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club, as well as some AKC field trialers following a series of losses to FDSB red setters. Working Irish Setter kennels today field champion dogs that claim lines from both the FDSB dogs and AKC dogs.

Appearance
The modern Red Setter is smaller than his bench-bred cousin. While show dogs often reach 70 lb, the working Red Setter is generally around 45 lb. The coat is less silky and the feathering is generally shorter. The color is lighter, with the working dog found in russet and fawn colors. The Red Setter often has patches of white on his face and chest as the Irish Setter of old did. There have been efforts to rekindle the field abilities of the true type Irish by a handful of dedicated breeders in California and elsewhere with some success. More than a dozen AKC Dual Champion Irish Setters have been made, evidence of the big red's native ability when proper traits are selectively sought in breeding.