Irish Red and White Setter
Life span: 10-14 Years
Height: 24 – 26 inches (male), 20 – 24 inches (female)
Weight: 55 – 75 lbs.
As a member of the gundog group, the Irish Red and White Setter is a favorite among sportsmen, due to its ability to stand point when game is located. The Setter is a medium-sized breed that has a high level of energy, and this bodes well when tracking birds through the field. The Red and White Setter is characterized by its silky coat of white hair and patches of golden-red.
This breed is loving and playful with children and other pets, but must be watched with smaller animals. It is extremely high energy and difficult to train due to its short attention span. When grown, it is the perfect pet for an active owner.
Their ears are medium lenght and flop down, their tail is long and stands straight when something catches the dog’s attention. Their eyes can be brown or hazel with a brown or black nose. Its coat is smooth to the touch, long and thin, with white as its base color and red markings.
With records dating back to the 17th century, this breed originated before the Irish Setter. There are paintings in which similar dogs are depicted as hunters a century befre Irish Setters records. However, when setters that were dark red with no white markings began being favored, the Red and White Setter was faced with extinction, leaving only a few dogs of this breed by the time World War I started. Reverend Noble Huston and Dr. Elliot began breeding them in order to save them, as well as exporting them to other countries such as Spain, England and the United States, with the first recorded dog of this breed in the United States appearing in the 1960s. Will and Maureen Cuddy took over them eventually, recording the history of this breed in the 20th century as well and helping create the Irish Red and White Setter Society in Ireland in 1944, which helps the breed be recognized as different from the Irish Setter. In the 1980s exportation for this breed into the United States grew. In 1995 they were recognized by the United Kennel Club, in 1999 by the Canadian Kennel Club and in 2009 by the American Kennel Club.
This loving dog gets along well with children, although it might be too energetic for them, and is extremely playful with its family. It also gets along well with other dogs as well but must be watched around smaller pets. Training should begin as early as possible and must be made up of fun and short sessions.
This breed may suffer from many diseases and conditions, such as:
- Autoimmune diseases, in which the autoimmune system attacks the organs and cells of the body as they would normally attack a disease.
- Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
- Hypothyroidism, a disease that affects the thyroid gland, its symptoms are ear infections, skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression.
- Posterior polar cataracts, in which the cataracts appear in the back of the eye.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease, which is a blood disease that affects the clotting process, its symptoms can be nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding from surgery, occasional blood in stools, etc.
This breed is relatively easy to care for, needing only a weekly grooming session to tidy them up, and some trimming the hairs to maintain a tidy look. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections, and their teeth brushed. This breed is extremely high energy, needing daily exercise and a fenced area where it can play until it tires out. However, when the puppy is 18 months or younger, their joints are fragile and therefore it is recommended to go on long walks instead of running or hiking. Given the fact that they are energetic, they often get bored with ease, which can make training hard. Keeping training sessions varied, interesting, and short is the best method for this breed.