irish setter in field

The Irish Setter: thinking of getting an Irish Setter? reading-time-icon 2 min read

Irish Setters are perhaps the definition of ‘family dog’. If you’re looking for a companion who won’t be able to get enough of your company, look no further than an Irish Setter!

Let’s take a closer look at the Irish Setter.

Place of origin: Mid-1800s Ireland

How big do Irish Setters get? 55 – 67cm

How heavy are Irish Setters? 24 – 32kg

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Types of Irish Setter: They’re also referred to as Red Setters

Colour: Mahogany, Red, Chestnut


Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.


How much exercise does an Irish Setter need?

Irish Setters have bags of energy. As a minimum, they’ll need 2 good-sized walks a day but they won’t say no to even more exercise. They’ll happily join their owners on hikes, runs and will even run alongside you on a bike ride!

Originally bred as hunting dogs, they can be easily distracted by anything they might mistake for prey. When you’re out and about with your Irish Setter, bring a ball with you to keep their chaser’s instincts occupied.

If you and your family live an active lifestyle and are eager for your furry friend to participate, an Irish Setter could be the perfect breed for you. They’ll also appreciate lots of garden/outdoor space to explore.

Training: how to train an Irish Setter

Typically, Irish Setters respond best to consistent, firm and level-headed owners.

Irish Setters are intelligent and playful – no amount of mental stimulation is too much! If you or your family are looking for a sociable companion, an Irish Setter should be a great match. That said, if you work long hours or spend a lot of time away from home, you may be best off with a less sociable breed.

Grooming: do Irish Setters shed?

To keep your Irish Setter’s famously beautiful coat free of tangles and knots, they’ll need regular brushing. Aim to do this every day with long, thorough sessions twice a week and briefer grooming sessions on most other days.

Complete your Irish Setter’s grooming routine with regular tooth brushingnail clips and ear checks.

Irish Setter temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Irish Setters are devoted, affectionate and occasionally mischievous. They love meeting people and often become attached to those closest to them – they may suffer from separation anxiety if left in their own company for too long.

They usually get along well with children and other pets – although they may prove too boisterous for households with younger children, calmer pets or cats.

If you’re looking for a companion to spend large amounts of time with, an Irish Setter will be perfect.

Cost of owning an Irish Setter

When considering the lifetime cost of owning an Irish Setter, remember to take into account:

As a rough guide, allow between £80 and £90 a month to cover the ongoing costs of owning an Irish Setter.

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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