Irish Setter: Temperament, Size, Life Expectancy

Loyal Companion & Hunting Dog – Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is a successful mixture of English Setter, Pointer, and Spaniel. This hound is a recognized Irish dog breed from the 18th century.

What Does It Look Like

How big and how heavy will it be? The Irish Setter grows between 63 and 68 cm in height and can weigh over 30 kg. The body is slim built. He has medium-sized floppy ears and beautiful dark eyes.

Coat, Colors & Care

The Irish Setter is an elegant dog with a silky, slightly longer coat. Its coat is long, smooth, and shiny. According to the breed standard, the coat should lie flat and not have any curls. Longer fringes are found on the back of the legs, tail, chest, and throat.

Its fine fur requires very intensive grooming, otherwise, tangles can easily occur. For this reason alone, daily combing and brushing are necessary, with a few minutes each time being sufficient, depending on how knotty it is. The characteristic coat color of this dog breed is a beautiful chestnut brown or mahogany brown.

The ears also need regular care. To prevent ear diseases, they should be checked and cleaned regularly.

Nature, Temperament

It’s very self-confident, learns quickly, and does not forget anything.

It is thoroughly friendly and gentle, but also self-confident and proud nature makes the Irish Setter an ideal family dog. However, sometimes he is also a little sensitive. All this dog breed basically needs is attention. Furthermore, he is affectionate and loyal. It usually builds up a very good relationship with children. It likes to learn and learns quickly. As a result, you and your children will enjoy teaching him a trick or two.

However, he can be a bit cranky around strangers. Overall, he is very good-natured, sticks to his family, but because of his great philanthropy, he cannot be used as a direct watchdog.

But it can also be very temperamental. Young dogs in particular are sometimes very energetic and sometimes a bit irrepressible.

The Irish Setter is a slightly moody but good hunting dog due to its many positive traits. The very affectionate and intelligent dog is a loyal companion for all non-hunters.


Dogs of this breed are quite easy to train because they like to be submissive and learn quickly. Despite this, they are also very self-confident.

You can work on your hunting instinct, or you should train your puppy before it wakes up. If the dog is physically and mentally busy, you can still leash the adult dog.

Posture & Outlet

On the one hand, the Irish Setter needs a lot of attention and, on the other hand, a lot of exercises. Especially when kept as a house dog, it must be given a lot of daily exercise and exercise.

If you don’t have your own garden where he can romp around, you should take him out into the fresh air for at least 3-4 hours a day. Preferably jogging or cycling with him or taking him for a ride. It gets along well with other animals. It also enjoys dog sports such as agility.


The Irish Setter was originally bred in Ireland as a hunting dog. It is a pointing dog, so he was and is used to indicate game when hunting. The characteristic of pointing – it shows the hunter that he has found the game – is innate in the Irish Setter (it is also said to have been wolfed) and is then reinforced during training. With a lot of patience, these dogs can be trained to be good hunting dogs.

Training to become a search dog or companion dog is also possible.

Typical Diseases

Dogs of this breed rarely get sick throughout their lifetime. However, special attention should be paid to the ears. As with all floppy ears, they are quite sensitive and should therefore be cleaned regularly to prevent infections.

Life Expectancy

This faithful companion is very robust by nature, and as a result, its life expectancy is quite high. An Irish Setter can easily live up to 15 years.

If you’re lucky enough to own an Irish Setter, we wish you continued fun with this trusty companion!

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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