Irish Red and White Setter

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50-70 lbs
IRWS, Irish R&W Setter

The Irish Red and White Setter almost became extinct until hunters realized his hunting abilities and began preserving the breed. He is similar to his cousin, the Irish Setter, and can be just as stubborn. The Irish Red and White Setter is enthusiastic and loves to work. Many people describe him as tireless. He needs an active family who will take him on long walks or jogs. He also needs to live inside with his family or he could become a nuisance to the neighbors. If he becomes frustrated and has excess energy, he can easily become destructive. Be sure to give him a job to do to keep him happy.

Date of Origin

Irish Red and White Setter Health

Average Size
Height: 24-26 inches Weight: 50-75 lbs
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 50-70 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Canine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency
Minor Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Hypothyroidism
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hips
  • Thyroid Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Irish Red and White Setter Breed History

The Irish Red and White Setter originated before the Irish Setter. The first actual written record that refers to a setting dog that was red and white dates back to the mid-17th century. Artwork that is dated at least a century before depicts similar red and white setting dogs. The paintings depicted these dogs with hunters in the field. The Irish Red and White Setter faced extinction when people began favoring setters that were a dark red with no white markings. When World War I began there were only a few Irish Red and White Setters left. Reverend Noble Huston and his cousin, Dr. Elliott began preserving the breed. As they bred these dogs, they began exporting some of them to other countries. Irish Red and White Setters were sent to Spain, England and the United States. Will Cuddy and Maureen Cuddy, a married couple, picked up where Huston and Elliott left off and championed the breed. Maureen Cuddy researched and recorded the Irish Red and White Setter’s history in the early 20th century. They helped to form the Irish Red and White Setter Society in Ireland in 1944. This society helped the breed gain separate recognition from his cousin, the Irish Setter. The first recorded Irish Red and White Setters were imported into the United States in the 1960s. More Irish Red and White Setters came into the United States from Ireland in the 1980s and the popularity of the breed within the United States spiked. The United Kennel Club officially recognized them as a separate breed in 1995. The Canadian Kennel Club followed suit in 1999. The American Kennel Club did not officially recognize the Irish Red and White Setter until 2009.

Irish Red and White Setter Breed Appearance

Obviously, the Irish Red and White Setter has to be red and white in color. His base color is white with solid red patches. Flecking or freckling is permitted around the face, feet, up the forelegs to the elbow and up the hind legs to the hock. Flecking, roaning or mottling on any other part of his body is not desirable. His hair should be fine and silky to the touch. Long, silky hair called feathering is usually present on the outer ear flap, on the back of the forelegs and the hind legs and also on the flank to the chest and throat area. The feathering cannot be curly or wavy and needs to be straight. It can also not be overly dense or appear puffy. The Irish Red and White Setter also has a feathered tail. His head, front legs, back and sides have short, flat hair that is not feathered and does not curl. A slight wave to this shorter hair is acceptable.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Irish Red and White Setter Breed Maintenance

The Irish Red and White Setter has a silky coat that does moderately shed. His hair easily repels dirt and therefore he does not need many baths. He will need a bath when he gets into something smelly or really dirty. He will need to be brushed and combed out a few times a week when he is not working in the field. If he is used in the field, then he will need brushing every time he comes in. Tangles and mats need to be worked out, especially in the feathering and ears. By brushing him regularly, his coat will stay relatively clean. The Irish Red and White Setter will need his nails trimmed every two to three weeks, depending on how fast his nails grow. His ears should be cleaned weekly and kept free of oils, wax and dampness to prevent infections. It is always a good idea to brush his teeth often with veterinarian approved toothpaste.

Brushes for Irish Red and White Setter
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Irish Red and White Setter Temperament

The Irish Red and White Setter is a very affectionate and good natured dog. He is not just a hunting dog; he is a devoted family companion. He likes children but can be a little too rambunctious for small children. He is a very active sporting dog and requires a lot of daily exercise as well as interactive play with his family. Generally, the Irish Red and White Setter gets along well with other dogs but he does need to be supervised with smaller pets and cats. If he is raised with cats, then he should do very well. However, even if raised with smaller pets such as ferrets, hamsters or rabbits, he still needs to be supervised when they are together. He can be extremely stubborn and training needs to be approached as a fun-filled activity with lots of praise and positive reinforcement. Training needs to begin as soon as he comes home.

Irish Red and White Setter Activity Requirements

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
15 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes

Irish Red and White Setter Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$2 - $2.3
Monthly Cost
$52.5 - $67.5

Irish Red and White Setter Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 37 lbs
Height: 19 inches Weight: 37 lbs
12 Months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 47 lbs
Height: 21 inches Weight: 47 lbs
18 Months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 62 lbs
Height: 23 inches Weight: 62 lbs

Top Irish Red and White Setter Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Irish Red and White Setter breeders of 2017.
Waidmans IRWS
Modesto, California
Noah's Dogs
Stanwood, Washington
Moonstone Setters
New York, New York

Irish Red and White Setter Owner Experiences