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Gun Dog Breeders: Irish Setter Facts

By    |   Thursday, 04 February 2016 01:48 PM

Although gun dog breeders almost gave up on the Irish setter in the past, the breed has been slowly gaining back its reputation as one of the finest sporting dog breeds. When the Irish setter became the American Kennel Club's third-most popular breed in the 1970s, breeders started producing Irish setter puppies indiscriminately, Gun Dog magazine reported. Gun dog breeders believed that this led to the decline in the breed's natural hunting and pointing abilities.

As the interest of Americans in the Irish setter waned, irresponsible breeders thankfully abandoned the breed, leaving the task in the hands of more responsible breeders. These responsible breeders began working to bring the Irish setter back up to the show and field quality standards of the breed.

Irish setters originated from Ireland in the 1700s developed from a mix of Gordon setter, English setter, spaniel and pointer bloodlines, according to Dogtime. While the breed is very recognizable for its fiery red coat, the dogs originally had a white coat that had large speckles of red. Historians noted that the Irish Earl of Enniskillen wanted all-red Irish setters in his kennels in 1812, a move that had other Irish breeders following suit.

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A dog named Elcho was the first Irish setter to arrive in the United States in 1875 and the AKC was officially recognized the breed in 1878 when it registered its very first Irish setter, Admiral. As of June 2015, the AKC ranks the Irish setter as the 71st most popular dog breed in the U.S. The Irish setter is classified by the AKC in the sporting group along with other dog breeds such as spaniels, retrievers and pointers.

Male Irish setters stand about 27 inches at the shoulders and females a bit smaller at 25 inches, according to Animal Planet. They weigh about 60 to 70 pounds. They have strong athletic bodies that are well equipped for long hunting trips. The Irish setter is best known for its fine red coat that long in some parts of the body such as on the ears, back of the forelegs and thighs, and on the belly.

As far as personality is concerned, the Irish setter is very friendly and affectionate, but can get overly excited and exuberant at times. This means that they may need supervision when playing with smaller children. They are highly energetic and require at least an hour of exercise every day. Irish setters thrive well in a rural environment where they can roam freely in open fields to expend their energy.

Irish setters are ideal for active families who are willing to include the dog in their activities. If left neglected, the dogs may develop separation anxiety and tend become destructive. Due to their long coats, they will require grooming maintenance beyond the regular bathing and brushing. Irish setters are prone to certain health conditions such as vision disorders, hip dysplasia and gastric torsion.

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Although gun dog breeders almost gave up on the Irish setter in the past, the breed has been slowly gaining back its reputation as one of the finest sporting dog breeds.
gun dog, Irish setter, facts
Thursday, 04 February 2016 01:48 PM
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