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Irish Setter - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Irish Setter


The Irish Setter has a reputation for being one of the most beautiful dog breeds in the world. Their distinctive silky, feathered red coat coupled with their aristocratic air makes them head-turners whether walking through the neighborhood or circling the show ring. Irish Setters are slightly longer than they are tall, and the topline should incline slowly downward from shoulder to tail. The head is long and chiseled, with well defined occiput and stop. The muzzle is long and ends in a dark black or brown nose, and teeth meet in either a scissors or level bite. The eyes of the Irish Setter are almond-shaped, wide set and brown in color. The long, hanging ears are pendant with long, silky hair. The gait should be lively, yet efficient.

Size and Weight

There are no height and weight requirements per breed standard, but the average height of a male Irish Setter is 27 inches at the shoulder and the average weight is 70 pounds. Females stand, on average, 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh in at about 60 pounds.

Coat and Color

The Irish Setter coat and coloring is the envy of many dogs and dog owners and gives the breed it's reputation for being beautiful. The hair on the head and forelegs is short and fine, but is long and straight on the body, featuring feathering on the ears, back of forelegs, thighs, tail, belly and chest. The coat is either burnished mahogany or chestnut red in color. Some may sport a small amount of white on chest, throat or toes, or a narrow centered streak on the head.

Grooming Needs

The Irish Setter's coat needs to be brushed every other day to remove debris, loose hair and tangles; prevent mats, and keep the coat shiny and healthy. An Irish Setter who is brushed regularly only needs a bath a couple of times per year, unless the dog enjoys rolling around in the muck.

The long, hanging ears do not allow air to circulate through the ear canal and makes the Irish Setter prone to ear infections. Check the ears weekly for redness, odor, or other signs of irritation or infection. Cleanse the ear with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved solution. Brush teeth weekly to remove tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not naturally wear them down outdoors.

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