As you might well have guessed, the Irish Setter hails from Ireland and the British Isles, where it became popular in the 18th century. The Irish Setter was developed from a mix of several dogs, including terriers, spaniels and pointers, resulting in a dog that was meant to “set” the game while hunters readied themselves to throw a net over the target game. After the introduction of firearms, the Irish Setter developed into companion hunting dog what would point and flush game.
Though quite aristocratic and noble in appearance, this powerful breed is ever the class clown. A happy-go-lucky attitude and tireless energy combine to create an affectionate, active family dog. Careful training is crucial, as these dogs love to run and sometimes have the bad habit of playing deaf or ignoring their owner’s commands.
Daily exercise goes without saying for this busy breed, and their long red coat will need frequent maintenance to prevent mats. Like many working or hunting dogs, Irish Setters are happiest when they have a job to do as boredom will quickly lead to trouble.
Though they may be energetic, Irish Setters are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Irish Setters are prone to include eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy and entropion; blood diseases such as hemophilia a (factor VIII deficiency); digestive problems such as gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV or bloat); hip problems such as hip dysplasia; and skin infections like atopy.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Irish Setter inherits more than just a fun-loving disposition, you’re covered.