Information about the Irish Red and White Setter

The Irish Red and White Setter is a breed of dog, more specifically a setter. It is virtually identical in use and temperament to the related Irish Setter, but is more often found as a working gun dog.

The coat is long and silky, mostly white, with deep-red patches. The dogs range in height from 22.5 to 24 inches (570 to 610 mm) for females and 24 to 26 inches (610 to 660 mm) for males, and weigh 50 to 70 lb (23 to 32 kg).

The Irish Red and White Setter is a pointing bird dog which originated in the 17th century in Ireland, where they were particularly associated with the Rossmore family. They can take longer to train than other gun dogs, but once trained, they are loyal and reliable companions. They need firm, decisive, but not harsh, training. They can be the most devoted and affectionate of dogs, and are extremely intelligent. Irish Red and White Setters thrive best in active families, where they have outlets for their high energy, and require space to run freely.

Originally, all Irish Setters were mostly red, or red and white, but from around 1880 breeders, began to prefer the solid red variety. Consequently, the breed came close to extinction. Thanks to the efforts of an early 20th century Northern Irish clergyman, Noble Huston, the breed survived, but only in small numbers in the island of Ireland. From around 1970, a revival of the breed was planned, and the numbers began to increase slowly. By the 1980s, the red and white setters were being imported into Great Britain, where the breed was developed more as a show dog. In contrast to these British dogs, the breed has continued to be primarily a working and field trial dog in Ireland.

From 1 January 2009, the Irish Red and White Setter is fully recognised by the American Kennel Club, and is eligible to compete in conformation and all other competitive fields.

The breed is recognised by most other national Kennel Clubs. All registered Irish Red and White Setters are the descendants of the dogs accepted by the Irish Kennel Club at the time of the revival of the breed in the 1970s.