Sociable and gentle, an Irish Setter is an excellent pet for children. Full of love and affection, their family is their world. They have a strong desire to exercise and need to be taken to the park daily.


Irish Setters are bold, boisterous and bright. Originally bred for hunting, they have a fantastic sense of smell so don’t be surprised if your dog appears in the kitchen every time you cook. It’s cheeky and spirited nature and love for fun got in the way of it being a successful hunter.

They are now loyal, loving and affectionate family pets that need constant exercise. They are very active and benefit from twice-daily activity. Their long legs mean they are good at running alongside a bicycle. They are very intelligent and easy to train but also slow to mature. They can be stubborn and headstrong, and when on the scent, hard to recall. Early obedience training is key for this breed. Give them plenty of toys as they have a tendency to hunt random objects and may end up swallowing dangerous objects.

Fun fact: Hit song Shannon by the Beach Boys was

inspired by the guitarist/singer Carl Wilson who owned

an Irish Setter that sadly passed in the mid-1970s.

They are fun-loving and always ready for a game of fetch. They are also gentle and get along well with children and other dogs. Socialise your pet well from a young age and they will befriend cats too. While they love to announce the arrival of guests, don’t rely on your Irish Setter as a watch dog – they are too friendly! A large backyard is ideal for this dog as they need space to run around in. Irish Setters are not hypoallergenic. Brush their coat daily to prevent tangling and occasionally trim between the pads and behind the ears to prevent matt. Bathe when necessary and check the ears regularly. A professional groomer may be needed from time to time. Irish Setters shed little.

Scheduled six-monthly health checks and visits to the vet are important to ensure your dog is healthy and happy throughout all life stages. It’s important that together with your vet a preventative healthcare program is determined and maintained based on the individual needs of your canine companion. Irish Setters are prone to hip dysplasia, some eye problems such as cataracts, bloat and sensitivity to some antibiotics.


A large-sized breed weighing 26-30kgs with an average height of 60-65cms.


An Irish Setter is best suited to a large dwelling with yard space due to their high exercise requirements.

Energy Levels

They have high energy levels. A daily run and lots of games will keep this dog happy.

Difficulty Of Training

They are intelligent dogs and will learn quickly. However they are stubborn, headstrong and easily distracted. They mature slowly which makes obedience training hard. Patience is key.

Family suitability

They are great family pets and loyal companions.

Suitability to other pets

If socialised from a young age, your dog will befriend other pets.

Need for company

They have a high need for company and enjoy being by their humans side at all times.

Hypoallergenic dog breed?


Coat and grooming needs

This breed requires moderate to high maintenance. Brush their coat daily to prevent tangles and matting. Trim behind the ears and between the paws and bathe when necessary. Clean the ears regularly to prevent infections. A professional groomer may also be required from time to time. They have a medium long coat in a deep red chestnut colour, with or without a small white blaze on their chest.


They shed little.  

Tendency to bark

They have a high tendency to bark.

Similar pets you may like

Labrador Retriever

English Setter

Flat-Coated Retriever