By Jags Goldie Last updated: 22nd October 2022

Irish Red and White Setter


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 22nd October 2022

Bred for hunting game, the Irish Red and White Setter is a breed of powerful dogs that nearly disappeared but were saved from extinction and eventually restored. These setters have a well-proportioned, athletic appearance without any coarseness. They come with a broad, domed skull, dark brown or hazel eyes, distinct stop, clean and square muzzle, muscular neck, deep chest, well-muscled legs, and a medium-sized tail.

Irish Red and White Setter Pictures

Quick Information

NicknamesIrish R&W Setter, Parti-colored Setter, IRWS, Red and White Irish Setter
CoatFeathering with long, silky hair on the legs, outer ear flap, chest, throat, tail; short hair on other body parts
ColorRed and White
Breed TypePurebred
CategorySporting, Gun Dog, Setter
Lifespan10-13 years
Weight50-70 lbs
HeightFemale: 22.5-24 inches
Male: 24-26 inches
Size of Litter6-12 puppies
TemperamentAffectionate, energetic, loyal, playful
Good with ChildrenYes
Country Originated inIreland
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationKC (UK), ANKC, ACA, AKC, CKC, APRI, DRA, FCI, NZKC, NAPR, IRWSA, UKC, NKC, NIRWSA

Video: Irish Red and White Setters Puppies Playing


17th century: Original Irish Setters were solid red, red and white, or all white and inbreeding of these colors were common. Gradually the breeders started mating dogs that were adapted to work in the native environment.

19th century: The Red Setters started gaining popularity and eventually became the most abundant variety. In the mid-19th century, solid red Setters won popular acclaim at conformation shows held in Dublin. It led to the decline of the Red and White variety, although several Irish breeders kept it alive.

20th century: The World Wars brought the breed to the brink of extinction. However, with the efforts of Rev Noble Huston, a small number of IRWS survived in Ireland. During the 1940s, Mr. and Mrs. Cuddy contributed to its revival and played a key role in gaining its recognition. By the early 1980s, the IRWS population slowly increased, and it spread to England, US, and Canada.

Breed Recognition

While most national Kennel Clubs across the globe acknowledged the breed, the Canadian Kennel Club recognized it in 1999. Although it was previously listed on the Foundation Stock Service, the Irish Red and White Setter was eligible for participating in competitive fields, and conformation shows after it gained recognition from AKC in January 2009.

Temperament and Behavior

Being devoted, friendly, and spirited by nature, the Red and White Setters are a joy to own. They display courage, determination, and high spirit, implying that they can become reckless and destructive if not given the required amount of physical and mental exercise. They need an outlet to burn off their extra energy and are thus suitable for active families.

Since the puppies are inquisitive about everything in their surroundings, they will naturally smell every human in their vicinity. Sometimes puppies are anxious, and they assume that people will pick them up and calm them down.

These enthusiastic pets get along well with kids in the family and other household dogs. They are sensitive to pitch and will not respond to harsh treatments. As gun dogs, these Setters learn their duties and finally become reliable hunters.



The Red and White Irish Setter, as a high-energy dog, needs 30-40 minutes of daily activities including jogging or brisk walking. Create hobbies for your IRWS such as flyball, hiking, or agility training. Let your pet run freely in a fenced yard but do not isolate the dog for long hours.


Light trimming of its coat, especially under the pasterns, hocks, tail and ears, helps maintain a neat appearance. Daily brushing is useful for keeping its coat free from tangles and burrs. Bathe and shampoo when necessary.

Health Problems

The Red and White Irish Setters are healthy, but some individuals may acquire hereditary health conditions including Posterior Polar Cataract, von Willebrand Disease, and Canine Leucocyte Adhesion Deficiency.


While training an IRWS, the handler should ensure that positive qualities such as confidence, cheerfulness, and speed are retained.

Stopping pups from jumping on humans: Your puppy’s jumping up issue could be resolved by practicing the no eye contact, no talk, and no touch rule when first greeting the puppy. It will help calm your Red and White Setter puppy so that it can stay focused on sniffing everything on the ground.

Obedience training: Basic commands like “stay,” “come,” “sit,” “leave it,” etc. are helpful when dealing with behavioral issues. Furthermore, it is a fun way of providing your pet with a brain workout.


Aside from feeding 2.5-3 cups of dry food per day, you can give your Red and White Setter good-quality cooked or tinned meats

Interesting Facts

  • The Irish Red and White Setter along with the Irish Setter appear on a postage stamp in Ireland released during the early 20th century.
  • Since 2005, the Irish Red and White Setter Association became known as the American Kennel Club Parent Club.

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