Irish Red & White Setter

Unlike its popular cousin the Irish Setter, the striking Irish Red & White Setter is sadly seldom seen in the UK.

Irish Red & White Setter Breed Group


Size of the Irish Red & White Setter

Large. A graceful, powerful, stocky and athletic dog.

Colour Varieties of the Irish Red & White Setter

The breed comes in just the one colour combination of Red & White. This is a little misleading as the dog actually has a pearly white silky coat with solid red markings.

Country of Origin

The Red & White Setter originates from Ireland. It is a very old breed that can be traced back to the 17th century. It was evident in the kennels of Lord Monaghan of Rossmore, hence its other known name of the Rossmore Setter.

A competent and intelligent working dog used for setting birds on the shoot. Today it is an uncommon sight and mostly kept as a companion dog.

Irish Red & White Setter introduction and overview

The Irish Red & White Setter probably shares it background roots with the more popular Irish Setter. It is a striking breed, with a silky, glossy fine white coat with deep chestnut solid markings on the body.

The dog has soft featherings on the ears, abdomen, backs of legs and on the tail, that vary in length from dog to dog. The breed has a broader skull than the Irish Setter and is slightly stockier with a heavier body.

It is an intelligent dog with plenty of endurance and stamina. It normally forms a very close bond with his master, but also has a reputation for being an excellent family dog with his laid back temperament around the home. The breed enjoys companionship and does not like to be left alone for long periods.

Size and weight of the Irish Red & White Setter

Height bitch 57-61cms

Height dog 61-66cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 23-32kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 23-32kgs

Exercise requirements of the Irish Red & White Setter

High. This breed of dog requires a high level of exercise, and any prospective owner should be able to offer at least 2 hours of walking every day, ideally off the lead. The breed is not suited to urban living unless there is access to plenty of open green spaces. The Irish Red & White Setter is better suited to an active lifestyle. This breed is easily bored, which can result in destructive and unwanted behaviour such as separation anxiety.

Irish Red & White Setter temperament

Despite being a large dog, the Red & White Setter has earned the reputation of being an excellent family dog. It does form a close bond with its master, but thrives on being part of the family unit. It is a quiet dog around the home, with a gentle laid-back temperament. Training and socialisation from an early age is vital as the Setter does have a strong nose and can wander off if distracted by a scent.

Is the Irish Red & White Setter a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Yes. The breed is reported to take a little longer to train than the English, Gordon and Irish setter but generally an obedient and reliable dog.

Irish Red & White Setter coat length

Medium. The Irish Red & White has a silky coat with fine straight or slighty wavy featherings on the ears, abdomen, legs and tail.

Grooming requirements of the Irish Red & White Setter

The Irish Red & White Setter’s fine feathering require almost daily attention to avoid the build up of tangles and matts. A soft slicker brush or wide toothed comb can to used to tease out knots and remove debris such as twigs, brambles, thorns and foreign bodies.The featherings on the ears may grow quite long and hang in water and feeding bowls. The featherings can be thinned and shortened to prevent messy meal times by a professional groomer.

Ears should be check on a regular basis for foreign bodies such as thorns, brambles, and any kind of infection.

Paws and pads should be inspected regularly as these can become quite hairy and conceal burrs and foreign bodies.


No, although the coat is fine and silky it does shed throughout the year.

Health Issues in the Irish Red & White Setter

The breed is generally healthy and has a lengthy expected lifespan for such a large breed.

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Irish Red & White Setter

A healthy Red & White Setter can expect to live between 10-12 years, which is high for dog of this size.

Approximate Irish Red & White pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay around £700-800 for a puppy . There are generally between 6-12 puppies in an average litter, and puppies can be difficult to source with only 64 puppies registered with the Kennel Club in 2015.

Insuring an Irish Red & White Setter

The Irish Red & White Setter is a large dog with quite a high cost value, so expect to pay a higher than average premium. Remember that whatever your dog’s premium starts out at, dog insurance will always rise with your pet’s age after about four years old and any on-going illnesses or conditions that the animal develops will also affect your annual insurance premiums from then on.

Estimating how much an Irish Red & White Setter would need to be fed each day

A bitch weighing 25kgs requires 330gms of complete dry food per day. A dog weighing 30kgs requires 365gms of complete dry food per day.

The weekly cost of feeding a 25kgs bitch is around £8.00

The weekly cost of feeding a 30kgs dog is around £8.90

Other necessary costs to consider when owning any dog

Don’t forget to budget for regular routine treatments that are not covered by your pet insurance.

  • Flea treatments
  • Worming treatments
  • Annual vaccination boosters
  • Microchipping
  • Neutering and spaying

Many veterinary practises now offer monthly budget schemes to allow you to spread the cost over the year.