Friday, January 16, 2015

Breed Focus: Irish Setter

Many know them for their deep red coat (Image Source)
The Irish Setter is a breed many recognize for their beautiful deep red color. They were first bred in Britain and Ireland as bird hunting dogs.  They are very active and will require a lot of physical and mental stimulation if not used for hunting. Another important aspect of this breed is that they are smart and stubborn. Starting training courses at a young age will make everyone in the household much happier!
Don't let their cuteness fool you! These little guys need lots of training and exercise! (Image Source)
In addition to the training and exercise, regularly grooming will be needed to maintain their luxurious coat. This means brushing and bathing to avoid matted fur that can lead to discomfort. When grooming you can also clean the floppy ears that tend to harbor a lot of dirt and even bacteria. Keeping them clean will help decrease their risk for ear infections.
This is the face of a dog that loves to run! (Image Source)
As far as health concerns go there are just a few to highlight with the Irish Setter. Hip dysplasia is something to be aware of in this active breed. When looking at breeders make sure the parents have been screened. While this will not completely eliminate the risk to your puppy, it does help minimize it. Although they are not a giant breed, Irish Setters are prone to osteosarcoma (cancer of the bone). Unfortunately there is no screening test for this condition. One other condition to monitor for is progressive retinal atrophy. This is a condition affecting the eye and ultimately their vision. Overtime it can lead to blindness. Breeders can have their dogs screened for this condition. This will help ensure your puppy is the healthiest it possibly can be.
Stubborn and determined! (Image Source)

If you have an active life style and are looking for a companion to exercise with, this could be the breed for you. While you may have to invest some time early for their training, the payoff could be great for both of you over the coming years! For more information on this breed please visit the following websites here and here.  

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