The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.
Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.
The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”
The Furry Critter Network
Red Setter Breed Description
Irish Setter, Red Spaniel, Irish Red Setter, Madra Rua
Approximately 12-15 Years
Average 6-8 Puppies
The Irish Setter is an active, aristocratic bird dog, rich red in color, substantial yet elegant in build. Standing over 24 inches tall at the shoulder, the dog has a straight, fine, glossy coat, longer on ears, chest, tail and back of legs. At work he is a swift-moving hunter; at home, a sweet natured, trainable companion.
The coat is moderately long, silky, and of a red or chestnut colour. It requires frequent brushing to maintain its condition and keep it mat-free. The undercoat is abundant in winter weather, and the top coat is fine. Their coats should also feather in places such as the tail, ears, chest, legs, and body.
Head: Long, cleanly cut, without heaviness. Oval skull. Pronounced occipital peak. Pronounced stop. Muzzle fairly angular. Flews not pendulous. Nose mahogany, brown, or black. Head slightly broader in the red and white variety.
Ears: Set on low, medium-sized, thin, hanging with a fold flat against the head. Set on at eye level in the red and white variety.
Eyes: Not too big, dark (hazel or brown).
Body: Well-proportioned. Neck very muscular, not too thick, without dewlap. Chest narrow when viewed from the front, as deep as possible. Rounded ribs. Muscular, slightly arched loin.
Tail: Set on fairly low, medium in length, thick at the base, tapering to a thin point. Carried level with the topline or lower. Beautiful feathering.
Hair: Short on the head and fronts of the legs. Elsewhere, hair is medium in length, flat, neither wavy nor curly. Feathering long and silky at the tops of the ears, long and fine on the backs of the legs. Beautiful feathering on the abdomen.
Coat: Mahogany setter: golden mahogany, never smoky. White markings on the chest, throat, or toes, small flashings on the forehead, or a narrow flare on the nosebridge or head are tolerated.
Size: Red and white: dog: 62 to 66 cm (24.5-26 in); bitch: 57 to 61 cm (22.5-24 in). Red: dog: 57 to 70 cm (22.5-27.5 in); bitch: 54 to 67 cm (21-26.5 in).
Weight: 20 to 25 kg (44-55 lb).
The Irish Setter was brought to the United States in the early 19th century. It commanded great respect in the field and was one of the most commonly used dogs among the professional meat hunter fraternity. In 1874, the American Field put together the Field Dog Stud Book and registry of dogs in the United States was born. The FDSB is the oldest pure-bred registry in the United States. At that time, dogs could be registered even when bred from sires and dams of different breeds. At about this time, the Llewellin Setter was bred using blood lines from the Lavarack breeding of English Setter and, among other breeds, bloodlines from native Irish Setters. Around the same time, the red Irish Setter became a favorite in the dog show ring.
The Irish Setter of the late 19th century was not just a red dog. The AKC registered Irish Setters in a myriad of colors. The Setter that was completely red, however, was preferred in the show ring and that is the direction that the breed took. Between 1874 and 1948, the breed produced 760 conformation show champions, but only five field champions.
In the 1940s, Field and Stream magazine put into writing what was already a well-known fact. The Irish Setter was disappearing from the field and an outcross would be necessary to resurrect the breed as a working dog. Sports Afield chimed in with a similar call for an outcross. Ned LaGrande of Pennsylvania spent a small fortune purchasing examples of the last of the working Irish Setters in America and importing dogs from overseas. With the blessing of the Field Dog Stud Book, he began an outcross to red and white field champion English Setters. The National Red Setter Field Trial Club was created to test the dogs and to encourage breeding toward a dog that would successfully compete with the white setters. Thus the modern Red Setter was born and the controversy begun.
Prior to 1975, a relationship existed between the AKC and the Field Dog Stud book in which registration with one body qualified a dog for registration with the other. In 1975 the Irish Setter Club of America petitioned the AKC to deny reciprocal registration, and the AKC granted the request. It is claimed, by critics of the move, that the pressure was placed on the AKC by bench show enthusiasts who were unappreciative of the outcrossing efforts of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club, as well as some AKC field trialers following a series of losses to FDSB red setters. Working Irish Setter kennels today field champion dogs that claim lines from both the FDSB dogs and AKC dogs.
Irish Setters get along well with children and other dogs and will greet visitors enthusiastically. Even though they do well with household pets, small animals may pose a problem for this breed, as they are a hunting breed. Some Irish Setters may have problems with cats in the house, and may be too boisterous with small children. As the FCI, ANKC and UK Standards state, the breed should be "Demonstrably affectionate." As a result, Irish Setters make excellent companion animals and family pets.
Irish Setters are an active breed, and require long, daily walks and off-lead running in wide, open spaces. They are, however, a breed with a tendency to 'play deaf,' so careful training on mastering the recall should be undertaken before allowing them off-lead.
Irish Setters enjoy having a job to do. Lack of activity will lead to a bored, destructive, or even hyperactive dog. This is not a breed that can be left alone in the backyard for long periods of time, nor should they be. Irish Setters thrive on constant human companionship. Irish Setters respond swiftly to positive training and are highly intelligent.
Though they are usually alert to their surroundings, Irish Setters are not well-suited as guard dogs, as they are not a naturally assertive breed.
Irish Setters are also widely used as therapy dogs in schools and hospitals. Therapy dogs are permitted in hospitals with special permission and can visit patients on the assigned floors. In schools the dogs may be used to create a calming and relaxed environment. A child may read to a dog without being corrected or judged.
The Irish Setter was bred for hunting, specifically for setting or locating and pointing upland gamebirds. They are a tireless, wide-ranging hunter, and well-suited to fields and wet or dry moorland terrain. Using their excellent sense of smell to locate the mark (or bird), the Irish Setter will then hold a pointing position, indicating the direction in which the bird lies hidden. Besides hunting, they make a great companion.
Irish Setters tend to be a relatively healthy breed. Problems that have been noted in Irish Setters include:
Irish Setters are now one of the few breeds for which genetic tests have been developed to detect the presence of both CLAD and PRA (RCD-1).
Gluten intolerance in Irish Setters is a naturally occurring genetic disorder that is the result of a single autosomal recessive locus. At around 6 months of age, Irish Setters with this condition will develop an increased immune cell presence and a decrease in absorption within the small intestine when fed a gluten containing diet. These effects lead to further damage of the small intestine as well as malnutrition and diarrhea. Irish Setters that are fed a gluten free diet have been shown to be exempt from any effects associated with gluten intolerance.
"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"
If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)
Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network
Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. RescueShelter.com is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.