IRISH RED AND WHITE SETTER
Official U.K.C. Breed Standard
Gun Dogs Group
© Copyright 1994, United Kennel Club, Inc.
Most acceptable companion and friend in the home
and in the field. The Irish Red & White Setter is bred
primarily for the field. The standard as set out hereunder
must be interpreted chiefly from this point of view and all
Judges at bench shows must judge the exhibits chiefly from
the working standpoint.
Brief Historical Summary
The Irish Setter probably came to its own at the
end of the 17th century. It is not well known outside of
Ireland that there are two breeds of Irish Setters, but is
fairly certain, that the Red and White Setter is the older
of the two, and that judicious selective breeding evolved
the solid red color. When Irish Setters came to the show
benches, just past the middle of the 19th century, there was
a good deal of confusion about their proper color. By the
end of the 19th century, the Red Setter had virtually
eclipsed the Red and White, which became so rare, that they
were thought to be extinct. During the 1920s, efforts were
made to revive the breed. By 1944, the breed had
re-established itself well enough to have a club of its own,
and today it can be seen in healthy numbers at Irish shows
and Field Trials. The present Club in Ireland, the Irish Red
& White Setter Field & Show Society, was formed in
1981 and through its endeavors and direction the breed is
now well established nationally and internationally. The
Irish Red & White Setter competes successfully in Field
Trials against the other pointing breeds and there are now
quite a number of Field Trial Champions and Show Champions.
Strong well balanced and proportioned without
lumber; athletic rather than racy. The Irish Red & White
Setter is bred primarily for the field and must be judged
chiefly from the working standpoint.
Aristocratic, keen and intelligent. Displays a
kindly, friendly attitude, behind which should be
discernible determination, courage and high spirit. The Red
and White Setter is a very friendly, dependable and easily
Broad in proportion to the body.
Skull: Domed without showing occipital
protuberance, as in the Irish Red Setter.
Stop: Good Stop.
Muzzle: Clean and square.
Jaws: Jaws of equal or nearly equal length.
Teeth: Regular teeth; scissor bite ideal; edge to
Eyes: Dark hazel or dark brown; oval; with slight
prominence and without haw.
Ears: Set level with the eyes, and well back,
lying close to the head.
Moderately long, very muscular, but not too
thick, slightly arched, free from all tendency to
Strong and muscular.
Back: To be strong and well muscled.
Chest: Deep, with well sprung ribs.
Moderate length, not reaching below hock, strong
at root. Tapering to fine point; no appearance of ropiness
and carried level with or below the back.
Legs well muscled and sinewy; strong bone.
Shoulders: Well laid back.
Elbows: Free, turning neither in nor out.
Forelegs: Straight and sinewy, well boned.
Wide and strong; hind legs from hip to hock long
Stifle: Well bent.
Hock: Well let down, turning neither in nor out,
from hock to foot of moderate length and strong.
Close-knit with plenty of feathering between
When moving at the trot long striding, very
lively, graceful and efficient. Head held high, hindquarters
drive smoothly and with great power. Forelegs reach well
ahead and remain low. Seen from front or rear forelegs and
hindlegs below the hock joint moving perpendicularly to the
ground, no crossing or weaving of legs, front or back.
Long silky fine hair called "Feathering" on the
back of the fore and hind legs and on the outer ear flap,
also a reasonable amount on the flank extending on to the
chest and throat forming a fringe. All feathering straight,
flat and free from curl but slight wave is permissible. The
Tail should be well feathered. On all other parts of the
body the hair should be short, flat, and free from curl.
Base color white with solid red patches (clear
islands of red color), both colors should show the maximum
of life and bloom; flecking but not roaning permitted around
the face and feet and up the foreleg as far as the elbow and
up the hindleg as far as the hock; roaning, flecking and
mottling on any other part of the body is most objectionable
and is an eliminating fault.
Desirable height at withers:
Dogs: 24 1/2 - 26 ins (62-66 cm)
Bitches: 22 1/2 - 24 ins (57-61 cm)
Any departure from the foregoing points should
be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the
fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to
- Any dog or bitch not conforming to the height
- Although flecking but not roaning is permitted around
the face and feet and up the forelegs as far as the elbow
and up the hindleg as far as the hock: roaning, flecking
and mottling on any other part of the body is most
objectionable and is a fault serious enough to eliminate
the dog from obtaining any awards.
- Males not having two apparently normal testicles
- Dogs showing aggression.
NOTE: Male animals should have two apparently normal
testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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