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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.

General Appearance  

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 trained gundog.

Physical Characteristics:


Broad in proportion to the body.

Cranial Region  

Skull: Domed without showing occipital protuberance, as in the Irish Red Setter.

Stop: Good Stop.

Facial Region  

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 throatiness.


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.

Pastern: Strong.


Wide and strong; hind legs from hip to hock long and muscular.

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 toes.


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.

Size: (Height)  

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 its degree.

Severe Faults  

  • Any dog or bitch not conforming to the height standard

Eliminating Faults  

  • 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.

Disqualifying Faults    

  • 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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