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Irish Setter

Irish Setter Dog Breed

Aliases: Red Setter

Life Span: 12-15 years
Litter Size: 8-10 puppies
Group: Gun Dog, AKC Sporting
Color: reddish browns from chestnut to mahogany, some white on chest and feet acceptable. No other colors are allowed.
Hair Length: Long
Size: Large
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Male Height: 26-28 inches (66-71cm)
Male Weight: 65-75 pounds (29-34kg)
Female Height: 24-26 inches (61-66cm)
Female Weight: 55-65 pounds (25-29kg)
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - High Risk

The Irish Setter ranks #23 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. There is a high risk of obtaining a dog that will develop thyroid disease. For this reason you should make sure you, or your breeder, are testing all dogs before breeding.  It may even be a good idea to test dogs that you don't plan on breeding so that any instance of disease can be traced back to breeding pairs and eliminated.

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #23  1791  12.6%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

The Irish Setter has the same health problems and genetic concerns that most of the large breeds of dogs have. These include canine hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and gastric torsion, a bloating problem that can be controlled by feeding several small meals a day and limiting exercise after meals.

In addition some occasionally seen health conditions include growth problems (OCD) in puppies, megaesophagus, epilepsy, hemophilia A and Hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) which causes lameness in young dogs. Typically checking DNA of breeding pairs will reduce the likeliness of any of these conditions. A reputable breeder will always perform these tests before breeding the dogs, and purchasing a puppy from an established breeder is the best way to avoid these conditions.