Irish Red and White Setter History
Some dog breeds were more or less recognized a century ago, and they have changed a lot in only a few generations worth of breeding. The ancestors of modern Irish Red and White Setters are actually a fairly large part of the history of the United Kingdom. The ancestral versions of Irish Red and White Setters were helping their owners hunt more effectively four hundred years ago, and they can continue to do so today.
Irish Red and White Setters demonstrate the fact that many hunting dogs are actually highly specialized. Many people think of hunting differently than that. When plenty of people go hunting, they will bring back almost anything that they can catch, and they will expect their hunting dogs to help them with all sorts of game. It isn’t surprising that many professional hunters and sport hunters will typically have a veritable pack of hunting dogs. They can take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of the different dogs within their packs.
Irish Red and White Setters and Specialized Hunting
Irish Red and White Setters are particularly good at hunting game birds. They were, in fact, bred for this purpose, and those specialized instincts are still part of them after so many years. Hunting game birds is different from hunting deer, for instance. The widespread availability of game birds in the United Kingdom helped make Irish Red and White Setters particularly useful hunting dogs. They’re great for capturing guinea fowl, quail, partridges, pheasants, and similar types of birds. These kinds of birds are not as common throughout the United States and other areas, but hunters that live outside of the United Kingdom can still get a lot of use out of their Irish Red and White Setters.
Irish Red and White Setters have been popular dogs throughout British history, but there was a time when the breed was on the verge of disappearing altogether. Dedicated breeders managed to save the breed from veritable extinction, but Irish Red and White Setters are still nowhere near as popular as many other dogs today. They’re barely in the top hundred in terms of the most popular dogs, which puts the breed in a more precarious situation than many of their canine counterparts.
However, the strong history behind Irish Red and White Setters is going to work in their favor. Plenty of people no doubt see them as important to the history of the United Kingdom, and plenty of people would work to preserve the breed on that basis alone.
Irish Red and White Setters and Looks
Irish Red and White Setters have a very distinctive and pleasing appearance, which is certain an asset of theirs. Their bodies are primarily white, but they will usually have large red patches throughout their fur coats, making them vaguely reminiscent of red-headed humans. A lot of Irish Red and White Setters even look like they’re vaguely freckled, since they sometimes have a pattern of small red sports in their facial region. Their markings will give them a certain degree of charm to a lot of people.
Irish Red and White Setters are fairly medium in terms of size, although there’s obviously going to be a lot of individual variation. Their fur is fairly long and prone to getting tangled, so it’s going to require regular grooming if owners want to keep their dogs looking appropriately tidy. Dogs with long fur like Irish Red and White Setters are more prone to getting parasites as well, particularly if they work and hunt outdoors.
Since they hunt game birds, they will be prone to getting moist coats that might predispose them to skin problems as well, since thick and long fur tends to retain moisture effectively. Their owners are going to need to inspect them on a regular basis in order to keep their Irish Red and White Setters healthy and safe.
Keeping Irish Red and White Setters
Irish Red and White Setters are very active dogs. They were bred to be hunting dogs, and they need to work in order to achieve real satisfaction. People who live in cities aren’t going to be able to get these dogs the exercise that they need, so only rural or suburban people should own them.