Irish Red and White Setter
its name, the Irish Red and White Setter is a distinct breed, not just a
different colored version of the Irish Setter. Bred primarily for the
field, they should be strong, powerful and athletic, with a keen and
intelligent attitude. The coat’s base color is white with solid red
A Look Back
in Ireland since the 17th century, the Red and White is thought to be
the older of the two Irish Setters. However, due to the overwhelming
popularity of its solid red cousin, and separate breeding of the two
breeds, the Irish Red and White Setter was nearly extinct by the end of
the 19th century. During the 1920s, efforts were made to revive the
Irish Red and White Setter and by the 1940s, the breed began to reemerge
Right Breed for You?
spirited and determined, the breed’s energy in the field carries over
to the home, so Red and White Setters require regular exercise. Their
kind and friendly attitudes make them great family dogs. They need
minimal brushing or trimming – owners prize a natural appearance and the
breed tends to carry less coat than the Irish Setter.
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 be encouraged to judge
the exhibits chiefly from the working standpoint. The appearance is
strong and powerful, well balanced and proportioned without lumber;
athletic rather than racy with an aristocratic, keen and intelligent
Size, Proportion & Substance
are 24.5 - 26 inches tall; bitches are 22.5 - 24 inches tall. The
length of the body from point of shoulders to base of tail is not
shorter than the height at the top of the withers. Bone is moderate in
proportion to size.
- The gentle expression displays a kindly, friendly attitude. The eyes
are dark hazel or dark brown; round, with slight prominence but without
haw. The ears are set level with the eyes, well back, lying close to the
head. Skull - The skull is broad in proportion to the body and domed without showing an occipital protuberance, as in the Irish Setter. Stop - The stop is distinct, but not exaggerated. Muzzle - The muzzle is clean and square. The jaws are of equal or nearly equal length. Bite - A scissors bite is ideal; a level bite is acceptable.
Neck, Topline & Body
Neck - The neck is moderately long, very muscular, but not too thick, slightly arched, free from all tendency to throatiness. Topline
- The topline of the dog, from the withers to the croup should be
level, not sloping. The croup should be well rounded and sloping
slightly downward to the tailset. Body - The body is strong & muscular with a deep chest and well sprung ribs. The back is very muscular and powerful. Tail
- The tail is of moderate length, not reaching below the hock, strong
at the root, tapering to fine point; no appearance of ropiness and
carried level with or below the back.
Forequarters Angulation - The shoulders are well laid back. Elbow - The elbows are free, turning neither in nor out. Legs - The forelegs are straight and sinewy, well boned, with strong pasterns. Feet - The feet are close-knit with plenty of feathering between toes. Hindquarters - The hindquarters are wide and powerful. Hind Legs
- The legs are of strong bone, well muscled and sinewy. The thighs,
from hip to hock, are long and muscular. The stifle is well bent. The
hock is well let down and turns neither in nor out, hocks are of
moderate length and strong. Feet - The feet are close-knit with plenty of feathering between toes.
silky fine hair called “Feathering” is present on the back of the fore
and hind legs and on the outer ear flap, also a reasonable amount is on
the flank extending onto the chest and throat forming a fringe. All
feathering is straight, flat and not overly profuse. The tail is well
feathered. On the head, front of legs and other parts of the body the
hair is short, flat and free from curl but a slight wave is permissible.
base color is white with solid red patches (clear islands of red
color); both colors show the maximum of life and bloom. Flecking but not
roaning is permitted around the face and feet and up the foreleg as far
as the elbow and up the hind leg as far as the hock. Roaning, flecking
and mottling on any other part of the body is most objectionable and is
to be heavily penalized.
moving at the trot, the gait is long striding, very lively, graceful
and efficient. The head is held high, and the hindquarters drive
smoothly and with great power. The forelegs reach well ahead and remain
low. Seen from front or rear, the forelegs and hind legs below the hock
joint move perpendicularly to the ground with no crossing or weaving.
trimming of an Irish Red and White Setter should be kept to a minimum,
maintaining a neat natural appearance and not to be shaved with
clippers. Light trimming with thinning shears is allowed. Under the
ears, tail, pasterns and hocks may be trimmed for neatness. Feet may be
cleared of hair including the bottom and around the edges leaving hair
between the toes. No other trimming is allowed including the whiskers
which shall remain intact.
They display a kindly, friendly attitude, behind which is discernible determination, courage and high spirit.
departure from the foregoing standard is considered a fault and the
seriousness of the fault is in exact proportion to its degree.
Approved August 8, 2006
Effective June 27, 2007
IN 500 BC, Carthaginians
landed in what is now called Spain. They saw many rabbits which in their native
tongue were called SPAN and dogs chasing them became known as Spaniels
What does this
have to do with IRWS?
were taken to many parts of the world and developed into different land and Water
Spaniels . One of the land spaniels was called a setting spaniel. They were
called this before people hunted with guns and used nets to capture game birds.
The dogs would SET or lie down while the hunter tossed the net over both the
dogs and the birds. This was later shortened to Setter
The IRWS has
been known for centuries and is not a new variety. It is believed by many to be
the original Irish Setter. When dog shows came into being the dogs with more
red were favored for the show ring. Over time the solid red Setter became more
popular as a show dog and the R&Ws were used mostly as personal hunting
companions in Ireland over the next several hundred years
After World War
1 the breed was so scarce many thought they were actually extinct. Through the
efforts of a few men in Ireland a few specimens were found and collected to
revive the breed. Over the next few years litters were produced and interest
grew in the breed again. In 1944 the first recorded breed club was formed and
once again IRWS were seen again in the show ring. However fashions changed and
once again the breed was in decline. In the 1970's Numbers again were low
and with the guidance of the Irish Kennel Club judicious crosses with Red
Setters who’s pedigrees could trace back to R&W dogs were allowed to
increase the gene pool.
modern day imports into the US were in the mid 1980's. The numbers have
steadily increased since that time. In 1997 the IRWSA was formed. In 2005 the
IRWSA was named parent club by the American Kennel Club. The breed was granted
MISC status in 2007. We received full AKC recognition in January 2009 and were
admitted to the Sporting Group.
are around 1100 AKC registered IRWS in the US.
The IRWS is
bred primarily as 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
be encouraged to judge the exhibits chiefly from the working standpoint. The
appearance is strong and powerful, well balanced and proportioned without
lumber: athletic rather than racy with an aristocratic, keen and intelligent
1/2- 26 inches bitches are 22 1/2 -24 inches at the withers.
expression with dark brown eyes, skull broad in proportion to the body. ears
should be set level with the eyes. Muzzle is clean and square
moderately long set into well laid back shoulders. Top line should be level
from the withers to the croup and the croup should be well rounded. Tail when
in action should be carried level with or below the back.
The IRWS should
be a brilliant white with clearly separated islands of red. Flecking is allowed
on the face, the feet and on the forelegs as far up as the elbow and on the
hind leg as far up as the hock. Roaning, flecking and mottling is discouraged
on any other part of the body.
be lively, graceful and efficient.
Grooming is to
be kept at a minimum. No clippering is allowed. Light trimming with thinning
shears is allowed under the ears, under the tail. The feet can be rounded and
hocks tidied for neatness...Whiskers are to remain intact.
The IRWS should
display a kindly, friendly attitude showing a high spirit.
Copy Right February 2011