Although similar in appearance, the Red and White Irish Setter is a distinct breed and not just a separate color of the Irish Setter, though the Irish Setter was most likely developed out of the Red and White Setter strain. More athletic than racy, the Red and White is less flashy and showy than their red cousins. The single coat has a white base with patches of chestnut. Some speckling is acceptable on the head and hind legs. The coat has light feathering on the ears, neck, chest, legs, and tail.
The Red and White Irish Setter was documented as early as the 17th Century in Ireland. It was used for hunting birds. Originally, most of the Irish Setters were red and white, and the all-red versions were rare. The red-coated Irish Setter became more popular and diverged into their own breed and the less-showy Red and White Irish Setter was in danger of becoming extinct by the end of the 19th Century. A few fanciers implemented a breeding program starting in the 1920s to save the breed. The breed is still considered rare with only about 500 residing in North America.
The Red and White Irish Setter is mischievous and independent, intelligent and stubborn, anxious to please and yet wanting to have its way. Hunting instinct is strong and the breed enjoys a fine reputation as a reliable companion in the field. Irish Red and White Setters are energetic, affectionate, loving, high-spirited and full of energy. They have no guarding instincts, get along with other pets and are good with children. His outgoing and stable personality make him a favorite with families. Sensitive to tone of voice, this dog needs a calm, confident human pack leader for best results.
Breed Club Links: Irish Red and White Setter Association of America
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Photo courtesy of Ordinary Guy.