Irish Setter

Description:
The body of the Irish setter has a lot of substance but is elegant at the same time. This dog is the picture perfect look of an aristocratic dog; it has a rich mahogany colored coat. The height of the male is around sixty-eight centimeters and in the case of the female around five centimeters less. The weight of a male is around thirty-five kilograms and around five kilograms less for the females. The coat of this dog is semi long, except on the top part of its head and its hind legs where its hair should be short and fine. The head is lengthy and clean and its beauty is brought out by the way it is delicately chiseled along its muzzle, eyes, and cheekbones. The skull should have an oval shape, with a clean occipital and very slightly rounded when seen on the side. The neck is moderately long but should not be thick and should not have any dewlap. The tail is full of fringes of long hair, inserted in a way so that it is leveled with the back, and goes down to the end of the tail. The body is longish as well as the chest; the lumbar zone should have a moderate length. The hindquarters should be well angled and balanced so as to facilitate the dog's movements when it runs. The legs should be straight and parallel and the feet should be small and firm.

Ideal owner:
Having resisted a wave of popularity, the Irish setter has stood back on its four legs very firmly and is a very good choice for a dog as it is very affectionate and sweet for being a sporting dog. It is elegant and good looking, acts like a total gentleman, and prefers living in the country rather than in the city. Exercise is vital for this dog to have a balanced character. This dog requires of a firm education and training so as to convince it of what is right and what isn't, and to let him know who is who. It is a very affectionate companion for children and it loves taking walks out in the free air or going out in the evening etc.

Growth:
The size of the liter varies considerably staring from one to twelve. Obviously the weight of the puppies varies as well ranging from 225 to over 570 grams. The color of the puppies also varies, anywhere from dark mahogany to light tawny. The color of the coat usually changes and its true adult color will not be appreciated until it changes into its adult coat. Generally this breed takes a while to mature, both physically and psychically, and this process might take up to three years. Sexual maturity also takes some time; some female Irish setters do not go into heat until they are three years old. There can be a noticeable difference of growth in those that are work dogs or companion dogs; work dogs are usually smaller and grow slower, but they mature before. Irish setters need to be fed a special and prescribed diet and they need to get a lot of exercise during their growth period. It is important the owner is aware to not allow it to over do it with the exercise but to make sure it does get enough. Not too much, not too little.

General health:
The care its coat and ears require are not excessive but are very important, since skin and ear infections are frequent in this breed. Those that are used to breed should have passed a personality test and the puppies will need to get trained from the moment they are puppies. The Irish setter became tremendously popular during the seventies and during that time and after a few problems health and character problems showed up. However, a lot of these problems have been eliminated during the last years. Hip dysphasia still affects this breed, and it will be necessary to get it checked up. Other common problems that affect this dog are bone problems such as osteo dystrophy, and rickets, which are things that will show up during the dogs growing stage. Ocular problems, especially cataracts, even juvenile ones, make ocular exams a must. If you are looking into getting one make sure to check the tail and see if there are any splits on it, which are birth defects and can be detected right away. Hypothyroidism also occurs as well as reproductive problems, bloat, and tumors. It is also known that Irish setters are sensitive to penicillin and prepared chemicals, including antibiotics, so make sure your veterinarian is aware of this. Veterinarians inform of an abnormality of the vascular ring. The life span of an Irish setter is around ten to twelve years.

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