The Irish Red and White Setter is an ancient dog breed with roots tracing back to Ireland. Originally, both red and red and white setters were common in the country. The breed's history can be traced as far back as the 17th century when they were primarily used as gundogs for hunting and retrieving game birds. However, by the early 20th century, the solid red Irish Setter gained popularity, causing the numbers of the Red and White Setter to decline significantly. In the 1940s, dedicated breed enthusiasts began efforts to preserve and revive the Irish Red and White Setter, leading to its resurgence.
The gene pool of the Irish Red and White Setter is considered to be relatively small, so genetic screening for inherited disorders is important to help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs, as well as assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care. This breed is prone to hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and eye disorders such as progressive retinal atrophy and posterior polar (back of the eye) cataracts. They can also be affected by globoid cell leukodystrophy (Irish setter type), as well as inherited blood disorders such as von Willebrand Disease and Canine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency.
The Irish Red and White Setter is known for its friendly and affectionate nature. They are highly social dogs that enjoy the company of their family and do well with children and other pets. As a gundog, they have an instinctual drive to hunt and retrieve, making them energetic and enthusiastic during playtime and outdoor activities. Early socialization and training are crucial to ensure they grow into well-mannered and obedient companions.
An Irish Red and White Setter named "Caractacus Potts" holds the Guinness World Record for the largest number of tricks performed by a dog. He showcased an impressive repertoire of 105 tricks!
The Irish Red and White Setter has a beautiful, silky coat that is medium-length and feathered. The coat is flat, straight, and water-resistant, helping them cope with various weather conditions during their hunting activities.
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