The function of setters is to find and locate game by quartering ground as it searches for the scent carried in the wind by birds such as grouse, partridge,pheasant
or snipe. It is fast and wide ranging.
The Irish Red and White setter should have an aristocratic, well proportioned, balanced appearance yet still be strong and powerful without lumber or coarseness. It does not have the racy appearance of its solid coloured cousin, as the Red and White setter is heavier in body, has a broader head and the peak at the back of his skull is less peaked. They are athletic, keen and intelligent.
There are subtle differences between each of the setter breeds. However, one of the main distinguishing features between the setter breeds is colour. As the breed name implies Irish Red and White setters must be red and white and it is an important feature of the breed. It is actually a white dog with red patches
The Irish Red and White setter can be the most devoted and affectionate of dogs making them ideal all-round family dogs. They are extremely intelligent and respond well to proper training but they do need to have plenty to occupy them. They thrive best in active families, where they have outlets for their high energy, and require space to run freely. Young puppies do not require much exercise but once they reach maturity the breed’s working instincts mean they require enough space to be able to run hard and fast for a long distance. Setters are usually good natured, very gentle and get on well with children and other dogs.
Irish Red and White Setters are generally a healthy breed. However, there are three known diseases in the breed which are monitored by the breed clubs : Canine Leucocyte Adhesion Deficiency, Von Willebrands Disease and Cataract. Breeders of Irish Red and White Setters continue to use screening for eye testings and DNA tests for vWD and CLAD.