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Irish Red and White Setters are working dogs who are still primarily used for their abilities in the field. They are large dogs who weigh between 50 and 75 pounds, but they are slightly smaller than their cousin the Irish Setter. Irish Red and White Setters are hard-working dogs who make friendly, loyal family companions in active homes where they receive plenty of exercise, praise and grooming.
Irish Red and White Setters are courageous hunters with boundless energy and determination, especially in the field. They are happiest when they are working outdoors and receiving praise for their ability in the field. These high-energy dogs will expect to have plenty of play time and opportunities to run outdoors each day.
Irish Red and White Setters retain most of their natural instincts as setters, which makes them calm and focused on their surroundings. They are not effusive, but they are affable around strangers, other dogs and children. They have a desire to get along with everyone and an innate urge to please. Training them tends to be fairly easy, because they are natural learners, but owners must be firm and emphasize positive behaviors through praise and rewards.
Irish Red and White Setters have red and white coats, of course. The majority of the body is white, with red patches on the back, side, ears, muzzle or head. Their long, silky coats are feathered with flat, smooth ornamentation along the legs, tail, underbelly and ears.
Show and companion dogs can get by without as much trimming, but they do need to be brushed twice a week with a metal comb and a large bristle brush to remove tangles and debris.
With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.
The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but it's generally best to bathe dogs with silky coats more often. The coat should end up fresh smelling, light and shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry.
Irish Red and White Setters are shown in their natural state, without any trimming or extensive grooming. Field dogs who are bred to work generally have shorter coats that can be trimmed and clipped, especially around the feet and face, to make it easier for them to move quickly through the field and underbrush. Show and companion dogs can get by without as much trimming, but they do need to be brushed twice a week with a metal comb and a large bristle brush to remove tangles and debris.
Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience. As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.
Pay special attention to your Irish Red and White Setter's ears. Brush the feathering carefully and check for infection weekly.
Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.
Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.