RED SETTER – AKC STANDARD
The Irish Setter is an active, aristocratic bird dog,
rich red in color, substantial yet elegant in build.
Standing over two feet tall at the shoulder, the dog
has a straight, fine, glossy coat, longer on ears, chest,
tail and back of legs. Afield, the Irish Setter is a
swift-moving hunter; at home, a sweet natured, trainable
At their best, the lines of the Irish Setter so satisfy
in overall balance that artists have termed it the most
beautiful of all dogs. The correct specimen always exhibits
balance, whether standing or in motion. Each part of
the dog flows and fits smoothly into its neighboring
parts without calling attention to itself.
There is no disqualification as to size. The make and
fit of all parts and their overall balance in the animal
are rated more important. 27 inches at the withers and
a show weight of about 70 pounds is considered ideal
for the dog; the bitch 25 inches, 60 pounds. Variance
beyond an inch up or down is to be discouraged.
Proportion - Measuring from the breastbone
to rear of thigh and from the top of the withers to
the ground, the Irish Setter is slightly longer than
it is tall. Substance - All legs sturdy
with plenty of bone. Structure in the male reflects
masculinity without coarseness. Bitches appear feminine
without being slight of bone.
Long and lean, its length at least double the width
between the ears. Beauty of head is emphasized by delicate
chiseling along the muzzle, around and below the eyes,
and along the cheeks. Expression soft,
yet alert. Eyes somewhat almond shaped,
of medium size, placed rather well apart, neither deep
set nor bulging. Color, dark to medium brown. Ears
set well back and low, not above level of eye. Leather
thin, hanging in a neat fold close to the head, and
nearly long enough to reach the nose. The skull
is oval when viewed from above or front; very slightly
domed when viewed in profile. The brow is raised, showing
a distinct stop midway between the tip of the nose and
the well-defined occiput (rear point of skull). Thus
the nearly level line from occiput to brow is set a
little above, and parallel to, the straight and equal
line from eye to nose. Muzzle moderately
deep, jaws of nearly equal length, the underline of
the jaws being almost parallel with the top line of
the muzzle. Nose black or chocolate;
nostrils wide. Upper lips fairly square but not pendulous.
The teeth meet in a scissors bite in
which the upper incisors fit closely over the lower,
or they may meet evenly.
Neck moderately long, strong but not
thick, and slightly arched; free from throatiness and
fitting smoothly into the shoulders. Topline
of body from withers to tail should be firm and incline
slightly downward without sharp drop at the croup. The
tail is set on nearly level with the
croup as a natural extension of the topline, strong
at root, tapering to a fine point, nearly long enough
to reach the hock. Carriage straight or curving slightly
upward, nearly level with the back. Body
sufficiently long to permit a straight and free stride.
Chest deep, reaching approximately
to the elbows with moderate forechest, extending beyond
the point where the shoulder joins the upper arm. Chest
is of moderate width so that it does not interfere with
forward motion and extends rearwards to well sprung
ribs. Loins firm, muscular and of moderate
Shoulder blades long, wide, sloping well back, fairly
close together at the withers. Upper arm and shoulder
blades are approximately the same length, and are joined
at sufficient angle to bring the elbows rearward along
the brisket in line with the top of the withers. The
elbows moving freely, incline neither in nor out. Forelegs
straight and sinewy. Strong, nearly straight pastern.
Feet rather small, very firm, toes
arched and close.
Hindquarters should be wide and powerful with broad,
well developed thighs. Hind legs long and muscular from
hip to hock; short and perpendicular from hock to ground;
well angulated at stifle and hock joints, which, like
the elbows, incline neither in nor out. Feet as in front.
Angulation of the forequarters and hindquarters should
Short and fine on head and forelegs. On all other parts
of moderate length and flat. Feathering long and silky
on ears; on back of forelegs and thighs long and fine,
with a pleasing fringe of hair on belly and brisket
extending onto the chest. Fringe on tail moderately
long and tapering. All coat and feathering as straight
and free as possible from curl or wave. The Irish Setter
is trimmed for the show ring to emphasize the lean head
and clean neck. The top third of the ears and the throat
nearly to the breastbone are trimmed. Excess feathering
is removed to show the natural outline of the foot.
All trimming is done to preserve the natural appearance
of the dog.
Mahogany or rich chestnut red with no black. A small amount
of white on chest, throat or toes, or a narrow centered
streak on skull is not to be penalized.
At the trot the gait is big, very lively, graceful and
efficient. At an extended trot the head reaches slightly
forward, keeping the dog in balance. The forelegs reach
well ahead as if to pull in the ground without giving
the appearance of a hackney gait. The hindquarters drive
smoothly and with great power. Seen from front or rear,
the forelegs, as well as the hind legs below the hock
joint, move perpendicularly to the ground, with some
tendency towards a single track as speed increases.
Structural characteristics which interfere with a straight,
true stride are to be penalized.
The Irish Setter has a rollicking personality. Shyness,
hostility or timidity are uncharacteristic of the breed.
An outgoing, stable temperament is the essence of the