The Irish Setter was bred as a Gun Dog, but in general has lost its ability to hunt now. They are very boisterous dogs and can sometimes be a bit silly. They have a lovely nature though and need regular exercise and grooming. The breed would suit most families, but probably not families with really little children as these dogs need a fair bit of attention, which is sometimes difficult with tiny children.
Like other sporting breeds such as the Pointer, the English Springer Spaniel, the English Setter, the German Shorthaired Pointer, the Hungarian Vizsla and the Gordon Setter, these dogs enjoy frequent company with their master. They are not breeds for people who are going to be at work all day and want a dog that will be happy alone in the back yard.
The average lifespan is around 11 years, but they can live for up to 14 years with the right diet, genetics and lifestyle.
They usually grow to about 60-70 cm in height and weigh between 25 and 32 kgs in peak condition.