Well-proportioned and athletic, Irish Red and White Setters are powerful and good-natured. They are more heavily built than the Irish Setter. Aristocratic, keen and intelligent. Strong, powerful, well-balanced and proportioned without lumber. They display a kindly, friendly attitude, behind which is a discernible determination, courage and high spirit. The Irish Red and White Setter may first appear aloof, but warms to companionship quickly.
Colors: The base color is white with solid red patches (clear islands of red color), both colors show the maximum of life and bloom. Flecking but not roaning is permitted around the face and feet and up the foreleg as far as the elbow and up the hind leg as far as the hock. Roaning, flecking and mottling on any other part of the body is most objectionable and is to be heavily penalized. Black spots on the roof of the mouth indicate true Irish lineage. Coat: Long silky fine hair called "feathering" is present on the back of the fore and hind legs and on the outer ear flap, also a reasonable amount is on the flank extending onto the chest and throat forming a fringe. All feathering is straight, flat and not overly profuse. The tail of the Irish Red and White Setter is well feathered without "ropiness". On the head, front of legs and other parts of the body, the hair is short, flat and free from curl but a slight wave is permissible.
Temperament: Irish Red and White Setters are active, affectionate With Children: Yes, absolutely wonderful children's companion in every respect, from the first-time dog owner to seasoned experienced owners. With Pets: Yes, but will chase the cat. Thrive on companionship of their own kind but do perfectly well as the only pet.
Care and Exercise: Low-maintenance, regular brushing, nail and ear care. Regular grooming as a pup is a useful tool in the bonding experience, leading to trust when training begins.
Health Issues: As the breed has not been "overbred" but selectively and carefully bred by educated, dedicated people, health problems presently are at a minimum. Irish Red and White Setters are nevertheless screened for the usual genetic faults, and currently, due to responsible breeding practices, we enjoy few, if any, congenital problems.
History: The original Irish at the turn of the eighteenth to nineteenth century was parti-colored, red and white. Red setters were rare and it was not until about 1850 that the American dollar influenced the breeder into producing the whole colored variety. It seems that it was from this time that the parti-colored member started its slow decline. The "auld" Red &White was almost finished. It must have been about that time that the serious challenge to the red and white began, from being the dominant breed in the early nineteenth century to 1875 where at Rotunda Gardens in Dublin 66 Irish entered, 23 being parti-colored and the following year at Cork there were 96 entries, 26 were red and white. For a good many years the red and white had not been as popular as the whole colored specimen and became nearly extinct except for the few enthusiasts who kept the breed alive. The Rev. Noble Houston from County Down was an enthusiast of the breed and it is possible that it was he who kept the breed alive. In the early 1940's an attempt was made at the revival of the breed and it is from here that present owners can trace their pedigrees. The Irish Red&White Club was formed in 1944 in Ireland. The Irish Red&White Setter Club of America, Inc. was formed in 1984. Some of the important foundation lines are Glenkeen, Winnowing, Knockalla, Meudon, Mounteagle, Knockane and most recently Autumnwood and Redwing. With this basic start and with the enthusiasm of the exhibitors today, this ancient Irish breed should never again reach the point where extinction is a possibility where it was 11 years ago. Mrs.Cuddy, who kept the breed alive with foresight and knowledge from 1948 till the late 70's, told us in 1977 it would take 10 years to get the breed established, 10 more to get uniformity and a further 10 to get people to accept the fact that they are not Red Setters in a parti-colored coat, but a separate, distinct breed unto itself with a proud and rich legacy.