Irish Setter

Posted in Gundog Group

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.



Must be racy, balanced and full of quality. In conformation, proportionate.

Most handsome, and refined in looks, tremendously active with untiring readiness to range and hunt under any conditions.

Demonstrably affectionate.

Head long and lean, not narrow or snipey, not coarse at the ears. Skull oval (from ear to ear) having plenty of brain room and well-defined occipital protuberance. From occiput to stop and from stop to tip of nose to be parallel and of equal length, brows raised showing stop. Muzzle moderately deep, fairly square at end. Jaws of nearly equal length, flews not pendulous, nostrils wide. Colour of nose dark mahogany, dark walnut or black.

Dark hazel to dark brown, not too large, preferably like an unshelled almond in shape, set level (not obliquely), under brows showing kind, intelligent expression.

Of moderate size, fine in texture, set on low, well back and hanging in a neat fold close to head.

Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Moderately long, very muscular but not too thick, slightly arched and free from all tendency to throatiness, setting cleanly without a break of topline into shoulders.

Shoulders fine at points, deep and sloping well back. Forelegs straight
and sinewy having plenty of bone, with elbows free, well let down and not inclined either in or out.

Chest as deep as possible, rather narrow in front. Ribs well sprung leaving plenty of lung room and carried well back to muscular loin, slightly arched. Firm straight topline gently sloping downwards from withers.

Wide and powerful. Hindlegs from hip to hock long and muscular, from hock to heel short and strong. Stifle and hock joints well bent and not inclined either in or out.

Small, very firm; toes strong, close together and arched.

Of moderate length proportionate to size of body, set on just below the level of the back, strong at root tapering to a fine point and carried as neatly as possible on a level with or below the back.

Free flowing, driving movement with true action when viewed from front or rear, and in profile, showing perfect co-ordination.

On head, front of legs and tips of ears, short and fine; on all other parts of body and legs of moderate length, flat and as free as possible from curl or wave. Feathers on upper portion of ears long and silky; on back of fore - and hindlegs long and fine. Fair amount of hair on belly, forming a nice fringe which may extend on to chest and throat. Feet well feathered between toes. Tail to have fringe of moderately long hair decreasing in length as it approaches point. All feathering to be as straight and flat as possible.

Rich chestnut with no trace of black. White on chest, throat, chin or toes, or small star on forehead or narrow streak or blaze on nose or face not to disqualify.

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect on the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only clinically and functionally healthy dogs with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

Before submitting any application the following requirements must have been fulfilled:
1. Positively identified by microchip or DNA;
2. Over twenty four (24) months of age;
3. A Kennel Union Breed Champion;
4. The registered name of the dog contains an affix (Kennel Name);
5. Hip X-rayed and scored under KUSA/SAVA scheme at or after 12 months of age for dysplasia and scored no worse than C2:C2;
6. Elbows X-rayed and scored under KUSA/SAVA scheme for dysplasia at or after 12 months of age and scored no worse than 0:1 /1:0;
7. Genetically clear (normal) of Canine Leucocyte Adhesion Deficiency (CLAD) either by DNA testing or by virtue of being the progeny of DNA tested parentage (inherited clear);
8. Genetically clear (normal) of Progressive Retinal Atrophy rcd 1(early onset PRA rcd 1) and Late Onset Progressive Atrophy rcd 4 (LOPRA rcd 4) either by DNA testing or by virtue of being the progeny of DNA tested parentage (inherited clear);
9. The holder of a valid SAVA Clinical Eye Examination Certificate (issued in the year of application for an ARC) stating ‘unaffected’ by any obvious inherited eye disease or other disorder.

FEDCO 12/2013
Amendment to ARC, FEDCO 12. 2016, effective 01.04.2017