Irish Red And White Setters need to live with people. This is Leslie with some of the pack a few years ago.
Here's our grandson twelve years ago, with our Titch. And again, twelve years later in 2012 with Eamon.
IRWS and children makes for a great combination, especially if introduced early. Parents will need to monitor though, just as they would expect to monitor two children. We don't want children nor puppies inadvertently hurt or traumatized.
Yes, the breed needs exercise. A big yard with friends to play with is ideal of course. Or a dog park, only if the canine friends are convivial. But puppies must self-exercise until joints are more stable, about 18 months. Pups need to rest when they become tired. No distance jogging for little ones.
But a game of fetch with a ropey or tennis ball, indoors or outdoors, is also a fun way to exercise a dog.
And more structured pursuits such as fieldwork, rally, agility, tracking, obedience, keep brains active too.
Artie tries agility and loves it.
If given adequate physical and mental exercise every day, the dog will be quiet in the house.
Artie on the couch. Cora, Maisey and Clodagh with the Boss and his book.
IR&WS's like to be in high places. Years ago we gave up trying to limit ours to one or two pieces of furniture. The dogs use all the furniture nowadays. The photo below is "Ben", who was visiting at our place.
This was our Tullia on her chair. She's the only one who was ever allowed on the kitchen chairs. Tullia was a Princess and did not take advantage of her privilege. Bertie is on the right, the grooming table a favourite place.
Ch. Shireoak Rainstorm, owned by Roger and Moira Taylor, visiting Harrisons. This is Annie's spot for lounging.
IR&WS's are occasionally found even higher up. Yes, another of the Caniscaelis, Trinity (that's her with the toy) and her friend Grace the Gordon Setter, once had to be removed from the roof!
Most are lapdogs. These dogs are Bramble and her grandson Bertie.
Many IR&WS's smile. This is our Fiona.
And this is Broo
They do like their toys, though they don't care whether the toys are expensive or not.
Connor Bertie also "talks, as have other dogs of ours.
And they do dig holes... sometimes only in their puppyhood...if you're lucky... Give them plenty of exercise, and if that doesn't suffice, try giving them their own area to dig in--perhaps a sandbox area just for their use.
a Tullia left, Eamon (age 6) centre, and Maisey right. I do seem to have plenty of "digging" photos...
Some (but not all) will be CARSICK as puppies. There are all sort of remedies. Some people swear by ginger, others find a tight garment on the body fixes the problem, still others use sea sickness pills given a couple of hours beforehand. We find the centre of the car is easier on their stomachs than the back.
The usual advice is to make trips short at first, ending in a fun destination such as a dog park. And give meals after you get home, not within two or three of hours of leaving. Of course we feel sorry for the puppy, and ourselves when we have to clean up the mess when Puppy throws up just as we stop the car ready to take Puppy out. But If all else fails, bear in mind that this too shall pass. Try to be phlegmatic about the situation, and keep taking Puppy everywhere, every day if possible. They always get over it.
Our dogs travel in crates for their safety and ours. The pups in the photo below are sitting on newspaper, easily disposable at our destination if necessary. Just in the past couple of days it's getting better. They still drool, but that is all.
Nuala and Moya are 3 months old. See the drool.
IR&WS's are a coated breed, though as adults, some have more than others. Most people, when they get a puppy, are encouraged to spay/neuter their pets. In principle, this is commendable. However, be aware that when you neuter, one of the changes you'll notice is coat texture. You may have been told that the IRWS has a shorter, less dense coat than the other setters. Most intact members of this setter family do have a "wash 'n' wear" coat. Once neutered though, chances are good the coat will become more profuse and may become cottony in texture. And that does hold the dirt. It will require regular thorough brushing to prevent matting and to keep it clean. You should also ask the breeder about grooming your IRWS yourself. Make sure you know the basics of trimming nails and tidying feet. Beyond that, ask what else you might be able to do with just a bath, brushes, and a good pair of scissors.
Tandy is on the left, seven years old and now spayed. We have just finished grooming and bathing her. She looks better, and she'll feel better too. Tidier feet will also collect less mud to track into the house.
Even at age 14,
Lainie looked tidy going places with us. We'd use a softer brush, used more frequently in order to keep her de-matted. As much as possible we tidied nails, feet and ears while she slept on the couch. No matter how young, or how old they are, they should always look attractive.
Also, it is important to note that dogs do shed. If you keep your R&W brushed out on a regular basis, the shed should be minimal.
As a rule, setters are not gratuitous barkers. They do bark when a squirrel climbs the tree next to the window, or the neighbour's cat struts arrogantly past, or a bird builds its nest just out of reach in a tree in their yard. They do bark when someone comes to the door, or their folks get out leashes ready for a walk. In other words, when they get excited about something, they bark.
About longevity: we all want our dogs to live as long as possible, and that is dependent upon a combination of genetics, environment, and luck. Age ten is acceptable, age twelve is better, and age thirteen to fifteen, assuming good health, would be better still.