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Irish Setter

The origin of the Irish Setter is not known, although it is believed that it evolved from a combination of land spaniels. These were imported to Ireland from Spain when the Spaniards helped the Irish in their rebellion against the British. It should be noted that this breed (which was established as early as 1800) was not originally a solid colour, but a combination of red and white.

Through selective breeding the rich, mahogany red colour we know today was derived. Irish Setters were originally used to ‘set’ game, hence the name ‘setters’. They found upland birds and crouched down close to their find so that the hunter could come and throw a net over dogs and birds. When firearms were introduced, this practice was discontinued, as the hunter wanted a dog that pointed, flushed game and hunted with an upright stance.

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