Irish Setters – Temperament and Personality

As owner of a private medical practice in Oklahoma City, OK, William D. Jones, MD, focuses his professional attention on occupational and preventive medicine. In his free time, William D. Jones, MD, serves as show secretary with the Irish Setter Club of OK.

Originally bred as a hunting dog in Ireland, the Irish setter developed with the keen ability to identify and track prey. It stands out as a highly athletic breed and requires vigorous exercise on a daily basis. Exceedingly intelligent and mentally active as well, the Irish setter thrives best with plenty of company and activity to keep it busy. Setters are typically very affectionate dogs and enjoy playing with children, though their enthusiastic greeting style may intimidate shyer visitors.

The mental capacities of the Irish setter also make it highly trainable, though willful in the face of a less-than-confident owner. It will respond to firmness and willful commands, though harshness is likely to have the opposite effect. Setters expect their owners to remain in a position of authority at all times, even on a lead, so it prefers to walk beside or behind the human when leashed. However, setters thrive best when they have the opportunity to run freely in a safe, enclosed area.