Nine Fun Facts About Irish Setters!
Here’s Nine Fun Facts About Irish Setters!
Did you know they weren’t always all red?
Irish setters are well-known for their solid red coats, but this wasn’t always the case. Originally bred for hunting, their owners once preferred Irish setters to be red and white. Why you ask, because that color pattern made the dogs easier to see in the field. As the breed appeared more and more often in dog shows rather than on the hunt, solid-red dogs became more fashionable.
They mature slower than other dog breeds!
Irish setters are notably slow to mature, which means that their physical growth normally outpaces their behavioral development. The result is young, full-grown dogs that still possess a healthy amount of “puppy energy.” Over time, Irish setters mature into intelligent dogs that fits their physical growth. Beware though because some still maintain a little stubborn streak.
Irish Setters in-show are distinguishable from field Irish Setters!
Though one breed, Irish setters that compete in dog shows often differ from those used for hunting. Show dogs are typically larger and heavier with thicker, more lustrous coats. Gun dogs are smaller and sleeker to facilitate agility in the field.
The first champion Irish Setter in the U.S. was named Elcho!
Charles H. Turner brought an Irish Setter named Elcho to America in 1870, just as stateside interest in the breed was beginning. In 1876, Elcho became the first Irish Setter to win a championship in the U.S. He went on to sire 197 puppies and was integral in the establishment of the breed in the country.
Did you know a bus company uses them as its mascot and logo?
America has its Greyhound Lines and accompanying Greyhound logo, while Ireland has Bus Eireann (Irish Bus), which features an Irish Setter mascot. According to Bus Eireann, its canine logo represents the “friendly, reliable and fast way in which the company aims to serve its customers.”
More than a few U.S. presidents have owned them!
At least three American presidents are known to have owned Irish Setters during their tenures in the White House. Harry Truman owned one named Mike. Ronald Reagan had one named Peggy. But arguably the most famous White House Irish Setter was Richard Nixon’s beloved King Timahoe, or Tim for short. He was one of several dogs of various breeds the Nixon family owned.
Cesar Millan’s first dog was an Irish Setter!
TV acclaimed “Dog whisperer” Cesar Millan is known for working with his two pit bulls, the late Daddy, and Junior. But the first dog he ever owned was an Irish Setter. A doctor neighbor of Millan’s owned an Irish Setter, and gave Millan a puppy from the dog’s litter. Millan named the pup Saluki.
One of the Beach Boys Owned one That Inspired a Hit Song!
During the band’s heyday, the late Beach Boys guitarist/singer Carl Wilson owned an Irish Setter named Shannon. Shannon died in the mid-1970s. Soon after, singer-songwriter Henry Gross penned the song “Shannon” about the dog’s death. “Shannon” was a hit single for Gross, and went gold in the U.S. and Canada.
The Disney movie ‘Big Red’ is about an Irish Setter!
In the ’60s, Disney produced several popular live-action animal adventures like “The Incredible Journey” and “Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar.” One of these movies, “Big Red,” is about a wild-hearted Irish Setter who rebels against the show-dog lifestyle his owner wants for him. Big Red befriends a young boy who understands the dog’s independent spirit and the classic Disney plot ensues.