Irish Setter vs Golden Retriever: How Are They Related And Different?

Are you thinking about getting a family dog for yourself and your family? Are you considering of getting an Irish Setter or a Golden Retriever? This article will focus about the Irish Setter and Golden Retriever breeds. How are they related and different? Which of these two breeds is a better family dog? In many ways, Irish Setters and Golden Retrievers are quite similar dogs, but there are certain differences you should keep in mind before you get one. By reading this article, you will learn more about the Irish Setter and Golden Retriever.

Irish Setter vs Golden Retriever

Irish Setter

Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is also known as Red Setter or Irish Red Setter. This dog breed originated in Ireland. The American Kennel Club recognizes the Irish Setter as a show-bred dog.

Irish Setters began as gundogs in their native Ireland, and the dog breed quickly gained popularity.


Irish setters were originally bred as hunting dogs.

The Irish Setter breed was developed for hunting purposes. They hunt upland gamebirds, specifically for locating, setting, and pointing them. They are a tireless, versatile hunter who thrives in both wet and dry moorland environments. Because they have a great sense of smell, the Irish setters are able to locate the direction in which the bird is hidden.

The Field Dog Stud Book was published in 1874, and and the United States’ first dog registry was established. It is the oldest pure-bred registry in the United States. Dogs that were produced from different breeds’ sires and dams may be registered at the time. During this time, Llewellin Setter was developed using blood lines from the Lavarack breeding of English Setter and, among other breeds, bloodline from Irish Setters. The red Irish Setter became a favorite in the dog show ring around the same time.

The American Kennel Club registered Irish Setters in a variety of colors in the late 1800s, but not all of them were red.

Irish Setter Appearance


  • Male Irish Setter: 23 to 27 inches
  • Female Irish Setter: 21 to 25 inches
  • Male Irish Setter: 65 to 75 lbs
  • Female Irish Setter: 55 to 65 lbs

The coat of Irish Setters is medium-length, smooth, and reddish, mahogany, or chestnut in color. These dogs have double coat. To keep the coat in good shape and mat-free, it needs regular brushing. These dogs are deep chested with tiny waist.

Litter Size

Irish Setter can have 7 to 10 puppies.

Life Expectancy

Irish Setter’s average life expectancy is roughly 11 to 12 years.

Irish Setter Temperament

Irish Setter Temperament

Irish Setters are a highly playful breed. They get along well with other animals and children, and they love to greet people. They are genuinely loyal and very affectionate dogs. In comparison to other dog breeds, the Irish Setter is a sensitive dog breed.

The Irish Setter makes one of the best family dogs.

Because they are a hunting dog, small animals may be an issue for this breed. Despite the fact that they do well with home pets, some Irish Setters may have issues with cats, and they may be too rowdy with little children. It is essential to properly socialize your Irish Setter puppy regardless of the breed’s temperament to avoid future problems.

They are an active breed, and needs long walks, enough exercise and off-lead running in wide, open spaces. Irish Setters tend to play deaf, they should be taught how to master the recall before allowing them off-lead.

If your Irish Setter doesn’t get enough exercise, he’ll get bored, destructive, or even hyperactive. The Irish Setter should not be left alone in the backyard for long periods of time.

Irish Setters are not well-suited as guard dogs since they are not a naturally aggressive breed. The barking of the Irish Setter ranges from none to very little.

There is a tendency for Irish Setters to have separation anxiety if they are left alone by their owners because they have such a strong attachment with their owners.

Training Irish Setter

A reward based training should only be done. Never teach your Irish Setter to be scared of you.

Irish Setters are intelligent dogs and are very easy to train. However, the owner must be firm and consistent in teaching these kind of dogs because they are stubborn and independent minded. They must be trained while still young. As early as possible, bad behavior should be changed.

Training sessions should be brief and pleasant, around 3 to 7 minutes a few times a day, and as they improve and mature, you may gradually increase the length of the sessions.

Irish Setter Health Problems

Generally, Irish Setters tend to be healthy dogs. However, just like other dogs, they are prone to many health issues. Some of the health issues are listed below.

  • Hip dysplasia– a health condition affecting the skeletons. Hip dysplasia can lead to osteoarthritis and pain.
  • Cancer
  • Progressive retinal atrophy– a dog’s genetic condition that causes gradual blindness over a period of months or years.
  • Epilepsy– seizures
  • Hypothyroidism -a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormone. This can be controlled by medication.
  • Gastric dilatation volvulus- also known as bloat. This is common to large dog breeds. It is advised to let the dog rest for 40 minutes to one hour to avoid bloat.
  • Osteosarcoma– a cancerous tumor in the bone.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever is also known as Flat-coated Retriever, Golden Yellow or Golden Retriever. This dog breed originated in Scotland.

The Golden Retriever is a British breed dog of medium size. It has a stunning golden coat and a calm and friendly attitude. In the Western world, the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular companion dog breeds, and it frequently ranks among the top ten dog breeds in terms of number of registrations in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia. When it comes to learning new commands and being attentive, the Golden Retriever is one of the best dogs in the world. Golden Retrievers are high energy dogs.

At dog shows, a Golden Retriever is a regular competitor. It is possible to train the dogs as therapy and guide dogs, and they can also compete in obedience events and other dog sports.


In the 19th century, the Golden Retriever was developed in Scotland by Sir Dudley Marjoribanks, later known as Baron Tweedmouth. He bred Flat-coated Retrievers with Tweed Water Spaniels, as well as Red Setter, Labrador Retriever, and Bloodhound crossbreeds. The Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1913, and it expanded throughout the world during the interwar period.

Golden Retriever Appearance


  • Male Golden Golden Retriever: 22–24 inches
  • Female Golden Retriever: 20–22 inches
  • 55 to 75 lb
  • Flat or wavy double coat with good feathering, dense water-resistant undercoat. It can be any shade of gold or cream.
  • The double coat is a distinctive and eye-catching feature. The forelegs have good feathering and its outer coat is long, flat, or wavy, while the undercoat is dense and provides weather protection.

A Golden Retriever breed has a huge black nose, a wide and strong muzzle, and ears that are hanging with a slight fold and moderate in size. This dog breed also has a broad head and well-defined stop, with dark eyes set well apart. The neck is muscular and fairly long with loose-fitting skin, the shoulders well laid-back and long-bladed, and the body deep through the chest with well-sprung ribs. It also has a muscular neck and long, loose-fitting skin. The shoulders are long-bladed and well laid-back, with with well-sprung ribs and a deep body through the chest. The forelegs of a Golden Retriever are straight, and the hind legs are powerful, with well bent stifles and muscular thighs.

Litter size

Usually, Golden Retrievers can have 4 to 12 puppies.

Life Expectancy

Golden Retriever’s average life expectancy is roughly 12 to 13 years.

Golden Retriever Temperament

Golden Retriever Temperament

Golden retrievers are good natured, intelligent, and affectionate dogs. Along with most retriever breeds, they are normally calm and willing to please their owner. They are also very easy to train. They are usually not the most sensitive dog breed, and they have an average emotional level. Also, Golden Retrievers tend to chew, play-bite or nip people.

This type of breed is well-known for being being awesome family dogs and companions, as well as being tolerant of children, and willing to accompany any family member in various activities.

Golden Retrievers are devoted to their owners and are kind, loving, and affectionate pets.

Training Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers were developed as hunting dogs as well. They are willing to be trained, and loves to please and their owners. These dogs want their master to be happy, so they are willing to learn new commands and tricks. Although compared to Irish Setters, Golden Retrievers are a bit challenging to train, however they are much easier than other dog breeds.

Golden retrievers have a lot of energy and requires a couple of hours of daily exercise. Exercises such as walks, trips to the park, fetch games and training are recommended.

Early socialization is required if you get a Golden Retriever puppy. Training your Golden Retriever from an early age will help you and your dog establish a rapport, keep your dog and your belongings safe, and make you and your dog happier at the same time.

There are various ways of training dogs, but the most effective ones is positive reinforcement. Basically, you praise or give a treat to your dog if you see that your pup peed outside, or if you see that he greeted another dog in a friendly way.

You also need to be a firm and consistent handler. Teach one trick or command at a time, and keep lessons brief, basic, and rewarding. Effective training should be enjoyable for you and your pup.

Golden Retriever Health Problem

Generally, Golden Retrievers are a healthy breed. However, just like other dogs, some Golden Retrievers are also prone to health problems. These health conditions are listed below.

  • Allergies– From food to pollen, Golden Retrievers can be sensitive to a wide range of things. Have your Golden Retriever checked by a veterinarian if he is constantly licking his paws or rubbing his face.
  • Bloat
  • Cataracts- Cataracts in dogs are characterized by cloudy spots on the lens of the eye that can develop over time. They can occur at any age and rarely damage vision, some can cause vision loss.
  • Elbow Dysplasia– Large-breed dogs are prone to this genetic disease. It is considered to be caused by the three bones that make up the dog’s elbow growing at different speeds, producing joint laxity.
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease- It is a blood disorder. Inability of the blood to clot, thus the dog is prone to bleeding. A dog with this condition must not be bred.

Grooming Irish Setter And Golden Retriever

The nails of Irish Setters must be cut and coat should be brushed several times a week. You should brush it at least 4 times a week. Your Irish Setter’s coat will grow unhealthy, knotted, and shed all over if you are unable to do it. Golden Retrievers require regular nail trimming. You also need to brush their coat two to three times a week.

You will have to clean the ears of Golden Retriever and Irish Setter on a regular basis. Bacteria gets trapped within their ears because of the fur that drapes over them, resulting in ear infections. Check and clean your dog’s ears at least once a week.

Feeding Irish Setter And Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever and Irish Setter requires high protein and high fat diet. This will provide them the energy they require to keep moving. These two breed should be fed roughly 3 cups of high-quality dry dog food every day. The type of dog food you buy has an impact as well. The more nutritious your dog’s diet is, the better it will be.

Make sure to measure the food of your dog, and feed him two times a day to keep your dog healthy.

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