The days between the December holidays and Easter can be a bleak time, indeed. It’s still cold, the sun goes down early, and there’s nothing exciting going on. There is only one respite: St. Patrick’s Day! The day when everyone is Irish, or at least pretends to be.  Green Dog Dental is celebrating the majestic Irish Setter for the month of March.


We assume the same goes for dogs. Every pooch wants to wave their green flag on St. Patty’s Day,  but did you know that there are a ton of breeds that actually originate in Ireland? From the giant Irish Wolfhound to the petite Glen of Imaal terrier, the Irish have been developing breeds to help them with herding, ratting, and protection for millennia. But perhaps the most regal of all the Irish breeds is the unmistakable Irish Setter.


With its flowing, red, coat and majestic appearance, the Irish Setter has become popular beyond the emerald shores. One of the first references of setters in the United Kingdom can be found in Caius's De Canibus Britannicus, published in the 1570’s, which describes them as quiet, loyal, and beautiful dogs. The Irish Setter lives up to those rave reviews, and is a biddable and attractive hunting companion and, more commonly nowadays, family pet.


Originally bred to hunt birds, the Irish Setter was brought to the United States in the 19th century, where it become a popular family pet. Documents from the time indicate that Irish Setters used to be red and white (likely because that made them easier to see in the field) but the red coat quickly became preference in the show ring and breeders began to breed for the solid red color.


The Irish Setter became so popular that they were owned by three United States Presidents: Richard Nixon, Harry Truman, and Ronald Reagan. Famous dog trainer Cesar Millan’s first dog was also an Irish Setter.  Learn more about Irish Setters from the Irish Setter Club of America or check out their official page at the American Kennel Club.