The Irish Red and White Setter is a breed of dog. As with all setters, it is classified as a gundog in the UK and is included in the sporting group in America and Canada. It is virtually identical in use and temperament to the related Irish Setter, as well as the Gordon and English setters, but is more often found as a working gun dog.
The original purpose of the breed was to hunt gamebirds. In the UK, their quarry can be partridge or grouse, pheasant, ptarmigan, blackgame, snipe or woodcock as all these birds try to avoid predators by hiding rather than flying away. Overseas, they may be used to hunt quail, willow grouse, sand grouse, guinea fowl, sagehen, francolin.
Despite the breed’s early origins, it had almost became extinct at the end of the 19th century. During the 1920s, dedicated breeders managed to revive interest and restore the Irish Red and White setter to a viable position. It is still considered a vulnerable breed, but has gained recognition from all major kennel clubs.