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Do Irish Setters Bark a Lot? Important Breed Facts

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

irish setter dog barking

Irish Setters are sweet-natured, loyal, and outgoing dogs with long and fine chestnut, mahogany, or red coats. These beautiful dogs make excellent pets for owners with the time to give them the attention they crave. They do well with children and other pets, but even with all their wonderful qualities, do they bark a lot? While their bark is loud, they bark sparingly as long as you give them ample attention and train them appropriately. Let’s explore this fun-loving goofball breed more in-depth.

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So, Do Irish Setters Bark a Lot?

The answer to this question will depend on your experience level training an Irish Setter and how much time you can devote to your dog. These dogs require much attention, and if you don’t give it to them, you may have a loud barking dog on your hands. However, as long as you provide them with enough exercise (at least 2 hours per day), they are not excessive barkers.

An important factor to remember is that these dogs will become excited when the mailman comes or any similar activity going on outside that they see (like most dogs). When events like these occur, an Irish Setter will bark loudly. The bark is not aggressive but rather an excited bark. So, do they bark a lot? Well, not really, but it depends on the moment at hand. They are not quiet dogs in any sense, but as long as you train them well, they tend not to bark excessively.

close up red irish setter dog barking
Image Credit: Irina Nedikova, Shutterstock

Do Irish Setters Make Good Watch Dogs?

These dogs typically make good watchdogs because they bark to alert you to sights and sounds outside the norm. Don’t bank on an Irish Setter to be a good guard dog; they have a fun-loving and sweet temperament but are not aggressive and will be less likely to attack an intruder. In most cases, their loud bark alone may be enough to deter someone from lurking where they shouldn’t be.

What Are the Downsides of Irish Setters?

While these dogs make fun and excellent family companions, they can be a little stubborn and demand their way or the highway, so to speak. Put it this way: if an Irish Setter becomes bored with an activity or training session, the stubborn streak will emerge.

It’s vital to use positive reinforcement with these dogs due to their sensitive nature. Using harsh tones will only make them afraid of you. These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, but their stubborn streak may get annoying if not dealt with accordingly.

They are also inquisitive dogs due to their superb hunting skills and may even become destructive if not given enough attention. Ensure you provide them with plenty of exercise to curb unwanted behaviors. An Irish Setter will enthusiastically play a game of fetch or accompany you on walks, runs, swimming, hiking, or hunting, so include them in any outdoor activities.

irish setter dog panting in the meadow
Image Credit: Reddogs, Shutterstock

Are Irish Setters Excessive Shedders?

This question could fall under the “downsides” of owning an Irish Setter. They do shed moderately, and the coat requires daily attention, just like they do. The long and fine coat will become tangled and matted if not brushed daily, and investing in a good pin brush or soft-bristled brush will go a long way in keeping the coat tangled-free.

Is an Irish Setter a Good Dog to Own?

Yes! Don’t let the fact that they are loud barkers prevent you from owning one. They are sweet-natured and love to be with their human families. They thrive on outdoor activities and are better suited for active families that will allow them to participate in activities. Providing enough daily exercise will deter unwanted behaviors, and if you’re a hunter, you’ll have an exceptional hunting dog to accompany you on outings. They are intelligent, affectionate, and loyal dogs that make ideal family companions.



Irish Setters have a loud, deep bark, but to say they bark a lot is not entirely true. If you don’t give an Irish Setter enough attention and don’t train them properly, they can become loud barkers and engage in destructive behaviors, making training a vital component in having a well-behaved Irish Setter. Remember to use positive reinforcement while training, and keep it fun to avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors, such as loud barking.

Featured Image Credit: Reddogs, Shutterstock

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