Irish Setters are large, energetic dogs that love to goof around. They have sweet dispositions and happen to be great with kids, making them excellent family companions. They were popular bird-hunting partners in Ireland throughout the 19th century. But do Irish Setters shed excessively? Do they shed year-round?
The short answer to these questions is that Irish Setters do shed moderately to heavily, and they are seasonal shedders. Grooming requirements vary depending on the time of year.
Understanding the Irish Setter’s Coat
The rich, red coat of the Irish Setter is typically medium in length and thickness. However, their coat is short and thin on their heads and forelegs. Their ears, chest, tail, and back legs have long feathered hair that gives them a luxurious look. Their hair is fine and free flowing, so it can get knotted and matted if not properly cared for and maintained.
These dogs develop thick undercoats for the winter months to help keep them naturally warm, and that contributes to their shedding. The bottom line is that these dogs shed less during certain seasons of the year and more during others, but they do shed all year long.
In What Seasons Do Irish Setters Shed?
Irish Setters shed all year, but they do so more during the spring and fall. In winter and summer, shedding is moderate and can be managed with regular brushing. During the spring and fall seasons, shedding is in full force to make room for new hair growth. We recommend brushing your Irish Setter outdoors so the hair released during the process does not end up in your house, which will create more work for you later.
What Causes Irish Setters to Shed?
Irish Setters shed regularly for the simple fact that they need to get rid of the old stuff to make room for the new stuff. The new hair that grows in is healthier and more protective than the old, worn hair that sheds.
There are a few reasons or “triggers” that an Irish Setter might shed more than is necessary at any given time.
If each of these factors is being properly managed, your Irish Setter should not shed more than necessary, which will help keep management easier. Your veterinarian can help you address any other problems to ensure that your pup is in optimal health and not shedding more hair than they should be.
Tips to Help Manage an Irish Setter’s Shedding
There are a few different things that you can do to help manage your Irish Setter’s shedding through the year so it does not become too burdensome or overwhelming to deal with.
For one thing, brushing is a necessity. It’s best to brush your Irish Setter daily year-round to keep their shedding to a minimum. Brushing outside will help ensure that hair and dander don’t spread throughout your home.
A Quick Recap
Irish Setters do shed excessively, especially during the spring and fall seasons. Since they shed all year long, regular brushing and maintenance of the coat is necessary to keep shedding to a minimum and ensure that your dog does not end up dealing with problems like knots and mats. The more proactive you are about the shedding, the less work you will need to do overall.