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Big, elegant and athletic. Irish Setters are a flashy looking dog with a rich chestnut or mahogany coloured coat flowing over a large, well proportioned frame. The coat is moderately long with abundant feathering over the tail, bib, ears and ankles. At birth the coat is actually a light red, changing to the rich chestnut at about three to four months of age. The breed stands quite tall, about 70cm at the withers, and white may be apparent on the chest, throat, chin or toes.
Irish Setters thrive on an active lifestyle and need plenty of stimulation. Otherwise destructive and unwelcome behaviour will set in. Daily walks, at least an hour a day, are advised. Off-leash energetic activity is great, but ideally should only be done in secure areas away from traffic. Even well trained Irish Setters can become distracted and deaf to a calling owner. These large dogs are not really suited to small yards.
Irish Setters are an active breed, and require long, daily walks and off-lead running in wide, open spaces. They are, however, a breed with a tendency to 'play deaf,' so careful training on mastering the recall should be undertaken before allowing them off-lead. Irish Setters enjoy having a job to do. Lack of activity will lead to a bored, destructive, or even hyperactive dog. This is not a breed that can be left alone in the backyard for long periods of time, nor should they be. Irish Setters thrive on constant human companionship. Contrary to popular opinion, Irish Setters are neither stupid nor high-strung. Irish Setters respond swiftly to positive training, and are highly intelligent. They are not a naturally aggressive breed, although they make excellent watch-dogs and will bark to alert their owner to the presence of strangers.
Coat care for the Pomeranian is similar to the Pekingese. A daily or twice weekly (damp) brushing against the hair is essential to keep the thick, plush coat, which sheds seasonally, free of mats. Brushing also helps to prevent dry skin and dandruff. A Pomeranian's coat needs very little trimming only every now and then. Combing is seldom necessary and sometimes totally unnecessary. Some people prefer to keep the coat short and trimmed, often referred to as a "puppy cut" (hair is cut down to one to two inches long), but most prefer to maintain the long coat with regular brushing and grooming. Regular ear and nail care is recommended, along with generally only peak-seasonal bathing. It is unadvisable to bathe Pomeranians too frequently as excessive bathing can damage their skin and coat by removing essential oils, especially if using anti-flea products. Pomeranians are also prone to teeth problems, and it is recommended that their teeth be brushed at least once a week. Ideally, their teeth should be brushed daily and the dog receive dental and vitamin treats.
Irish Setters tend to be a very healthy breed. Problems that have been noted in Irish Setters include: Hip dysplasia, Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Epilepsy, Entropion, Hypothyroidism, Hyperosteodystrophy, Gastric Torsion or Bloat Osteosarcoma, Von Willebrand's disease, Patent ductus ateriosus, Canine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency (CLAD)
One of the first references to the 'Setter,' or setting dog, in literature can be found in Caius's De Canibus Britannicus, which was published in 1570 (with a revised version published in 1576.) Translated from the original Latin, the text reads: The Dogge called the Setter, in Latine, Index: Another sort of Dogges be there, serviceable for fowling, making no noise either with foote or with tongue, whiles they follow the game. They attend diligently upon theyr Master and frame their condition to such beckes, motions and gestures, as it shall please him to exhibite and make, either going forward, drawing backeward, inclinding to the right hand, or yealding toward the left. When he hath founde the byrde, he keepeth sure and fast silence, he stayeth his steppes and wil proceede no further, and weth a close, covert watching eye, layeth his belly to the grounde and so creepth forward like a worme. When he approaches neere to the place where the byrde is, he layes him downe, and with a marcke of his pawes, betrayeth the place of the byrdes last abode, whereby it is supposed that this kind of dogge is calles in Index, Setter, being in deede a name most consonant and agreeable to his quality."
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