Discover Common Irish Setter Colors and Markings

Irish setters are excellent canines for companionship. These amiable canines are energetic and gregarious, making them the ideal choice for an adventure partner, farmhand, or fun best friend. They are also part of the sporting group.

There are a few different colours available for Irish setter coats when adopting one. The official American Kennel Club breed standard states that the standard coat colour should be either “mahogany or rich chestnut red with no black,” and that little white markings on the skull, toes, chest, and throat are also permissible.

Are you considering getting an Irish setter and would like to know what colours they are available in? Find out which colours and markings are most typical on Irish setters below.


The three present coat colours of the Irish setter are the result of centuries of selective breeding as a purebred dog breed. Depending on pedigree, a litter of puppies may have one or more puppies with distinctive chestnut coats. The colour pairs well with mahogany and red.

The Irish setter with a chestnut coat, known as “rich chestnut,” has a smooth coat with fewer red and orange pigments. Rather, brown and yellow are more apparent. Black markings on chestnut Irish setters are quite uncommon; white markings are more common.


Irish setters with mahogany coats have a rich orange-red-brown colour (with or without white markings). Purina claims that the Irish setter evolved into a general gundog and pointer following their consistent and successful usage in hunting. As the mahogany-coated Irish setters gained popularity in the dog world, they became particularly eye-catching and were brought to exhibiting.


Warm, rich red is the most traditional colour for an Irish setter’s coat. Originating from the Emerald Isle, Irish setters are known as “redheads with a heart of gold” by some animal behaviourists because of the way their red coat blends in with the clich├ęd yet famous red hair of the area.

An Irish setter’s bright red coat is actually more of a deep burgundy-brown than true red. More beautiful tones of crimson will emerge in the sunlight. The “red hair” of an Irish setter is caused by the melanin pigment pheomelanin.

White Markings

The majority of Irish setters have either few or no markings. If they do, though, it’s typically a few white spots on their body. A little stripe or scattering of white markings on the chest, toes, throat, and cranium is still acceptable under AKC guidelines for show-ready Irish setters, as previously stated.

The markings are irrelevant to Irish setters who are not competing! Certain Irish setters have markings that appear red against a white coat, giving them a white and red appearance. The hair of Irish setters with a red-and-white patchwork coat may be trimmed shorter than the flowing manes of conventional chestnuts, mahoganies, and reds by their owners.

Although it is uncommon, certain Irish setters may have white chests from birth. This means that the bottom of their bodies are starkly white against either mahogany, red, or chestnut in colour, extending from their neck to their abdomen.

Grooming Your Irish Setter

Your Irish setter’s feathery hair needs weekly maintenance to keep its gloss, regardless of whether it has a red, mahogany, or chestnut coat with or without markings.

Grooming your Irish setter should be done at least twice a week, if not every day. To disentangle tiny knots and brush the entire length of the long hair, use a pin brush or a brush with soft bristles on a daily basis. Use a metal comb with long teeth to untangle any larger knots or mats that may build in your setter’s coat.

Select a reputable brand of shampoo with skin-beneficial ingredients and mild cleaning capabilities for your Irish setter. For Irish setters, the following shampoo brands are highly recommended: Irish Setter Deodorising Shampoo from Healthy BreedsTropiClean 2-in-1 Shampoo with Papaya and CoconutShampoo with Coconut Lime Verbena and Muesli Formula by WAHL

Setters won’t require frequent bathing, according to X. Your Irish setter will have a glossy coat, healthy skin, and contented paws with occasional baths along with daily brushing and monthly nail cuts.

Beautiful, Silky Setter Coats

Rich coats in red, mahogany, and chestnut hues, with or without white markings, are characteristic of Irish setters. Make sure you have a pin brush or a soft bristle brush for regular daily or weekly brushing sessions to maintain the coat of your Irish setter.