Are Irish Setters Aggressive? (Answered + Cute Video)


As dog owners, we want to make sure our dog is not aggressive and is under control, for our sake and, if you have a family, theirs as well. So, when you’re planning on adopting an Irish Setter, a logical question you would ask is “Are Irish Setters aggressive?”

Generally speaking, no, Irish Setters are not aggressive. Irish Setters love their family and won’t hurt them intentionally unless they feel threatened.. Just note that they can still become aggressive if they feel like they should, since Irish Setters are still dogs. If you’d like to learn more about Irish Setter aggression, I suggest you continue reading this article.

As you can see here, Irish Setters are not aggressive, but kind and loving dogs!

Are Irish Setters Good With Children?

Irish Setters are loving and patient which makes them great with children. Irish Setters probably wouldn’t intentionally hurt your child or children, though, you may have to worry about the child hurting the dog.

We all know that children (especially when they’re younger) can get pretty rough at times, even if they don’t mean to.

So, your child may accidently hurt your Irish Setter on accident if he isn’t careful. This is why it’s important to teach your children how to interact with your dog without hurting it. Even though they are great family dogs, they are still dogs nonetheless.

Can Irish Setters Be With Babies?

As with older children, your Irish Setter may accidentally hurt your baby, but you can help avoid this by simply supervising them when they’re around each other.

Your baby probably won’t hurt your Irish Setter either, but again, always supervise them both to make sure neither of them get into trouble.

Can Irish Setters Be With Other Dogs? 

Yes, generally speaking, Irish Setters are affectionate and can live with other dogs if they are introduced properly.

I would like to put a little more emphasis on “introduced properly,” however. Even though Irish Setters can coexist with dogs, they will most likely cause problems if they are not introduced properly.

Even if your Irish Setter acts fine throughout the process, the other dog may not.

The key to introducing two dogs to each other is not rushing it. Give them time to smell each other (there’s probably going to be a lot of that) and get comfortable around each other.

If you rush them, they will likely get a bit stressed and may lash it out on each other.

When I asked Irish Setter owners on Facebook if they had any other dogs, here are some of the responses I got.

We once had seven dogs (death in the family). Three setters, 1 cattle dog and three terriers. One of the terriers picked fights a couple of times. The setters never did.

Judith Lukas

Yes I have 6, and no dramas between them.

Jocelyn Sizer

I have three. No drama.

JoAnn Hall

Can Irish Setters Be Around Other Pets That Aren’t Dogs?

As gentle and patient as Irish Setters are, they are still dogs, and worst of all, they were bred to kill game.

So, can Irish Setters be around other pets that aren’t dogs? Probably not, and especially not when it comes to smaller animals like chickens and rabbits.

If you do have any other animals, however, make sure that he can’t get to them. Pets like fish won’t be a problem, but other animals like chickens, other birds, cats, rabbits, and small rodents can.

What To Do When Encountered By An Aggressive Irish Setter

While Irish Setters are affectionate dogs, it’s crucial you still know what to do in case he becomes aggressive.

What I say here applies for all dogs, though we are primarily talking about Irish Setters.

So, what to do you when you encounter an aggressive Irish Setter?

Back Away

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you have to back away. However, make sure you back away slowly. Running away can trigger your dog’s instincts and make the entire situation a lot worse.

Think about yourself for a moment. Have you ever been stressed and just wanted people to go away for a while? Your dog, when he’s aggressive, probably feels the same way.

Calm Down & Speak Quietly

Also, calm down. When your dog is angry, the way you act may come across as a threat or a signal to attack.

Acting jittery and scared turns on the signal in your dog’s brain to attack.

So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, remain calm and never make any sudden movements. It doesn’t make your dog feel any better, and you probably won’t make any better decisions.

Stop The Source of Their Anger

Lastly, find the source of their anger and deal with it appropriately.

Of course, if it’s you, then you have full control over yourself, but this may not always be the case.

If the source is another animal, such as a dog or a cat, try to get your dog away from it without making it any more angry.

If it’s a passing car or person outside the window, this source with naturally go away. If this is the case for you, try to calm the dog down until the source is gone.

If the car or person doesn’t leave, make sure you know that they aren’t doing anything wrong before you shrug it off.

Why Did My Irish Setter Get Aggressive?

As I mentioned earlier, you need to stop the source of the aggression, but in order to do that, you need to understand what’s the source of his aggression.

Below are some of the possible sources of aggression.

  • Sickness (i.e. rabies, lacerations, arthritis, various brain tumors)
  • Someone passing by (i.e. the mailman)
  • A car is passing by (i.e. your neighbor going to or leaving their house, the mailman)
  • Another animal (i.e. a cat or another dog)
  • Your dog is trying to assert dominance


So, are Irish Setters usually aggressive. No. In fact, Irish Setters are generally very affectionate dogs. Just remember that they are still dogs and can get aggressive if they feel like they should.

Do you have an Irish Setter? If so, can you recall if your Irish Setter ever got aggressive?

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