The Irish Red and White Setter is a breed of dog, more specifically a setter. As with all the setters and the Pointer, it is classified as a gundog in the UK and is included in the sporting group in America and Canada. It is virtually identical in use and temperament to the related Irish Setter and its other setter cousins, the Gordon and English setters, but is more often found as a working gun dog.
The original purpose of the breed was to hunt gamebirds. In the UK, their quarry can be partridge or grouse, pheasant, ptarmigan, blackgame, snipeor woodcock as all these birds try to avoid predators by hiding rather than flying away. Overseas bird dogs are used to hunt quail, willow grouse, sand grouse, guinea fowl, sagehen, francolin.
Despite the breed's early origins, it almost became extinct until dedicated breeders managed to revive interest and restore the Irish Red and White setter to a viable position. It is still in a vulnerable position but has gained recognition from all major kennel clubs.