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Hi All,

I have always believed that a first litter should be concieved before the age of five. Does anyone have a different view ? I would love for my youngest setter to have a litter, but I worry that it maybe to much for my older setter to put up with so many puppys wanting to play.   Thanks a lot.

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Hi Angela,

can you explain why you want a litter?

I would like my Sofie to have a litter because I think she is beautful (as all setters are).She has a phantom pregnancy after every season, I may be wrong but maybe it could help.On a selfish note I would like to raise a litter. I think I know that it is not a good idea because of her age, and because of my older setter, but getting the opinion from proven setter owners is far better than the vet. I say this because my vet said she is very fit and healthy, and my older one may get a new lease of life.( I am not convinced ). Thank you all for your feedback.


An interesting question!

Just a thought... isn't it the aim of all life on earth - animal and vegetable - to reproduce?  Isn't reproduction the driving force that we, humans seek to control only for our own purposes... by not allowing our personal possessions ie animals, to breed, for whatever reason?

Breeding a litter of Irish Setters (or any dog) depends on many things

1) Have you a healthy bitch?

2) Have you a suitable place?

3) Can you afford to feed your bitch well and the puppies for at least 8 weeks?

4) Have the time to spare for the care that a litter needs?

5) Have you a reserve of money in case of veterinary emergencies?

6) Can you afford the research time, the travelling time to find a suitable mate and then the stud fee?

7) Will you have prospective good homes for your puppies?


If the answer is "yes", to all these then there is technically no reason not to have a litter...

Too old at 5?  I don't think so, it is said that the best time for a first litter is beteen 2 and 3 years, but older than this does not normally produce any more problems than any age.

Will your older setter be upset by a younger setter's litter?  I don't think so, although care should be taken to let the new mother feel safe with her babies at first.  She will, however be quite glad to hand over some of the 'care' when the puppies are older and more demanding.  If you handle the first few weeks sensitively, older bitches love pups and young bitches learn a bit from older ones.

You just have to be sensible and properly organised.

Our first bitch had a litter at about 5 and we had quite a bit of problems including a c section. I would recommend first litter to be earlier, maybe between 2,5 and 3,5 years. 

Hi All,

I would like to thank you all for taking the time to reply to my question.Yes all the subjects raised I had taken into consideration, I do have the room,time,money and dedication to go ahead with this but my setters are my life. Sofie being a 15+ miles a day dog, and always ready to chase rabbits, pheasants,grouse and dare I admit dear! she may not be as pleased as me because she would be restricted for a time, and more so if she neaded a c section. Her breeder is one I trust and have great regard for, she insisted on two references, pictures of my other setter and wanted to meet at least two of my grandchildren before she would consider leting me have one of her pups.I left her with diet sheets vet check , worming and injecttion history was not to have her until 10 weeks, and have been in contact with her on a regular basis. So I think I shall have my next puppy from her if she has another litter. Thank you all again.


Hi Angela

A few years ago now one of our old girls was left on her own after losing her best friend who she had lived with all her life.


Then we were asked if we wanted a pup (not an Irish) the pups were only 5wks old (the family could not cope) we collected the pup who we named Wilma and took her home.

Bonnie our girl was about 11yrs and since losing her best friend seemed to have lost the will to live.

She was not amused .....after a couple of days Bonnie was charging around again like a pup and taught Wilma very well....they lived together until Bonnie pasted at about 14yrs....

Then of course Wilma was on her own....so yes thats when another Irish arrived Penny....they lived together for many years.......so should you get a pup to live with an older girl....I believe Yes..I dont think Bonnie would have gone on for so long iif it was not for our pup....It gave her a new lease of life....




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