Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

Which are the best questions for buying a puppy?

I have not had a dog before and want to get a red setter.  I live at home as a carer for my elderly father so can be at home all day and want something good that has the health checks that people talk about.  Can you tell me what I need to ask someone and what they will want to no about me


Views: 67

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

If, and when ,you find a litter of puppies (whatever the breed) remember it is important that you see the mother and ,if possible,the father.If the mother is not available be very wary.One of the better places to find an Irish Setter is here:



With IS you need to have tons of patience.They are lovely dogs and ,I think,you will adore having one....although having two is better!

Good luck with your search.


after doing lots of research on breeders, here are the things I'd personally like to know about the breeder:

How are the dogs kept and "what are they for" mainly (show, work, ...) because this will influence the dogs character.

I'd want to see the mother and her interaction with the pups, breeder and myself. I'd try and see the father if possible. I'd like to see where and how the dogs are kept - all dogs, not just mother and pups - how and what they eat, and how the adult dogs in the kennel interact with each other.

Then there are the obvious health concerns, that have been covered by Claire.

As a breeder, here are some of the main questions I'd ask, and so I'd expect people to ask you, or any other buyer:

Are you an experienced dog owner? Specially if you are not, is there a dog school/trainer you can access? 

If this is your first setter, have you actually ever met one? Have you seen how active and time consuming they are? Are you ready to exercise with your dog?

Will the dog be kept with other dogs, children or elderly and are you prepared to train your dog to these interactions?

Who will take care of the dog? will the dog be alone for a long time? Is there a vet near you? Were will the dog be kept, indoors, outdoors, kennel, indoors/outdoors,...?


Then, I'd go to another subject:

Why a setter? What are your expectations? Are you thinking about showing, working, breeding or doing any kind os specific activity with this dog?


There are a lot more questions I ask and expect to be asked from the future owner of one of my pups, but these are the main things i expect to find out.

I try to understand if I'm dealing with someone that is informed about the breed or an impulsive buyer. Impulsive buyers are easy to spot and I wouldn't sell to one. Then I'm just trying to make sure that you have all the information you need about the breed and you'll have everything they require from you and are ready to provide it to them.

The rest of the questions I ask are in order to try and find the pups that I think will fit that person better, from the little I know from them at that age =)

I also like to see how people interact with my dogs, that also gives me a lot of clues if they are ready to have a setter in their lives! Comments like "oh my God, she's so full of energy, how does she play like this will feeding 12 pups????" show that you don't know setters well enough =)

I also don't feel confortable if people are not trying to find every last detail of my dogs lives and making me tons of questions.


Personally I have no problem selling to a "dog newbie" as long as the person/people involved are aware of what they are getting into.

Hope any of this helps, good luck finding the perfect puppy for you!

Hi Jeremy firstly I'd like to say you've taken the right first step by asking Irish setter owners about the breed not an ill informed neighbour,  a good breeder will tell you all they do to ensure the health of their dogs and try match you to a suitable puppy. I agree with all that has been said on this page Irish are a boundless energy dog and very connected to their owners they are not happy sitting next to you they want to sit on you. they can be lots of work but that depends on your definition of work but for me they are absolutely worth it, you have to own one to know what they give to you

Hi Jeremy -

Welcome to this forum! I am impressed with your decision to find out more about your favourite breed BEFORE going ahead and buying a dog. I am fairly new here, too, and I must admit I never made this vital step myself when really I should have. I just knew I had to have a Setter at some point in my life and a year ago I decided that now was the time. And boy what a steep learning curve I have been through since...!

Despite the fact that I grew up with dogs - and therefore believed that I had at least some experience - I did not anticipate the impact a Setter would have on my life. They seem to demand much more in terms of time, patience, energy, money and overall commitment than any other dog I’ve ever lived with (Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Collies).

I do not wish to put you off the breed - I'd rather live in a hovel than ever part with my boy - but be warned that Setters can be quite a handful and if you have not owned a dog than you might end up with more than you can chew.

Because you are enquiring about puppies in particular (rather than Setters in general) it is worth noting that the majority of dogs in rehoming centres are between 8-16months old. Those are the difficult teenage years when dogs start to test family hierarchies and behaviour can quickly become out-of-hand. A lot of owners suddenly find that their cute pup has turned into a destructive rampant teenager overnight and because they do not have the time, patience or financial means to deal with the situation the dogs are quickly abandoned. You do not want to find yourself in the same situation with your Setter pup so if you take on a puppy you will need to be aware that it won’t be a puppy for long. You will also need to invest in training classes.

I was wondering whether you would at all be considering taking on a rescue dog. Rescue Centres are always looking for people who are at home for most of the day (and it sounds like you are). Also with an older gentleman to care for a mature adult dog may be more suitable to your environment than a boisterous youngster. There are several places you could approach (see links below), you may have to wait for the right dog to come along but it will happen. I appreciate that some rescues come with their own problems attached but you will find that the majority – after a short settling in period - are most grateful for a stable loving forever new home.






   I can agree with what KC and Errol wrote above.  I have gone the puppy route many times....until our current Irish Setter came into our lives.  Molly is a rescue and has just been an absolute joy.....and I also know here there are many older Irish Setters looking for forever homes (USA) but I bet you can find some where you live also.  Here in the USA many rescue Irish Setters are in foster homes where they learn what issues the dog might have ....which would give you a better idea of the best fit for living with an elderly person.  Training classes are a wonderful way to bond with any dog ( or puppy) and if you have never owned an Irish Setter before something I feel you should really do as it will help you overcome some of "who is in control " issues they sometimes (not always) go thru .  I don't know if it was our experience at being owned by  Irish Setters before  or just the fact that our Molly is so smart that made her adjusting to our home so easy.  Only real issue I have with Molly is that all my male Irish Setters were definitely MY DOG and Miss Molly has decided my husband is HERS!  Loving it as it is so fun to watch Molly interact with him and he is finding out for the first time what it is to be stalked and loved to death by one of our Irish Setters. No jealousy issues just he is the main focus of her attention when we are all  just at home.  Think it is the male/female issue of who they bond with.  I am not saying Molly does not like my daughter or I ...or ignores us just that she is HIS DOG just as all our males were MY DOG!  Molly quickly learned our home routine, how to socialize outside our home, what the rules were in our home , and was out of the crate even when we were gone within three months.  We were consistent though in what we allowed and spent a lot of time working with her and rewarding all positive steps she took . I love puppies (especially Irish Setter ones ) but I have to say that Molly was so much easier to train and it was so much faster and only 2 messes in the house , no real chewing issues, little bit of Irish Antic's ( borrowing dish towels, a sock here or there to hide which we allow as I have to have some Irish Antic's to laugh about ) but none of the really wild behavior my boys had shown us in the past....not sure if that is also male versus female issue or not as Molly is our first female Irish Setter.

   So think about your situation and what time you have to devote to any IS....and what might best fit your life and current lifestyle.  Just remember that if you get hooked on Irish Setters you can just about bet your first Irish Setter will not be your last one! 




© 2023   Created by Gene.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service