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What are the known origins of the black spot on the tongue's dorsal surface of some Irish setters? Does anyone know? It's only found in certain lines. When I was in setters 40 years ago I was told but have forgotten. John

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Hi Carmel,

I keep Brackenfield lines and most of mine have black spots on their tongues....so I am not sure who was the original 'culprit' who has given  the black spots to mine but then the Wendovers did get bred to some of the Hartsbourne /Brackenfield....so perhaps we have to look behind these pedigrees?

Hi John
My Danny has a black spot on his tongue, he has Wendover back in his pedigree, indeed Kerry too having checked properly has a black spot, I believe Myra Thomas Rhodes stock all goes back to Wendover and Kerry is one of hers

Almost all of the ten IS I have owned came from Wendover lines and only one had black spots on the tongue.

I think it is just caused by a concentration of pigmentation much like moles and freckles on humans and probably not inherited from one particular bloodline.

I have also seen black spots on the tongues of other breeds as well.


I love the black spot. My bitch Maia has it on her tongue too :)
I remember my mam had their first setter that had a blk spot on tongue, dnt know why they get it as didnt come wit papers. intrigued now.....
I have always wondered over this.I have noticed with my dogs,and it is usually on the males, that they can start with an all pink tongue as puppies and as they age they develop the black spots.I always presumed they were like 'liver' spots on ageing human's skin.I was told by a vet that they were similar to freckles.I know of labs and spaniels with similar spots.
My girl is also from Hugo and has a black spot on her tongue. I had fun with that when I first noticed it, trying to get her to hold still and stick her tongue out so I could see what it was, lol.
My Shannon has it i call it her beauty spot

I think I can argue the Wendover idea.  We have two show Setters, Cherry has a black spot (which is so cute) and has no Wendover in her pedigree (five generations) and Blossom has no black spot and loads of Wendover in her pedigree. I imagine it is in the genes but so far back we are never going to know.


My old lady Ellie had a black spot, but Ruby her daughter as not got any, and my young girl Orla has 2 spots




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