Are Irish Setters Dumb Dogs? Answered & Explained!
The American Kennel Club considers Irish Setters part of the sporting dog breed class. Dogs in this class are considered hard-working, resourceful, devoted, versatile, strong, and intelligent. These dogs are not necessarily the fun-loving dog breeds that play and goof around. Irish Setters are all those things and more, and they are playful and may come across as silly or goofy to their family and others. This nuance of their personality is an asset, making them great companions in a loving family and even during the hunt. Still, Irish Setters have a reputation for being stupid dogs. So what’s the truth?
Are Irish Setters Dumb Dogs?
No, Irish Setters are not dumb dogs. They are intelligent, alert, and adaptable dogs with great personalities. They have loveable clownish personalities that will have them causing mischief at times with their loving family, but that doesn’t mean they are dumb.
Their fun-loving, trickster attitude that makes them so adorable and cute could be one of the reasons people think this about them. On the contrary, dogs with a playful, fun-loving attitude while being hard-working and loyal are thought to have higher-than-average intelligence.
Bred to be a hunting companion, they have great diversity today in many areas of life and make great companion dogs in families. While being playful and silly may make them appear dumb, they are not dumb at all.
It takes a strong personality and a great deal of intelligence on a dog’s part to compartmentalize certain behaviors. If they can go from being playful, loving dog that goofs around with family and then later in the day focusing their energy on hunting waterfowl with their human companion and pack, they are intelligent.
Regardless of the breed, each dog will have many facets to their personality. Sometimes we adults forget to notice how adaptable most dogs are and how easily they transition with us in our day-to-day life. Irish Setters are versatile dogs that can have some fun, act goofy with family, and later focus their energy on a task that needs to be done.
After that is all done, they can easily let all that go and be the family dog again. That makes them highly intelligent dogs. Most dogs have this quality, which can seem child-like, as if they don’t want to grow up.
Having a youthful zest for life that causes us to act in a certain way and be more carefree and fun is not linked to a lack of intelligence. If we compare this to humans, no youthful human and fun would ever be considered dumb.
To understand this, we must realize that behavior is not always linked to intelligence; behavior is linked to emotions, environment, personality, and many other things. How the Irish Setter behaves might seem silly or dumb sometimes, but that doesn’t mean the dog is dumb.
How do I make sure my Irish Setter puppy is intelligent?
The best way to ensure your Irish Setter puppy grows into an intelligent dog is to provide a well-rounded lifestyle. Obedience training is at the center of this lifestyle, where your puppy learns what is expected of them in the home and in life.
Beyond that, good nutrition, plenty of rest, lots of love and fun, and lots of carefree time to just be a puppy will promote intelligence. Like every other dog and human, your Irish Setter will be blessed with the intelligent mind their ancestors gave them.
That doesn’t mean there is nothing else to do; plenty can be done. Beyond the basics of life, like good food and health, you can promote intelligence when spending time with your Irish Setter. There are toys designed to increase skills and intelligence, and there are games you can play with your Irish Setter to increase their intelligence and knowledge.
Talking to your dog and teaching your Irish Setter new and fun tricks will bring out the goofy and smarts. New tricks and skills take Irish Setters out of their comfort zone, and they love learning new things.
The more they learn, the smarter they will be, and if we think for a moment about everything we can teach a dog, the possibilities are near endless. Some tricks and skills will take longer than others, but they will increase knowledge and life skills for your dog.
It might seem silly at first but think about the dogs that learn so they can become assistance or therapy dogs. Every dog can learn many things, the least of which is limited to obedience training. Some dogs may not have the personality, attitude, or temperament to learn the tricks or skills, but they all can.
Your Irish Setter is an intelligent dog whose trickster, silly or goofy attitude can be channeled just like a child. Channel this energy, teach them a new skill that’s fun or exciting, and see how well they do. These moments allow you to spend time with your dog while focusing their energy.
The breed is intelligent, adaptable, and skilled, so they will naturally be intelligent if you do nothing. However, additional training for spending on teaching a new skill won’t hurt. Think how much more fun they will be at a family get-together.
If my Irish Setter doesn’t focus, does that mean he’s dumb?
No, if your Irish Setter doesn’t focus, it doesn’t mean he’s dumb. The inability to focus can be caused by many things, and one common reason this happens is distractions. If you are training your dog in a distracting environment, they might not focus, and learning is delayed.
If you and your Irish Setter live in a distracted home environment where a lot is going on, the Irish Setter might be distracted and unable to focus on what you are telling them to do. Some dogs are easier distracted than others.
Lack of focus can also come from many other things, including undiagnosed health issues and a desire to NOT pay attention. Very intelligent dogs sometimes make their loved ones work for what they want. That means the Irish Setter might insist that you prove you deserve to be listened to and their focus.
The human companion and pack leader must have a strong, confident personality that isn’t swayed by such behavior or attitude. This situation still doesn’t mean a dog that lacks focus is dumb.
No dogs are dumb; if we forget how negative this thought is, we will realize that every dog has they’re own personal strengths and weaknesses in all areas of life. This is true for humans too.
Irish Setters are not dumb; they are intelligent, even if they sometimes come across as being tricksters and goofy. Their silly way of doing things doesn’t mean they lack intelligence; on the contrary, they are more intelligent than assumed.
Instead of categorizing Irish Setters into a box, we would do well to embrace them with all their quirks, including their adorable but silly personality.