Irish Setter versus Border Collies: Who’s your pick?

When it comes to selecting a canine companion, the decision can be challenging given the multitude of breeds available. Among the sporting dogs and herding breeds, both the Irish Setter and Border Collie hold a special appeal. Each breed possesses distinct qualities and traits, making them popular choices among dog enthusiasts. In this discussion, we will explore the unique characteristics of the Irish Setter and Border Collie to assist you in making an informed decision.

Comparing Characteristics of Border Collies vs Irish Setter

Irish Setters will be a superb pet for you. The breed are great pets for families with kids who have been trained to appreciate and be kind to animals because of their outgoing, self-assured personalities.

Despite being a large dog, it may be trained and socialized to become well-mannered and obedient. This is a sociable and extroverted dog that adores the company of their human family and needs a lot of exercise.

The Border Collie is a fantastic working dog breed that is extremely beneficial to farmers. The dog would want to labor all day if given the chance due to its boundless energy and endurance. This medium-sized dog needs a family that values hard work and physical activity. With the appropriate owners, it makes a fantastic pet, and if your family is busy, it develops into your devoted sweetheart.

It is perceptive to its owner’s wishes, which is also a result of its high level of intelligence. You’ll have a fantastic friend for life if you show your amazing pet a lot of love, pay him a lot of attention, and engage him in plenty of activities.

Breed Name Border Collie Irish Setter
Breed Group Herding Dogs Sporting Dogs
Height 18 to 22 inches 25 to 27 inches
Weight 30 to 45 pounds 60 to 70 pounds
Life Span 12 to 15 years 11 to 15 years

History of Border Collies and Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is a breed of gundog that was developed in Ireland and is distinguished by its stunning red or mahogany coat.

Years of selective breeding methods have created the solid red color of the Irish Setter. This has ever since attracted a lot of dog lovers to get one for themselves. Though what truly make this breed unique is its brown eyes, deep chest, medium-length floppy ears.

The Border Collie is a breed of dog that was developed to herd sheep in Northumberland. The breed is renowned in particular for using its piercing gaze to command the sheep under its charge.

Given that the word “Collie” alludes to sheepdogs and is a Scottish dialect word, the very name of this dog provides you with a clue as to its ancestry. Due to its extraordinary intellect and herding prowess, the Border Collie is now regarded as the ideal sheep-herding canine.

Appearance of Border Collie vs Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is a gorgeous and distinctive breed of dog. Some people describe Irish Setter as graceful and elegant, even aristocratic, and it’s reported that many famous painters have said they are the most attractive of all dogs.

So how does an Irish Setter appear? The Irish Setter’s coat will catch your eye first. It is long, fine, and silky, and it has a stunning mahogany to chestnut red color. The Red Setter is usually red, as the name suggests; white markings are acceptable on the toes, chest, throat, and skull.

On the chest, belly, and tail, the hair is longer and referred to as “fringe,” while the ears and the backs of the legs have silky feathering.

This breed is huge and athletic in general, but in a really light, elegant way (elegant could be the best term). It should weigh 50 to 60 pounds and have a shoulder height of 25 to 27 inches. Irish Setters have eyes that range in color from dark hazel to dark brown and have a bright, perceptive, yet loving appearance. When measured, their low-set, long, and narrow ears almost reach the end of their slender faces. In addition, this dog has a lengthy physique, a deep chest, and short feet.

The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog whose strength is both subtle and visible. It can be seen in their assurance as they walk around inspecting everything, knowing that they have control over most living things’ movements.

Border Collies with a rough coat are common, although it can also be found with a smooth coat. Both coat types are twofold, consisting of a guard hair coat and an undercoat that resembles down. These canines don’t follow trends, so their style is more about how the dog functions than how it seems, and the work is challenging for those that work in the industry. On some of these canines, however, you might notice stylish feathering.

Size Comparison

In comparison, a Border Collie typically stands 18 to 22 inches tall and weighs 30 to 45 pounds, while an Irish Setter often reaches a height of 25 to 27 inches and weighs 60 to 70 pounds. The average height of an Irish Setter is between 25 and 27 inches, and its average weight is between 60 and 70 pounds. The height of an Irish Setter ranges from 25 to 27 inches. Border Collies are noticeably smaller when put next to Irish Setters due to their shorter and stockier build.

Coats & Colors

the beautiful color of Border Collie

The coat of an Irish Setter is a rich mahogany color, and its hair is smooth and flat. Long feathers can be found on the backs of the ears, chest, tail, and legs, as well as on the belly and chest.

Usually, Border Collies have black and white coat. But you can see some sporting patterns like sable and merle. Then again, some would have combination of the two. There are Collies that have smooth or rough coat. The former is often short while the latter is usually flat and wavy. Regardless, both coat range from medium to long.

Personality & Temperament of Border Collies vs Irish Setter

Irish Setters make loving, sweet, entertaining, and devoted companions. The dog maintains their puppy-like character and disposition throughout their existence. They get along well with the other dogs living in the home.

The Border Collie is an incredibly fun and spirited dog that makes a devoted buddy. Border Collies are eager, alert, extremely intelligent, and active enthusiasts. It can exhibit hesitant behavior around guests and other family pets.

Family and Border Collies vs Irish Setter

Both the Border Collie and the Irish Setter are excellent choices for people who are looking for a canine companion. Because of their gregarious nature and warm demeanor, these breeds are an excellent option for families. Both are quite affectionate with family, which ensures that it will quickly become members of the family.

Give it plenty of exercise, healthy food to eat, and a warm, dry place to sleep, and he’ll fit right in with your family and make a wonderful pet.


Both the Border Collie and the Irish Setter are quite good with children; in general, these breeds are calm and tolerant of children’s antics. However, each dog’s personality and demeanor are unique, so temperaments can vary.

Other People

The Irish Setter is a wonderful dog for almost any family because it gets along nicely with guests and other animals. The Irish Setter breed, which is typically thought of as an outgoing, even-tempered dog with a humorous personality, is seen as having basic defects in extreme shyness and antagonistic behavior.

To avoid anxiety or hostility toward unfamiliar people or animals, Border Collies should be socialized early and frequently. This reduces their tendency to be reserved around strangers. It’s crucial to give kids lots of pleasant interactions with unfamiliar people and animals so the dog can learn to feel at ease and confident in novel circumstances.

Dogs & Other Animals

are Border Collies friendly with other animals

The Irish Setter is well known for being laid-back and amiable among other animals and pets. Because of this, the dog usually gets along well with other dogs, especially cats. However, socialization at an early age is important for this breed of dog, as it is for other dogs, as early introductions to different pets will help build strong relationships in the future.

Even dogs from other families get along well with the Border Collie. Of course, it will have their limitations, and for a variety of reasons, not all dogs will get along. Like any domestic animal, dogs need to be socialized in order to be healthy and get along with other dogs.

Behavior Issues

Owners should be aware that, despite their love of learning, Irish Setters frequently struggle with attention deficit disorder. The Irish Setter is prone to getting bored during training, which leads to actions that frequently go against what their owner wants.

As a result, owners of this breed must be very patient and understanding. The Irish Setter is extremely sensitive (and alert), and it doesn’t do well when people are angry or shouting towards the dog. If you ignore this advice, your setter will start to exhibit timid characteristics.

Owners should constantly maintain their composure and use positive reinforcement strategies (such as praise and incentive-based rewards). Repetitive use of a similar task (every day) should be avoided as well wherever feasible to keep your Irish Setter motivated to train.

The Border Collie is preferable for active families. Collies need to use its excess energy – otherwise, it’ll get bored, feel stressed, and perhaps become hostile. A dog’s behavior will deteriorate if its needs are not addressed.

Training & Exercise of Irish Setter vs Border Collie

Irish Setters are an athletic breed that is slender and powerful. If you live in a city and have a big garden, it will require being taken on long walks because dogs enjoy nothing more than to run off in open spaces. If he is a country dog, he might run away and not come back for an hour or two.

Since these dogs are accustomed to having a task to complete, like hunting, this dog won’t fare well if placed in a small backyard and left on their own. A Border Collie depends on its owner to include the dog in all of their activities because this dog is a social dog who wants to be with their owner.

A Border Collie is a breed of dog that requires a lot of activity and care. It won’t thrive if kept inside a small house. It will need lots of space to play and run around, as well as involvement from its owners. It is unreasonable for a dog owner to get a dog like this and then abandon him, causing him to become distressed from being neglected.

Make sure your dog is socialized as a puppy and trained as he gets older to do him a favor. After training, he develops into a fantastic pet who is sensitive, obedient, and eager to please.

Comparing Taking Care & Maintenance of Border Collies vs Irish Setter

The distinctive feature of an Irish Setter is its coat. These are most easily recognized by their long, red, Fabio-like hair, which has contributed to the Irish Setter’s reputation as one of the most attractive breeds in the world.

That long, fine hair will get burrs readily and mat quickly if neglected. It will be necessary to brush at least three times per week, but daily brushing is recommended. Even with the maintenance, you should still get used to having hair around your home because Irish Setters moderately shed, especially in the spring when the dogs lose some of that thick undercoat that keeps the dog warm and cozy in the winter.

In general, Border Collies don’t require much maintenance in terms of grooming requirements. It is advised that your dog be brushed once a week to help keep their coats healthy and minimize shedding. Normally, a monthly bath will be sufficient, but if your dog frequently swims in lakes or splashes in muck, a fast weekly bath may be required.

You should brush your dog’s teeth with toothpaste and toothbrush prescribed by your veterinarian at least once per week, but preferably more frequently.


Irish Setters need to be brushed every day for the rest of their lives. Particularly close to where their hair grows the longest and feathers the most. In order to avoid matting, it is also necessary to occasionally cut between the paw pads and behind the ears.

The Border Collie needs to be groomed every 4 to 8 weeks because of their double coat, which has a guard coat that is longer than the undercoat. This breed requires more regular grooming in the spring and fall because of their seasonal hair changes. The outer guard coat will shield your dog from the sun as long as the undercoat is removed.


Irish Setter dogs have average shedding. It takes place spontaneously as a result of the hair cycle. Brushing frequently can reduce hair loss. It mostly depends on their breed and level of health.

Border Collie dogs have average shedding. As a normal component of the hair growth cycle, it occurs. Brushing frequently can reduce hair loss. It mostly depends on their breed and level of health.

Border Collies need to be brushed twice a week, all year. The dog sheds seasonally, therefore, extra brushing may be needed to get rid of any loose hair during that time.

Health of Irish Setter vs Border Collie

Irish Setters can have certain health issues, particularly if you aren’t picky about where you get the dog. This breed consists of autoimmune thyroiditis, hip dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy. Additionally, Irish Setters are susceptible to osteosarcoma (bone cancer), epilepsy, and stomach torsion, however, none of these diseases are preventable.

A competent breeder will be open and honest about general health problems affecting the breed as well as how frequently it appears in their lines.

Like any breed, Border Collies are susceptible to a number of health concerns, including hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and vision impairments. It’s crucial to do your homework on these potential health problems and to pick a reputable breeder or rescue group that checks its dogs for these difficulties.

Life Span

Irish Setters live an average of 12 years. It is reported to live up to 15 years or longer. Though, your Irish Setter will live a long and healthy life with the right diet, exercise, and medical care.

Under good care, your Border Collie can live to as long as 10 years. But if you’re really lucky and your dog is really that healthy, it can stretch to 17 years. On average though, they have 12 years of life expectancy.

Diet & Nutrition

Active dogs will need more food to make up for the calories it burns throughout the day while less active dogs can get by with 2 cups to meet their nutritional needs.

Owners and their veterinarians should work together to establish a feeding routine that is tailored to the specific needs of each dog.

Like many dog breeds, your Irish Setter’s nutritional needs will vary widely depending on age, weight, and degree of activity. They require 2 to 3 cups of dry dog food each day.

Consider your Border Collie’s size and level of activity, he may need two meals a day measuring three-quarters of a cup of dry dog food each.

According to the dog’s size and level of activity, a Border Collie needs two meals a day of.75 to a cup of dry dog food each.

The nutritional requirements of your dog will fluctuate as it ages. If you see that your dog is gaining weight, talk to your veterinarian to come up with a treatment plan. The kind, quantity, or timing of feedings may need to be adjusted.

Common Health Issues of Border Collies vs Irish Setter

Irish Setters often have good health. However, there are a few regular health issues that owners should be aware of. The Irish Setter, among other athletic dogs, may be vulnerable to the following conditions:

  • Bloat: also known as gastric dilatation, is a potentially fatal illness in which the stomach twists and swells. Bloat is lethal if not treated right away. Consult your veterinarian to learn how to spot bloat and whether your Irish Setter needs a gastropexy procedure (during which the stomach is fastened to the abdominal wall to prevent it from twisting).
  • Hypothyroidism: Irish Setters are among the breeds that are most prone to hypothyroidism. The symptoms might vary greatly, but common adverse effects include tiredness, weight gain, a cold intolerance, and excessive shedding.
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans: A disorder in which the cartilage in a dog’s shoulder joint wrongly grows. During their first year of life, giant breed puppies sometimes experience growth surges like this. Depending on the severity of the illness, treatment can range from a few weeks of rest to surgery.

Responsible dog breeders work hard to uphold the strictest breed standards set by organizations like the AKC. These breeding guidelines reduce the likelihood of inheriting health issues in dogs. However, the Border Collie breed is susceptible to several hereditary health issues.

  • Hip dysplasia: It is a condition when the hip sockets develop improperly.
  • Osteochondrosis (OCD): This condition causes the cartilage at the end of a bone to develop abnormally.
  • Collie Eye Anomaly: This breed is prone to this genetic condition. Though usually minor in Border Collies, it hampers vision. Breeders can conduct this screening.

Cost of Irish Setter vs Border Collie

Irish Setters can be purchased for a range of prices. The typical price is $850 for an Irish Setter without breeding rights or show traits but with documentation. It is advised to allocate this much in your budget in order to purchase a respectable Irish Setter. Nevertheless, it is not advised to buy an Irish Setter puppy without papers, as it can have a questionable lineage or health problems.

Most of the time, you can buy a Border Collie pup anywhere from $700 to $2,000 from trusted breeders. On the other hand, expect this figure to go higher with puppies that came from known lineage. Furthermore, dog supplies and essentials are something that must be factored in before you get a puppy, regardless of the breed.


Irish Setter pups need a lot of activity too, but far less than adult dogs need. For puppies between the ages of 2 and 4 months, 15 minutes of playtime every morning and night is typically sufficient to meet their physical needs. Playtime can be increased to daily half-mile walks between 4 and 6 months old, and can increase to as much as a mile by the time the dog is a year old.

An average Border Collie weighs 7 to 14 ounces at birth. As puppies, these dogs are highly energetic. The puppies will start associating with all of the people in their environment as it mature. The puppies should be introduced to various sounds and smells when the dogs are still very tiny, but Border Collies should stay with their dam until the dogs are weaned.

Finding Breeders & Centers

Adopting an Irish Setter may be easiest through a rescue organization that specializes in the breed. Start your breed search on Adopt a Pet for a wonderful place to start. The search will display all of the Irish Setters that are available in your area.

Border Collies may be simple to locate in rescues or shelters. Too many owners give up their Border Collies because they are unprepared for the extensive care and activity requirements of this breed. The Border Collie Society of America is an excellent place to start your search if you decide a Border Collie is the right pet for you.

Their breeder recommendation list offers contact details for breeders and rescue organizations around the United States. Adoption fees are typically a few hundred dollars, but you should prepare to pay a breeder between $700 and $2,000 for a Border Collie pup.

Conclusion: Which Is Better, Irish Setter or Border Collie?

Determining which breed, the Irish Setter or the Border Collie, is better ultimately depends on your individual preferences, lifestyle, and specific needs. Both breeds have their own distinct qualities and excel in different areas.

If you require a highly intelligent and focused working dog, the Border Collie may be the preferred option. Renowned for their exceptional herding abilities, Border Collies are incredibly intelligent and trainable. They possess boundless energy and thrive in an environment where they have a job to do.

On the other hand, if you are seeking a loyal and affectionate companion who thrives on human interaction, the Irish Setter might be the better choice. With their stunning red coat and playful nature, Irish Setters are known for their friendly demeanor, making them great family pets. They require ample exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom, but their joyful and outgoing personality can bring immense happiness to a household.

Remember to consider factors such as exercise needs, grooming requirements, temperament, and trainability when making your decision. Whichever breed you choose, providing them with love, care, and attention will undoubtedly result in a loyal and cherished companion for years to come.

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