Irish Setter and Labrador Retriever Mix A Complete Guide

Irish Setter and Labrador Retriever Mix

The Irish Setter is a dog that is well known as a great hunting dog. Their beautiful red fur helps them stand out so they can easily be spotted in tall grass or underbrush.

The Labrador Retriever is a great retrieving dog, having webbed feet to gather ducks from the water. Both are intelligent, loving, and don’t do great alone. 

When they are bred together, you get a Lab Setter. This designer dog is smart, playful, and loving with a hint of a stubborn streak. They enjoy running around and staying active, as well as being close to their owners. 

Keep reading to learn more about these three breeds of dogs, and what makes them unique and stand out. 

Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, and the Lab Setter Comparison Table

  Irish Setter Lab Setter Labrador Retriever
Height 25-27 inches 25-27 inches 21.5-24.5 inches
Weight 60-70 pounds 70-80 pounds 55-80 pounds
Life Expectancy 12-15 years 10-15 years 10-12 years
Colors Chestnut Red Mahogany Black Chestnut Chocolate Mahogany Red Yellow Black Chocolate Yellow
Coat Type Silky coat Medium length Can be short or medium length Double coat Short length
Affection levels Very affectionate Very affectionate Very affectionate
Shedding Level Average shedding Fair amount of shedding Lots of shedding
Temperament Very playful Very playful Very playful
Health Issues Bloat Hip dysplasia Eye conditions Thyroid disorders Ear infections Bloat Cancer Eye conditions Elbow dysplasia Hip dysplasia Heart disorders Chronic allergies Bloat Exercise induced collapse Eye conditions Heart disorders Hip dysplasia Elbow dysplasia Hereditary myopathy Heart disorders
Trainability Pretty easy to train Pretty easy to train Very easy to train
Exercise Lots of exercise Lots of exercise Lots of exercise
Friendliness to People Very open to strangers Very open to strangers Very open to strangers
Friendliness to Dogs Very good with other dogs Very good with other dogs Very good with other dogs
Drooling Levels A little drooling A little drooling A little drooling
Mental Stimulation A fair amount of mental stimulation A fair amount of mental stimulation A fair amount of mental stimulation
Barking Level Average barking Average barking Average barking
Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, and the Lab Setter Comparison Table

About Irish Setters

About Irish Setters
Irish Setter Dog

Irish Setters are one of the three setters recognized by the American Kennel Club, and the one with the most recent history.

However, they have still been around for over 200 years and have a rich past. They have always been well-loved dogs, easily costing over 300 times the weekly wage of an average person in the 1800s. 

These dogs are well-known for their deep red and shades of red and were specifically bred for that color. They were not only gorgeous but helped to easily find the dog while it was hunting. On top of being used as working dogs, they also became great show dogs and loyal companions. 

In the 1970s, they were one of the most popular dogs, but their popularity has declined over the years. This may be due to the amount of time it takes to take care of these dogs.

Due to their history as a hunter, they need at least an hour of hard exercise a day. An hour-long walk just won’t cut it as they require vigorous exercise. They also need frequent grooming, roughly every other day, to maintain their coat. 

Due to their high energy and the fact that they are a large dog breed, apartment living isn’t something they can easily do. They are also better as family dogs, as they often have separation anxiety and can be destructive if left alone for too long. 

About Labrador Retrievers

About Labrador Retrievers
Labrador Retriever Dog

Labrador Retrievers, as their name suggests, were originally bred as retriever dogs. They are great for water retrieving, so they work well with duck hunters. Labs actually have what are described as webbed feet, which makes it easy.

However, they quickly became adapted for many purposes, including as a companion. 

They now can do almost any task given to them, due to their intelligence and desire to work with humans. They are excellent service, guide, scenting, task force, search and rescue, hunting, family, companion, and competition dogs. 

They easily top the popularity list of dogs in America due to their versatile ability. However, that doesn’t mean they are perfect dogs for everyone. 

They have a lot of energy, and are dogs that enjoy having a task. They can easily drag their owner along on walks if they haven’t been given proper training first. At 55 to 80 pounds and 21 to 25 inches tall, they aren’t easy dogs to control if they don’t want to listen. 

They also bond closely with their owners and tend to easily become destructive when left alone for too long. They also carry strong retriever tendencies still and enjoy playing in the water and carrying things around in their mouth. 

About Lab Setter Dog Mix

A Lab Setter is a sweet, loving dog that is very intelligent. They are eager to please and play. They are usually on the larger side, weigh around 70 to 80 pounds and stand about 26 inches tall. 

Will a Lab Setter Fit My Active Lifestyle?

Lab Setters need a lot of exercises daily. Like the breeds they come from, an hour of strenuous activity is highly recommended to keep them calm and listening.

Hiking, running, hunting, and other such activities are best. They also enjoy having a job, so giving them something to do that allows them to burn off the excess energy is a good option. 

How Rare are Lab Setters?

They are not a very well-known breed. If you try to look them up online, you get a few hits, and then it mostly focuses back on their Irish Setter parent. They were accidental dog breed mixes for the most part. 

Though they make a great breed for those with an active lifestyle, by mixing these two dog breeds together, you tend to lose out on some of their unique features, such as an Irish Setter’s color and a Lab’s webbed feet. This is why they aren’t often bred together and aren’t easy to find. 

Are Lab Setters Good With Other Pets?

Both Labrador Retrievers and Irish Setters are hunting dogs. Though they may do well with other dogs, small animals like rabbits and possibly even cats won’t be the safest in your home. They are trained to hunt and chase small pets.

It may be possible with proper training and introduction at a young age to have your Lab Setter get along with other animals, but for the most part, they are likely to chase and irritate whatever small animal you may have in the house.

For this reason, it is not recommended you get this dog with other small animals in the house. 


A Lab Setter is a rare dog that is playful and loving. It does best in active environments as they need a lot of exercise to stay on their best behavior.

These dogs are very dependent on their owners and will quickly resort to destruction and chewing to relieve their stress. This is exacerbated by their Lab parent, who enjoys carrying items around. 

These dogs aren’t easy to find, but they are a great mix. If you happen to come across one, they might just be the loving hiking partner for you.