Golden Retriever vs Irish Setter

Compare the Golden Retriever to the Irish Setter. Use the tool below to compare temperament, size, personality, maintenance requirements, and everything else between Golden Retrievers and Irish Setters.

Quick Summary

Below are a few quick comparisons between the two breeds.
  • Owner Experience - Both the Golden Retriever and Irish Setter are good choices for new or inexperienced owners.
  • Children - Both the Golden Retriever and Irish Setter are great with children.
  • Grooming - The Irish Setter is easier to groom than the Golden Retriever.
  • Barking - Both breeds will bark frequently, but the Irish Setter has the highest tendency to bark between the two.
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Golden Retriever vs Irish Setter
Golden Retriever
Mahogany Irish Setter
Breed NameGolden RetrieverIrish Setter
General Details
Breed TypePurebredPurebred
Is Hypo­allergenicNoNo
Lifespan10-12 yrs.11-15 yrs.
Height21-24 in.25-27 in.
Weight55-80 lb60-70 lb
IntelligenceHighHigh
History
Origin CountryUK (Scotland)Ireland
Origin Year1865 AD1780 AD
Temperament
Overall FriendlinessVery GoodVery Good
Family FriendlyVery GoodVery Good
Kid FriendlyVery GoodVery Good
Pet FriendlyVery GoodVery Good
Stranger FriendlyVery GoodVery Good
Personality
  • Affectionate
  • Loving
  • Willing To Please
  • Affectionate
  • Loving
  • Does Not Like Being Alone
  • Willing To Please
Living Environment
ApartmentYesNo
IndoorYesYes
Small YardYesNo
Medium YardYesYes
Large YardYesYes
Temperature Tolerance ¹30°F to 80°F50°F to 80°F
Barks/HowlsOftenVery Often
Exercise Needs
Energy LevelHighVery High
Exercise RequiredMedium-HighVery High
Top Running Speed25 mph28 mph
StrengthHighHigh
Grooming Needs
Coat Main­tenanceMedium-HighMedium
SheddingMedium-HighMedium
DanderMediumMedium
Drool AmountNoneMedium

¹This is estimated min/max temperature range for a healthy adult dog. Dogs that live indoors, puppies, seniors, unwell dogs, and/or dogs with improperly groomed coats may overheat sooner and get cold more quickly.
Instincts & Behavior Comparison
Breed NameGolden RetrieverIrish Setter
Breed Mentality
Dominant/AlphaNoNo
Family/PackYesYes
IndependentNoNo
Breed Focus
Distracted EasilyNoNo
AverageNoYes
Focused & PatientYesNo
Breed Instincts
AggressionBelow AverageBelow Average
Burrow/DiggingBelow AverageBelow Average
ChasingHighAverage
Follow CommandsHighBelow Average
FightingBelow AverageBelow Average
GuardingBelow AverageBelow Average
HerdingBelow AverageBelow Average
HuntingHighHigh
ProtectionBelow AverageBelow Average
Remove VerminBelow AverageBelow Average
SleddingBelow AverageVery Low
WatchBelow AverageHigh
Health Comparison
Breed NameGolden RetrieverIrish Setter
Lifespan
Lifespan10-12 yrs.11-15 yrs.
Common Health Issues
AllergiesYesNo
BloatYesYes
CancerNoYes
Canine LeukocyteNoYes
CataractsYesNo
Elbow DysplasiaYesNo
EpilepsyYesYes
HemangiosarcomaYesNo
Hip DysplasiaYesYes
Hypertrophic OsteodystrophyNoYes
HypothyroidismYesYes
Osteochondrosis DissecansYesYes
OsteosarcomaYesNo
PanosteitisNoYes
Progressive Retinal AtrophyYesYes
Subvalvular Aortic StenosisYesNo
Von Willebrand's DiseaseYesNo
Appearance Comparison
Breed NameGolden RetrieverIrish Setter
Coat
FurYesNo
NoYes
Coat Type
Double CoatYesNo
Single CoatNoYes
Smooth CoatNoYes
Coat Texture
WavyYesNo
SilkyNoYes
StraightNoYes
Coat Length(s)
MediumYesNo
LongNoYes
Coat Color(s)
Dark GoldenYesNo
GoldYesNo
Light GoldenYesNo
ChestnutNoYes
MahoganyNoYes