Can Irish Setters Be Aggressive?

Can Irish Setters Be Aggressive

Each breed of dog is different in many ways, especially their personality. Just like humans, we can find canines with different temperaments, personalities, and behaviours.

Some are characterized by being more affectionate and friendly, while others are known to be distant from people and animals and even aggressive.

If you want to get an Irish Setter, one of the first things you will want to know is if this breed is aggressive. You might think that it is because of its size, but the fact that an animal of this type is large does not always mean that it is dangerous or aggressive.

In this article, you will learn a little more about the personality of Irish Setters, and we will tell you if these dogs can be aggressive or not.

Irish Setters Are Not Aggressive

Many people think that Irish Setters can become aggressive simply because they are large. However, there is no breed of dog more affectionate and friendly than this.

These animals are excellent at accompanying people at all times. They were raised from their origins to be around people and interact with them. That’s why today’s Irish Setters need a lot of human attention.

The calm and docile personality of these dogs makes them excellent family dogs. Irish Setters get along extremely well with people, especially children, which is an important factor in determining that they are not aggressive dogs.

Does that mean that an Irish Setter will never be aggressive? No! While the chances of an Irish Setter becoming aggressive are low, it can happen depending on a number of factors.

In these cases, it is important to discover the source that generated this behaviour in the canine in order to know how to act in time and solve this problem.

Can an Irish Setter Be Aggressive Towards Strangers?

It is difficult for an Irish Setter to become aggressive, especially towards their owners and members of their human family. If your Irish Setter has developed aggressive behaviour, it is most likely towards strangers or another pet.

While these dogs can easily get along with all people and animals, it’s not uncommon for some to be aloof from strangers and other pets.

In fact, if they have not been properly socialised and their quality of life has not been the best, they may develop aggressive behaviour towards other people.

The reasons can be varied. It is possible that your Irish Setter feels some threat that could affect its family, or it simply does not want anyone to come near its territory.

Signs that your Irish Setter is Developing Aggressive Behaviour

Excessive Barking

This is one of the most common signs of an aggressive dog. However, remember that not all barking means that the canine is aggressive. Barking is a way that animals of this type have to communicate with other dogs and people.

Now, if your Irish Setter is barking loudly and more frequently than usual, then you have to be alert as it is possible that something is stressing it out and making it aggressive. You must find the source of this behaviour in your dog to prevent it from worsening.


This is another common sign, but unlike barking, growling usually indicates that the canine is angry. If you notice that your Irish Setter is showing its teeth and growling constantly, then you must act immediately to calm it down before its behaviour worsens.

Rigid Body Language

It is very rare for an Irish Setter to sit still in place. When a dog of this type has a rigid body, then you should be concerned as it is possible that it senses a threat or is simply preparing to defend itself. This situation can also occur when it wants to protect its belongings and food.


Irish Setters are not biters. If your Irish Setter bites someone, it is clearly a sign of aggression caused by something that is bothering or worrying it.

Despite the fact that these canines do not usually bite due to their affectionate personality, the force of their bite is powerful, so we must avoid any situation that could lead our Irish Setter to behave aggressively.

Remember that these animals are extremely affectionate and are very unlikely to become aggressive towards their family members, strangers, and other animals.

However, do not ignore the signs of aggression that we have explained above, as they can occur in an Irish Setter or any other breed of dog and we must be prepared to face any situation of this type.

We do not want our Irish Setters to become aggressive, knowing that they are among the most affectionate animals on the planet.