Like most Sporting breeds, Irish Setters need plenty of daily exercise. This can come in the form of long daily walks and play sessions with their owners—Irish Setters love to be with their people. The breed also exercises mind and body by participating in canine sports such as obedience, tracking, agility, rally, and other activities that can be enjoyed by both dog and owner.
The IRWS is a high-energy dog and requires a lot of exercise. A bored and under-exercised IRWS can be a handful to live with. Provide the IRWS puppy with plenty of low-impact activity to channel his abundant energy and stimulate his mind. While this breed is in its growth stage (puppy to 18 months), it is important to give them regular exercise and long walks while also protecting their forming joints—this means no jogging or biking. Free exercise in a fenced area is ideal and means the pup stops when he is tired. Upon maturity, the Irish Red and White Setter is an ideal walking, hiking, and biking companion.
When you get your 8 week old puppies, please keep these images in mind. Their bones do not even touch yet. They plod around so cutely with big floppy paws and wobbly movement because their joints are entirely made up of muscle, tendons, ligaments with skin covering. Nothing is fitting tightly together or has a true socket yet.
When you run them excessively or don’t restrict their exercise to stop them from overdoing it during this period you don’t give them a chance to grow properly. Every big jump or excited bouncing run causes impacts between the bones. In reasonable amounts this is not problematic and is the normal wear and tear that every animal will engage in.
When you’re letting your puppy jump up and down off the lounge or bed, take them for long walks/hikes, you are damaging that forming joint. When you let the puppy scramble on tile with no traction you are damaging the joint.
You only get the chance to grow them once. A well built body is something that comes from excellent breeding and a great upbringing-BOTH, not just one.
Once grown you will have the rest of their life to spend playing and engaging in higher impact exercise. So keep it calm while they’re still little baby puppies and give the gift that can only be given once.