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CHAPTER XVII.
THE IRISH SETTER.

1T has often struck me as being extraordinary that so little is known of the origin of the Irish setter —that he is an old dog in his purity there is not the slightest doubt. He has been alluded to by writers early in the present century, but they have failed to tell us what kind of a dog he was, either in colour or form. I believe him to have been a red, or a red and white dog, a smart active animal, full of courage, rather headstrong, an untiring worker, with olfactory organs quite as good as any other dog used for a similar purpose. And how strange it seems that the native Irish dogs are for the most part red or brown. This may be a favourite Milesian colour, or it may be the result of accident. One cannot say that the Irish red setter, the Irish terrier, and the water spaniel of Ireland, came at any recent date from one stock. Still, their colours, if not quite alike, are similar, and for modern tastes, the redder the terrier and the setter are, the better.

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