As one of the most happy and friendly dogs around, it’s no surprise that I’m in the top 5 of America’s favorite breeds. I’m extremely social, getting along well with kids, pets, and other dogs, and I’m always up for play. I do love to explore, so take care that I don’t run off. My independent nature can require a bit more patience when I’m being trained. I’m no shrinking violet; I can tend to bark and howl, especially when alone, so I may not be suited for apartment living.
My puppy-sweet looks can make me seem small, but I’m actually a medium size at 13 to 15 inches in height and 18 to 30 pounds. My coat is usually tricolor (black, tan, and white) or an Irish spotting pattern of red and white. The white tip on my tail helps hunters see me in the field. My short coat needs only weekly brushing and limited baths. Do check my ears at least every two weeks for infection or waxy buildup. I am a high-energy dog and need daily exercise.
Perhaps it’s my loving nature that affords me a long life of 12 to 15 years. Major areas of concern in terms of health include hip dysplasia and invertebral disc disease, with a smaller risk of epilepsy and glaucoma. Deafness, cataracts, and hemophilia A can also occur. But with good nutrition and regular checkups, I should be a fun and faithful companion for many years.