As Irish Setters were originally bred as partridge and grouse dogs, their style of hunting these birds may be taken as the norm.
In their quest there must be an intensity that gives purpose to the hunt for game. The concentration on the job at hand should be evident in every stride and movement. The co-operation with the handler is part of that concentration and should not interfere with the quest for game.
In the gallop the head is carried above the line of the back, the line of the muzzle always parallel to the ground. The gallop is fast, flowing, free of obvious effort. The line of the back remains as close to horizontal as possible, due to the harmonious interaction of front and back legs. As the body of the Irish Setter is close to being square, the galloping dog appears relatively high over the ground.
The tail is carried in the line of the back, tending downwards and should not be above the back line. Some tail action is acceptable, but the more serious hunters use their tails little, except for balance on their turns.
On finding game Irish Setters shorten, taking a few tight casts in the cone of the scent before drawing forward to set. From once they wind game to the set, some tail action is seen. The body lowers at the back and stays high at the shoulder and head as they sift the wind for the exact location of their birds. The ears are expressive, being well up and forward on the head as they approach game.
Standing or crouched setting are normal attitudes. The set is intense and rigid, full of energy and concentration, crouched in bare ground or on a surprise point and as a fixed extension of its form in drawing game where the vegetation is relatively high, the placement of the feet controlling and balancing the tense and immobile body. The head is held well up, eyes fierce, ears high, forward and expressive, the tail rigid, bristling with the passion of the find, arched under the line of the back or in its line.
The attitude in roading must be very intense and concentrated. The head remains well up in the air to control the film of scent, muzzle parallel to the ground, the shoulder blades exposed over the line of the back and the tail carried rigidly, arched towards the earth. Any tendency towards stickiness is a grave fault.
Irish Setters are fast, wide rangers. They use the ground with intelligence and precision, breaking their casts as the check the wind for the faintest taint of game. Should it be unfounded they resume their cast with urgency. The depth between the casts should be moderately open, depending on the conditions of the day.