We breed the best Irish upland bird dogs, moving functionally toward the Irish articulated breed standard. We have sought out stock deeply rooted in the old hunting lines of the finest Irish Red and White Setters as they appear in the most respected current lines and kennels in Ireland and throughout the world. We are the breeders of the 1st AKC IRWS Champion, CH O'Dobhailien Cailin Alainn SH. Cailin got her JH at 9 months of age. She is the 1st IRWS to a have a SH title. Her 1/2 brother whom we also bred was the first IRWS to have AKC Master hunt tests passes. The Irish setter was our first breed back in the late 1960's. With the loss of our Irish Setter,AM & CAN CH Draherin Lady Love we researched the IRWS. In 1977 we were blessed to meet Mrs. Maureen Cuddy in Middleton, Ireland. In 1994 we were fortunate to meet Vincent Brennan whom Mrs. Cuddy had suggested we contact. We ended up getting our first IRWS from Vincent, Lougherne Harvest, "Seamus". While visiting Mrs. Cuddy in 1995 she rang Father Doherty and told him it was time the Devlins took home a bitch pup. We brought Sheebhin Grainne, "Grainne" home with us and bred our foundation stock 3 years later. Seamus'X Grainne's daughter Fiona was featured as the breeds hunting representative on the IRWS episode of the Beretta's Bird Hunters Journal show. In 2010 we were delighted to be asked to send over one of our pups to Ireland, O'Dobhailien "Aengus" For Mizen. Two of his sons are now Champions; one in Ireland, the other in Spain. "Aengus" was pictured as the breeds representative in Brazil's 2018 Caes & Cia Magazine. As of Nov. 4, 2010 we were the 1st IRWS breeders in the IRWSAA to be recognized as AKC Breeders of Merit. We are now AKC Silver in Breeders of Merit. Our O'Dobhailien IRWS have their health clearances posted on the offa.org site. The IRWSAA is AKC's IRWS parent club and it recommends breeding stock have CHIC numbers which show that parents have have had breed specific health screenings prior to being bred....CLAD, OFA/PENN hips,CERF/CAER eyes; optional OFA thyroid panel and PRA-1. We breed only from OFA excellent or good hips. The Irish Red and White Setter is our breed, OUR ONLY BREED and we believe in breeding the whole dog. O'Dobhailien is an AKC registered kennel. Please visit us on our O'Dobhailien Irish Red and White Setter Facebook page. We are delighted that 2 of the 4 IRWS pictured in AKC's newest edition of "The Complete Dog" are O'Dobhailien IRWS. Our IRWS are also featured in David Blake Knox's, "The Curious History Of Irish Dogs." Our Reig and Tighe were featured in the 2019 summer issue of The Upland Almanac magazine. ."Randy", Tighe's litter brother is pictured in Craig Koshyk's new book Pointers and Setters Volume Two The British and Irish breed. O'Dobhailien Grand "Skye" X O'Dobhailien Quinney's "Arwen" Evenstar's litter was born Nov. 2, 2023 in Fargo,ND. Both parents are hunted and they have their CHIC health certificates.Inquiries welcome.
Submitted by: Casey Swenson on Dec 02, 2023
This review is a bit late in coming. We currently have 2 dogs from O'Dobhailien (Sule currently 9 and Arwen currently 3 1/2). The fact that we have 2 dogs from this breeder is an indication that they are great dogs to begin with. We just returned from a short hunt with Sule (9 yo) - we only had one day to hunt, but in 3 1/2 hours with 6 people and one dog we managed to get 17 pheasant. Most of the birds were pointed by Sule. Despite being 9 years old, she still has what it takes and is better than most!
Now for Arwen - she is the younger dog, and is just as wonderful!! Her personality is a bit different than Sule and took a little bit longer to introduce to gunfire (4-5 days as opposed 10 minutes). Although that made me a bit nervous about how her first hunt would be, my fears were unfounded. She progressed quickly, and I can say she is an outstanding dog in the field. Below is the "long version" of her first weekend hunting in SD (4 day hunt):
Day 1: Arwen started off chasing Sule around and trying to play with her as if it were our backyard. As birds started to flush and gunshots started happening she was a bit confused but not frightened. Then she saw that Sule was coming up with birds after the gunfire. Of course, Arwen would try to go take the birds from Sule and that did not go well - but she got the idea of what was going on. As the day went on, she started to seem a bit mentally exhausted trying to take it all in. So, I called it a day and brought her back home for some rest.
Day 2: After getting a good night of rest, Arwen was ready to go back out in the field. She paid attention to what Sule was doing, but didn't try to play with her at all. Arwen simply started working the field. When we had the first flush of the day, she was not too far away and (although a bit uncertain) managed to get to the downed bird before Sule. Arwen picked up the bird and wasn't quite sure about it so she dropped it, checked it out a bit more, and then decided it was a good idea to pick it up again. (note: I did not specifically work on retrieving skills with this dog at all before going out in the field - so any retrieve is a plus at this point!) She pranced around with it looking pretty proud of herself. As the hunt went on she started to use her nose noticeably more. and by the end of the hunt that day she would immediately look for any falling birds with any gun shot. She didn't see last bird that was shot that day, but still managed to run to the other side of the tree grove, find the bird and bring it back to the closest hunter on that side. That made me happy and was something I was not expecting!
Day 3: When the GPS collars came out, she was excited. On this day she was clearly relying on her nose, and she knew exactly what she was looking for. You can probably imagine my joy when another hunter called "you have a dog on point up here!" and I knew it wasn't Sule (as she was in front of me). She was rock solid, and unfortunately Sule ended up flushing the bird before we were ready for the shot. During that day and day 4, we saw Arwen really continue to use her nose and give us some very good pointing and she and Sule started to back each other. On day 4, she was retrieving to hand - on one occasion chasing down a runner at 300+ yards and bringing it to me in the middle of a tree grove!
What can I say, but I was super excited to see Arwen almost immediately bloom into an amazing hunting dog. She hunts at a good range for me - typically staying within about 40 yards unless she is on a strong scent trail. The hunters that have hunted with other dogs were all quite impressed with her ability. The two dogs hunt a bitt differently, Arwen seems to have a bit slower and more methodical hunt pattern than Sule. Both are a joy to work with, and I have had many comments in the field about how good the dogs are, compared to other dogs people have hunted over.
I think it is important to note, this experience has little to do with my ability as a trainer and everything to do about the natural ability these dogs possess. That can be attributed to the very dedicated breeders that Bob and Evan (O'Dobhailien) are. They breed healthy dogs with amazing natural hunting ability and drive.
Aside from hunting, both are a spoiled part of the family. They love being in the boat fishing with us in Canada, and have been on a couple of backpacking trips with us into the Bighorn and Rocky Mountains. Overall, they are wonderful dogs, wonderful breeders. If you are looking for one of the best upland dogs and family companions, then you can't go wrong with a Dog from O'Dobhailien!!!
Submitted by: Mark L Haugen on Jan 24, 2018
I was fortunate to encounter a writeup on the Devlins in the Bemidji newspaper nearly a dozen years and was impressed by their knowledge of and devotion to a breed of which I was unfamiliar. I had previous experiences with red setters and recalled a particular dog with a white star on her chest which, in my ignorance, I assumed to be a 'defect.' After speaking with Bob in the wake of the loss of our second Brittany, my impressions of the Devlins passion for and devotion to the IRWS was confirmed. We brought Buddy, an 8 month old started dog home after a delightful visit with Bob and Evan. I began a training program with a gentleman who was highly recommended by the Devlins, and was immediately impressed by Buddy's drive and enthusiasm for the hunt. Buddy and my family hunted most of 'the glory decade' in north central South Dakota wherein 500 rooster flushes were not unusual. In all of my hundreds of hunts for pheasants over a wide variety of dogs, pointing and flushing, I have never seen a more passionate, and skillful hunter. I recall phoning Bob to inform him of my my experiences of Buddy as the 'go to' dog when we had a wounded runner, the times in which Buddy made 100-150 yard blind retrieves and even instances in which Buddy made water retrieves when the Lab hunting with us refused to return his owner's downed rooster! While I could go on at some length about the hunting attributes of this very special dog, I would add that virtually everyone I have introduced Buddy to (including those who are lukewarm at best toward dogs in general) has fallen susceptible to his charm. Truly a wonderful family member! For the person who desires a hunting companion who hunts in consort with the hunters, whose range I would describe as typically 30-40 yards, and hunts with unbridled joy and determination, I am convinced that an IRWS is the ultimate gundog.Please be assured that I will checking in with the Devlins in the very near future to discuss the addition of another IRWS to our home. I again consider myself very fortunate to have been introduced to this very special dog via the Devlins, and I recommend that anyone interested in the IRWS contact them.
Submitted by: Steve Drexel on Oct 18, 2016
We have been extremely pleased with Tilly our female IRWS that came from O'Dobhailien. Tilly is a very loving and affectionate house pet. She is unusual in that she has a lot of energy but also tremendous focus which translates into trainability. We had a lot of fun on the show circuit, Tilly earned her confirmation title at a young age with an over abundance of points having racked up wins in consecutive major competitions. Further, Tilly is an amazing gun dog consistently earning high scores during hunt rests. Trainers and judges love her for her strong motor and drive. She will work all day and find more birds than the rest of the field every time. We were very fortunate to find Bob and Even when we were looking for our first IRWS and would not consider going elsewhere next time.
Submitted by: Cody on Dec 02, 2014
One day I was looking through the Pheasant Forever website and saw a picture of a IRWS and knew instantly that was the dog I wanted. I found Bob and Evan on GunDogbreeders.com in the summer of 2012. I did thorough and careful research into many breeders and determined that O'dobhailien was the premier breeder of the IRWS. I can tell you, without a doubt, it was one of the best decisions of my life.
I picked Harper up in September of 2012. I took him to Iowa at 5 months old and introduced him to pheasants and could tell instantly that hunting pheasant was instinctual. By the end of the trip he was pointing birds (at 5 months old!). We have hunted pheasant in Iowa with Harper each year after that. His skills continue to grow and evolve. This past year was incredible. We have never had to do ANY formal training with him. He stays at a close distance and works back and forth, checking for scent. He points and HOLDS his points until we get there. He has turned into an unbelievable retriever. He has a incredible tenacity about him and never gives up looking for a wounded bird. He brings the birds back to your feet and drops them. The family and friends we hunt with were dumbfounded that he has never received formal training.
Not only is he a good hunting dog, but he is an excellent pet. His intelligence level is off the charts and he is very good with all people including young children.
Bob and Evan are a joy to work with. I absolutely recommend their dogs to anyone interested in IRWS.
Submitted by: Bob Allender on Sep 07, 2014
I have two of Bob and Evan's IRWSs. The first "Garland" is over ten and the second "Mairead" just turned one. I'm proud to say I've never lost a bird with Garland in the field. Have done a couple of hunt tests with him, he has never failed. Though some tell me it is unusual for a setter, he has a "huge" first point, classic three point stance with tail up. Even brought tears to one person's eyes who was working with me. My second Mairead looks to have promise maybe even greater than Garland. I added a second more so because of the companionship these dogs give, more at home in the home with their person and Mairead has been a great companion for Garland.
What strikes me most is the advice and care Bob and Evan have given me over the years. I've never met anyone who cared so much for the dogs and the preservation of what the IRWS was truly meant to be. Not many breeders stay in contact for over ten years, they have. Thank you for two of the greatest gifts it has been my pleasure to experience all these years.
Submitted by: Mark Engelhardt on Sep 19, 2013
I am honored to submit this testimonial. We own two IRWS from the Devlin's. Having grown up with Red Irish Setters (10 born on St. Patty's Day) all my life, it was time for a new setter, especially after for caring for our "Kerry Dancer" for many years with health problems. Through research we discovered the O'Dobhailien family of IRWS. I got to know Evan and Bob by telephone and although they knew I did not hunt, (fisherman)they understaood the love our family has for setters. In any event, we have had O'Dobhailien Rory Donegal for 5 1/2 years and O'Dobhailien "Paddy" Padraig Donegal for 1 1/3 years. I was impressed with their emphasis on the health of the breed and care they took in selecting the "right dog for our family" with us.
When I flew up to Duluth, from Florida, I was welcomed with open arms and was able to observe the care they have for the entire IRWS kennel and pups. So after two IRWS, in great health and the most wonderful dispositions, I am pleased to testify that the Devlin's are top notch breeder's with numerous awards for showing and hunting. I even have the Cabela's DVD where the Devlin's are featured bird hunters.
Both Rory and Paddy are terrific around children, have a natural instinct for all types of animals in our golf course setting. They are natural "friends" with the deer. Our neighbors and family members are amazed at the breed and the loving personalities of both dogs.
Evan and Bob are always available by telephone for advise, but more importantly, they are interested in how the dogs are doing. I take plenty of photos and Rory's photo made it in the AKC Journal (January 2009) when the IRWS was "introduced" in the sporting dog category. Even out vet, for routine check ups, is impressed with the overall health status of the dogs. As i tell Rory and Paddy every night; "you are the best dogs in the world"..Thanks Evan & Bob for bringing joy to our world.
Submitted by: Margaret Ter Horst on Aug 27, 2013
We were introduced to Evan and Bob Devlin and O'Dobhailien Kennels and the world of the Irish Red and White Setter when we began a search for a new hunting companion. My husband had hunted with a red setter as a boy, and we had had a succession of English setters. Our inquiries into the red and white setter led us to Duluth, the Devlins, and our Caile. She has not only proved to be an excellent hunter -- eager to be in the field, with an excellent nose, showing a tenacity for holding a bird, and ready to go again and again. She has hunted well under all conditions, outhunting other dogs in the field in heavy snow. What has pleased us so much is her athleticism and strength. Now that she is almost twelve years old she is still out for her daily runs, can jump in and out of the car easily and flies up the stairs. She has been a very healthy dog. Trips to the vet have only been for the usual vaccinations. As a companion and family dog, we could not have made a better choice. Our grandsons were toddlers and babies when she came to us and they have all bonded in a special way. It is her unique "Irishness," her leprechaun personality of which we have become so fond. This is the only dog that we have had who has a distinct sense of humor and shares it with us! All of the above testimonial to Caile, our Irish Red and White Setter, we owe to Evan and Bob Devlin for their true devotion to maintaining the breed as it should be done, through their careful genetic selections when breeding, their care of all their puppies and the other dogs who are in their kennel, the continuance of instincts in hunting, their thoughtfulness and concern as each dog is placed with new owners. They have a true sense of ownership with the Irish Red and White Setters it is known through each of their very special dogs. We heartily recommend O'Dobhailien Kennels and Evan and Bob Devlin if yoiu have any interest in the Irish Red and White Setter. It will be a good choice for you as a hunting companion and family dog.
Submitted by: Mrs Aisling Redmond-Hawkes on Aug 21, 2013
To give due where due is well overdue in recognition ,
I have found the Devlins line of breeding to be of some of the highest quality
of anywhere in the world due to the fact all their dogs and bitches are of the
standard that stay true to the standards of the old breed that the Irish Red and
White Setters are.
Their gun dogs are bred from old lines without any other dog breeds in their
lineage and can be traced according and that is so important .
Also by just looking at their dogs you can see perfect confirmation in their
stature and excellent muscle tone with the proper deep chests and length of tail
along with intelligent bright eyes set in the true Irish Red and Whites
distinctive shaped heads.
All their dogs have lovely temperaments which is the way the breed should be.
Their dogs are all fully tested for any damage to their eyes ,hips , etc and
all other defects that have been showing up in some lines of breeding ( which
is a shocking disregard for the breed and is happening and comes across as money
making with no regard for the breed ) so it is with years of hard work and not
for profit but for the love of the breed that the Devlins have stayed true to
the old type of breed which is pure and a honest hard working dog with loyalty
to its owners and great around kids when it is not being worked.
The super high standard of the Devlins is a must for the breed to stay pure ,
healthy and a simply joy to work with. The dogs are also just a joy to look
at even at the end of a good day out with dirt and mud attached and dog and
owner tired because that is what the survival of the breed is about. These high
standards and I say this coming from a line of Red and White Setter breeders
that are delighted to see the Irish Red and White dogs legacy carrying on in
such responsible hands in breeding as also in selling their puppies to
responsible owners who will exercise, look after health wise and understand what
talking on such an intelligent energetic dog means .
The Devlins have years and years of experience and so much knowledge about the
breed and lines and also where dogs are being imported from and the standard of
these dogs that it is wonderful to just talk to them if you need any advice as
we are always learning and it is of utmost important to know the background of
your dog if it is not from the Devlins .
It would be wonderful if a lot more breeders were of like mind as the Devlins ,
breeders for the love of breed not for money or status but to work the dog or
as a person who hikes for miles and just gets pure enjoyment from the dog. Also
the Red and Whites are always teaching us a thing or two as they are known as
the thinking man's ( woman's ) dog for 100s of years , they are a dog that
needs stimulation and not a short walk on a lead.
Mrs Aisling Redmond Hawkes .
Submitted by: Bruce J kopp on May 28, 2013
Our family has had the pleasure of one of ODobhailen's Irish Red & White Setters for four years now. "Carson" is not only one of the best pheasant dogs I've hunted with, he is truly a member of the family. I've never been around a dog as affectionate. When it is time to "find the birds" he is all business and just a joy to watch. Bob and Evan are truly wonderful and care immensely about the breed and their dogs. We feel fortunate to have been chosen to adopt our Carson and I would reccommend them to anyone wanting a gun dog and family member that will make you proud.
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Submitted by: Colin Roney on Apr 10, 2012
To say we love our O'Dobhailien IRWS “Murphy” is an understatement! We feel blessed that both Bob and Evan have been such an overwhelming source of support and information. They have provided love and compassion in making Murphy such an outstanding dog, both physically and emotionally. They are like Murphy’s grandparents, always there for us with advice, a good tip and so willing to dote on the millions of pictures I send them of Murphy.
I am a big upland bird hunting enthusiast; to have Murphy with me, makes it so much more special. Not only is he wonderful with our 11month year old son, he is one of the best pointers I have ever seen. Every time I go hunting with new or old friends, I receive many compliments on what a great bird dog he is. People are always commenting on how incredibly beautiful it is to watch him work the fields.
An example of his ability is, last summer I took him to the Minnesota Game Fair to check things out and wander around. There was a pointing competition that day, the last day, and we were the second to last to show up. Fifty dogs had competed that day and two points in three minutes was the best record when I showed up. While I was in line to have Murphy enter the field, I was surrounded by what appeared to be very serious hunters and kennel owners (they all had the vests, whistles, hats with logos.etc). They were looking at me like I was some silly city boy (with khaki pants, flip flops and a baseball cap). When it was our turn, Murphy pointed three birds in three minutes and was on another before time let out. The judge said, “Wow, I have never seen a dog like that and what a good nose. He holds his point so well and it was fun to watch him work!” I was one proud papa that day! Murphy was the best of 50 dogs and to be honest, I wasn’t that surprised. I knew what he was capable of doing.
I recommend Bob and Evan Devlin of O’Dobhailien Irish Red and White Setters, in Duluth, Minnesota without reservation. If you have the privilege to own one of their amazing puppies, you will have both an amazing family dog and a gifted hunting companion.