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Over trimming or shaving of the Show Irish Red Setter?

I would like to know the opinion of all show people on the over shaving(trimming) of the setter? I was very surprised to see that trimming is actually mentioned in the AKC breed standard (coat section)"Trimming is done to preserve the natural appearance of the dog" How over trimming or shaving can preserve a natural look is quite puzzling to me!!!! I make my dogs as neat as possible for shows with a scissors or hand plucking but never put a blade near them!! I think that over grooming is quite the opposite of the natural appearance!! I believe over trimming/grooming makes setters look a bit like cardboard cut outs,not real dogs!!!!!!!!

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it made me nervous just watching it


I would say it's two different aspects. Wavy or curly coat is not much wanted over here, so that might be the reason for trimming some dogs.

The other question is, where do these loads of fluffy hair come from ? Reminds me of afghan coats texture. I see more and more ES and GS with a "cut-along-the-dotted-line" silhouette and wonder where this fashion comes from and when we will see it in IS.

I agree with Sue. Most UK IS have coats of good quality, colour and texture and UK exhibitors tend to trim to enhance rather than sculpt. European exhibitors, more and more, are adopting the US style of presentation and coat sculpting is greatly in evidence, especially in the eastern countries. Yes, conformation seems to be taking second place to presentation. Maybe if judges penalised narrow fronts and upright shoulders rather than concentrating on coat and presentation the trend will be reversed. 

Replying to Susan

As a new exhibitor, thrilled to have shown the winning bitch in Junior, I find your comment distressing if you're referring to my dog. (I was concentrating on us and the judge, and only looked at the movement and construction of the others in the class and wasn't aware of their presentation, so it's possible you aren't referring to us, but 'dreadful' is an unpleasant label to apply to anyone in our class. )

Her neckline has been neatened (thinning scissors, of course, not shaved!) and I'm happy with that, though I keep as much feathering as looks tidy on her ears, just trimming under and behind them so they lay flat.

I see all sorts in the show ring, from as nature intended to military crop, which is fine to me, we all have different ideas as to how our dog should be presented. There were some gorgeous visiting non-show setters who had never been trimmed and they looked lovely to me, too.

Hi Jean !

Please don't feel offended ! This is just a discussion about how much trimming etc. is actually done, needed, wanted and if fashion is involved. Nothing personally, I am sure.

Just.....IF dogs win on shows that are shaved or heavily trimmed, they will start a line of followers. Many new exhibitors are unsure, if they MUST do it. IRWS standard is pretty clear that they don't want it. Not so in IS. So...where is the borderline ?

Monday we will accept ears shaved.

Tuesday it will be a trimmed neck all way round

Wednesday it will be "pricky" trimmed back

Thursday it will be scissorcut featherings ?

Friday we say hello to Kajal on eyelids

Saturday everybody uses powder and bronze and colouring shampoo

Sunday it is allright to have extensions and nailpolish and perhaps fake eyelashes,-))))

OK, maybe sometimes I have a strange kind of humor. This was meant to be a joke (I hope,-))))


Thank you, Sue, and excuse me everyone, especially Susan - I was over-sensitive and jumped to a defensive position too quickly. I do agree Christiane .  .  . I'm waiting for the day when boys spend two hours fixing on false eyelashes before a special evening out!

Hihi, sorry...but do you ever REALLY see continental dogs in GB ? 2-3 generations of danish, norwegian, czech, german whatever bred setters ?

Just asking;-))))


Regarding your argument with friends from US showgrounds....as far as I understood, the AKC has a different breed standard for IS. Not only in working style, but also something written about "trimmimg is wanted" ? Something pretty alien for me in IS in both ways - exterieur and performance.

...alas...I forgot FRENCH IS ! ,-))))

Christiane, that is a little discourteous.  I have seen and judged continental dogs and not just in the UK.

I agree with Sue.  We never argue, we debate.......and very interesting it is too.  Exchange of opinion can never be a bad thing, as long as your mind is open and receptive.

As you are more interested in the working Setter and find all presentation and trimming alien then I can see why you would not have an objective view on the subject.

I like to keep foot hair neat and feathers well trimmed and i know when bens ears need a trim as they start to get wet when he has a drink. he is not a show setter but being a dog groomer for the last 7 years i have seen alsorts of breeds in very bad coat condition mats and knots and often say to myself i should have gone on a sheep shearing course lol i know there are set breed standards for the show animal and i can appreciate the time and effort that goes in to making these beasties look beautiful but im a firm believer of practical over pretty :0)

hi Carmel i have being involved with Irish red setters all my life and i have never had to use or shave my dogs that i show i have used it only on my setters that are not for show as it makes it very easy for me and saves a lot of time quick and easy i have just done 2 this morning for my daughter i have always used a trimming scissors and spent many hours hand stripping this is a matter of choice for people and can save a lot of time i do agree that some of the trimming on the neck and ears can be over done with a shaver and can at times look hard however i will give credit to exhibitors who do an excellent job on there presentation having used a shaver i do not have a problem with it, it has never affected my decision when judging the breed or any other breed that i have judge i do take into consideration the presentation of a dog when judging it has become the norm for some to use a shaver i have judge the breed in America and i must say that they are done to perfection as you are aware the breed is some what different that ours i ? its not just red setters any more its many breeds, to keep it natural can be good practice if you are willing to use hand plucking and trimming scissors all those long hours i love it as i get great satisfaction from doing it that way        




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