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Quel avenir pour le setter irlandais en France ?

Nouvelles directives de jugement données par le Red Club en France.
Lors de l'assemblée générale du Red Club, le 28 juillet 2007, le comité nous a indiqué les nouvelles directives de jugement :
Taille idéale pour obtenir le CACS : 56 à 60 cm pour les femelles et 59 à 64 cm pour les mâles.
Ces tailles ont été fixées car, d'après le comité, les grands chiens ne savent pas chasser.
Pour obtenir le CAC en exposition il faut avoir 7 caractères jugés excellents ( tête, avant main, corps, arrière main, ensemble, robe et démarche ) et un chien dans la taille idéale.
Ceci nous a été indiqué le samedi avec application à partir du lendemain lors de la Nationale d'Elevage.
Que pouvons nous faire, quel est l'avenir du setter irlandais en France ?
Je remercie Susan qui s'est proposée pour la traduction.

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OK, Kougelhopf prévu pour l'expo de Metz.
Bises
Monique
Bonjour Frances,
Le Kougelhopf est une spécialité d'Alsace ( région française le long de l'Allemagne), une pâte levée et légèrement sucrée.
Pour Metz les inscriptions sont encore possibles en s'inscrivant en ligne par CEDIA. Ce serait sympa de se retrouver tous à Metz autour d'un Kougelhopf et d'une bonne vendange tardive ( vin sucré très apprécié). Ce serait l'occasion de découvrir vos beaux chiens. Charmed, la superbe, ne serait pas confirmée en France et ne pourrait pas produire de descendance LOF !!! Bien évidement à cause de sa taille.
Si pour Metz c'est trop juste, nous pourrons toujours voir pour une autre expo.
Great job Susan otherwise I would be lost as I did Italian at school!!!!
Merci pour votre excellent et considérable travail.
Bonjour Monique
I was so pleased to see that this subject has been raised for discussion as I am very concerned about this ruling and what it will mean for the breed in France. Since my arrival in France I have had comment about the size of my dogs (my dog is 67cm and bitch 62cm) but they have been able to compete and have done well with good judges, however on a recent visit to the Cahors show, a week after the decision at the Nationale d'Elevage not one Irish Setter met the new height restrictions. The judge pulled the legs out on the smallest bitch to achieve the 60cm so that he could put through a CACS BOB, the bitch has previously measured at 62cm! My greatest concerns however lie in the speed with which this ruling is being implemented and the risk that breeders will use their smallest dogs from which to breed without thought for any other fault they may possess thereby introducing a small breed that is riddled with health issues. I must also disagree with the hunting dog that is being produced I feel that the desire from certain members of the Red Club is to produce a dog which is a short, sharp sprinter rather than a strong dog with stamina which can range heavy ground over a prolonged period. That is surely the role of the Setter, and anyone who has walked the Irish moors and hills in November rain will vouch for the need of sturdy dog! If France wishes to create a French Setter to meet its hunting needs by all means do so but not at the cost of the beautiful breed which is the Irish Setter. Finally, and this is purely an emotive comment but one which I think should be shared, when at dog shows in France I am amazed by the people, including judges, who come up to me and say that "we used to have beautiful Setters like yours in France", there is quite obviously a desire for this type of dog, so why not let it thrive?
Along with two friends, (both Irish Setter owners) I was unfortunate enough to be showing at Cahors shortly after this directive was made. Two of us are members of the Red Club and had not been informed. Only my bitch qualified under the new size restrictions - and that was making an allowance of 1cm as she was measured at 60cm, (having been previously measured at 61cm and 62cm). The situation was extremely annoying for everyone and embarassing for the judge. We had wasted entry fees not to mention travel expenses, time etc. Additionally, my bitch may have been awarded Meilleur de Race but I would rather it had not been by default!

Since this incident, I have studied in depth the website for Irish Setters in Ireland and for the FCI. The former is implementing changes, (but they differ from those of the red club) over a period of 12 years if I remember correctly! The FCI states that those countries that are members of the FCI should adhere to the FCI standard and this should be that laid down by the country of origin of the breed. As far as I can see this applies both to CAC as well as CACIB but if anyone can find a clause to the contrary please draw my attention to it. The arbitrary stand taken by the Red Club is unbelievable. The failure to inform members, all of whom pay an annual membership fee, is something we should not countenance.

I do not debate that there are some very beautiful dogs in France, but I have also seen, in the show ring, dogs that I would never have recognised as Irish Setters and who's pedigree some countries might debate. This breeding for undersized dogs many with whippet type muzzles and poor muscle development must surely be doing enourmous harm to the breed. Last year I was approached at a show by an elderly Frenchman who, some years ago, had bred and shown Irish Setters. He was devastated at what was happening to the breed in France and commented that they would soon be no bigger than spaniels.

We are told that the old standard will still apply for Confirmation. For how long I wonder? Is this not perhaps the "thin end of the wedge"?

Something should be done but I am not quite sure where to start. Replies, comments and suggestions please.

Vanessa Woodward
Quickly scanning posts here coming across Swiss Susans question. Yes I think it is hugely important for the breed that breed clubs like the Red Club France make a clear statement about the breed: its a hunting breed. And protect its interests.

In France the English setter is a very popular breed, nearly all for hunting and great companions (pets) as well. So there are many chances in that culture for the working Irish setter to gain a better place in the fields. This is for the future of the Irish setter very important. The Red Club France works together with our parentclub in Ireland, there have been trials and trainings of the French in the Emerald Isle this year. France is apparently seen by the Irish working breeders as the "gate" to European fields.

When you look at a hundred years history in Irish setters in pictures you will see a huge change of type in showcultures. You may think the nowadays winning showtype is THE Irish setter. It is in a way like the mutant saying to its originator: you have the wrong conformation, you are far too small, you don't have the right color etc. Luckily clubs like the French show some fighting-spirit and do not bow for that arrogant attitude, shown on this site by so many as well, in belittling their own athletes with their narrowminded thoughts. Yugh!

Apart from that, show-only selection is -not only in my eyes- by far the biggest threat for a healthy future for a breed. For the simple reason that no test on mental or physical properties and selecting on beauty only leads in the end to a giant loss of what has been called "treasure-rooms" of Irish setters: what is between their ears!!! Those were inspiring poets, wiriters and painters.

I recall one of my teachers saying: read all those standards of sporting breeds and see on conformation theres a lot the same in all breeds. But the heart of the breed is not there, its between their ears. That is what you lose when competing in conformation only. You make a beauty car and destroy the motor of it. Your love for the breed is the most cruel thing happening to a former Arab of birddogs degenerating into a parakeet.

Show has been -also in this site dominated by showpeople- making rules until now in many cultures like the UK and USA. Result: trends rapidly changing. You can see fields as living museum for the true Irish setter, the type has not changed dramatically. Plus theres a lot of lines available there otherwise extinct because of trends.

Having read in posts that working Irish setters are not fit as companions, here my experiences. I've done all possible activities with Irish setters. By far the best companions for me and our family were working Irish setters. Even if I would not hunt or trial (I've started that for the dogs - they loved it), I would prefer the working one.

Never a dull day with a working red!
Sorry Hank but you got the bit about "working Irish are not fit as companions" completely wrong!!! That is not what was said at all!! I said that the average family would find working types(of any breed)more difficult as purely pets, but I dont think you fit that discription as you have worked your dogs and have vast experience training etc.I too would not have a problem with the working type Irish as a pet, but I dont fit the "average catagory" either!!
thanks Francis!
I concur completely with Frances, the real issues here are the Red Club dictating a standard which is not agreed upon by the SCC or the FCI and the desire to ostracize a cerain style of dog. There is no point in making a huge distinction between working type and show type when they should all meet a fundamental standard. Take most "Show" dogs and let them run freely in the countryside and you will see the natural instinct to set and quarter a field and go on point. There will be those dogs which are then developed by their owners to work and do trial events, it doesn't mean that the other dog can't do it, the more we try to say one or the other is right the more likely we are to fail this breed. What must be agreed upon is the STANDARD and then individuals should have the choice of how that dog suits them the most ie worker, show or wonderful lovable pet - I still think that the Irish can do all 3!
As for working irish not making good pets, I dont feel as if I am the average dog-owner either, but I feel that a working setter would just about be the last type of dog I would want as a pet. Now I have never met a french setter, but am basing this only on the swedish field-trail setters I have met.
Just as well as I dont sell my puppies to hunters, I feel it is wrong to sell field-bred setters (of swedish type) to pet-homes.
Field-trail breeders I have spoken to agree on this Henk!
We have written about this loads of times...how much you can influence by breeding. Well, the field-trial setters in scandinavia, are fast! They cover huge areas of ground and are highly specialised. And, yes, they are often small compared to the show-type.
In fact very few hunters even here (with the vast areas about) have enough ground for a setter of that type.
No, I most certainly feel that these setters are not a suitable pet for the average family!
Not even for someone like me that has worked with dogs as much as I have.
And, by the way, I also go for what is between a dogs ears Henk, and not all that much for their looks.
I can now see that this has turned into a "the one and only true irish setter thread". But to my way of thinking some of the small, light-coloured and excedingly fast setters are as far removed from the original as some of the more extreme show-setters.
This confuses me greatly Ursula, that you consider field type irish not suitable for familypets? Everyone of our 5 setters ARE familypets aswell as hunting companions. And all our puppies ARE familypets after huntingseason. At least this is the fact in Finland. I am well aware that certain lines from Norway and Sweden are runners and the width of the terrain those searching is quite wide. But in Finland that is not hoped for in a field type setter. So by saying that fieldtype setters are not suitable as familypets, you are wrong, exept for a few lines.
The hunting season lasts about 2 months, except for the Lapland of Finland where we are priviledged of a 6 month period of hunting. Out of that time all setters are living within families, as pets.

Most of the finnish hunting terrain is in the woods so our setters can not even be that impossible to let run free or else we wouldn´t have any field type setters in our country. And for that matter that one can not let the dog run free or else it would get lost/missed, it is only and only a matter of educating the dog to have/keep contact. Others do it naturally, some you have teach. It is just the method of training your dog nothing else, it has nothing to do with the fact that field type setters are impossible to handle. That is bull****

As for what I have seen in showtype setters is a lot of nervousness at home. Those that I have seen can not relax, they´re constantly hassling around. And that makes me nervous. Our dogs rest when home, they don´t even get nervous if for some matter they haven´t had their daily run, they wait until it is time to let free and let go.

Most certainly I could sell one for a familypet only, of course for a family who understands what setters are made for, even though they couldn´t give the dog the hunting experienses needed.

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