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What was your first Irish Setter encounter?

The first time I met an Irish Setter was March of 1993. I had a first date with a woman who I would eventually date for 3 1/2 years. When she opened the door, Chelsea was barking away. After introducing us, she volunteered that "Irish Setters are the most beautiful dogs in the world". While I thought Chelsea was beautiful, I was not prepared to concede that title to red heads at that moment but did not want to start a fight 5 minutes into a first date. I later found out that Chelsea was her ex-husband's dog. We moved in together for about 18 months and then when she moved out, I got custody of the fur kid. So, my first Setter was my ex-girlfriend's ex-husband's dog!

And over the years, I have learned that she was right. Irish Setters are the most beautiful dogs in the world!!

How about you? How did you get involved with Irish Setters?

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Thanks Gillian.

Answer on your question: Verweij was a Dutch captain in wartimes. He bred since the nineteen twenties under more Irish and Gordon setters, a few years together with J.A. Hesterman (O'Cuchulain) under the affix O'Callaghan, later Of Sutherland.

The activities of both stamped half a century of the history of the Irish setter in the Netherlands. Although both were showbreeders, working dogs were an integral part of their breedingbase. This ended in the nineteen seventies, when new showonly breeders entered. 

Verweij has a place in history as author of the book Setters en pointers (Amsterdam, 1949). It was written while the captain was imprisoned by the Germans in WWII. So he had a lot of time to analyse publications on his favorite pastime while the world was on fire.

The period in prison raised in my eyes the quality of his work Setters en pointers, It was published much later after the war due to lack of paper.The pictures show a type of dog now nearly gone, one Brian Boru of Sutherland, a dog stolen by the Germans in WWII.

The captain was also one of the first geneticists active in dogsports and writing on the subject. Probably he was also one of the first Dutchmen judging the breed abroad. He was highly respected by breedhistorians like W.C. Thompson (USA), W.J. Rasbridge and Leighthon Boyce (UK).

Lots of the material in Setters en pointers was regarded as unique and more times generated new research. The book was once republished. As far as I know it is now only available in antiqueshops. 

How interesting?  I am half Dutch.  My father was born in Amsterdam and grew up there during the war (WWII).  I wasn't aware of Irish Setters in Europe until I joined ES.  I'd love to find a copy of this book.

Hello/hallo Nardi,

Googling learned that the orginal and a republication are available at



A book written in prison. Apparently a good place to write:-)

Hope this helps you good luck, groeten, Henk. 

Thanks Henk.

This book is still available at the Dutch ISC.

Thank you Astrid.

Thank you Henk - quite fascinating Was the book ever published in English that you know of?

Hello Gillian, although most experts be it US, UK or Norwegian refer to the publication in their bibliography (the best Thompson-The New Irish setter-USA)  I don't know of a translation. A pity, because it has great quality. There are more quality publications never translated into English. Hope this helps, cheers, Henk.

Thank you Henk - will try and track down a copy anyeay and pencil in learning Dutch the next time I have a quiet year or tow. I dont think my

It was almost exactly 15 years ago - I spent holidays on lakes canoeing. I went to Augustów a day before the start. 

I remember perfectly summer evening and first moment I saw a very handsome grey haired mature man sitting on the bench on the quay by the lake. Next to him have been sitting a beautiful dog – red haired, dead straight just like only setters usually sit. Both were looking on the lake. I thought – what an interesting couple. Next morning was very surprising for me – it tourned out we will spend almost two weeks together in one canoe!!! 

Red dog was a beautiful and delightful girl Ruda. Sweet and noble, cheerful and vibrant. She was a lucky mascot of our group. Everybody were enchanted by her. I fell in love at once and knew this is it (I had been thinking about a dog for me for some time). So I think it was a destiny.

A month later I had my own red girl  - Bajka. 

Nice story Anna..........I know you fell in love with the dog but what happened to the handsome grey haired man did you end up with him too?

I just love a happy ending :)

He was very handsome, nice and interesting man, but I prefer younger men - his children were a bit younger then me.

There were fantastic holidays, the weather was perfect, whole our group fine and the place too.

He was a real gentleman, I was offered not to paddle at all:-) After canoeing we made each day nice trips. He sang beautifully.

So the circumstances were favourable but....




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