Exclusively Setters

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Hello everybody!
First of all thank you for this great site. As I see here is so many experienced breeders, so I would really like to hear your opinion about mixing american and english type in breeding. We must admit that there is different types of Irish setters (FT, American, English) and specially in England they really are worried about keeping the type at the same time for 7 years our special show judges were from England and american type setters usually get very high places (this year best bitch, dogs champion class winner etc). Our entry is about 80 Irish setters and most of them English type and not bad quality. So, at least here and already in Sweden and Finland I see people are mixing two different types and are more open to new things!

best regards,


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Love it....whiskers and all, just look at the way they are being used, pushing them forward to touch whatever it is that is being looked at. So pretty, and definitely not over trimmed just, trimmed enough, perfection...
The whiskers add some much to the natural expression!! Otherwise a face can look too plain! Lovely photo;o)
Oooh..all thos gorgeous eyebrows and whiskers...heaven!
didn't notice that it didn't have them. No they should have everything like whiskers they need their whiskers. I was just looking at the overall shape of his/her head....Closer look....don't like that at all nice shape and expression but would be improved by leaving the whiskers on, and I agree about the puppies Michelle there smell is wonderful but those fantastic whiskers 'covering' their faces there aren't many puppies that are so so pretty with those wonderful eyebrows and curly nose whiskers....beautiful
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, what is very disappointing is seeing Irish Setters in the show ring that have snipey heads (no stop), are light in colour, straight shoulders, an abundance of angulation at the rear and hound like movement, that is not an Irish Setter but worryingly these are dogs that win best of breed under judges including one or two from the UK and Europe. I have seen one or two nice examples of American line dogs or a combination of these lines. I find it disturbing to witness at shows puppies that are the same size as open dogs and this is considered acceptable as the height has been removed from the standard or not considered important in some countries. Why is it acceptable for one country to deem it OK to change or attempt to change the standard surely the standard should be the same as it is in the country of origin, Ireland. Regrettably there have been times when I have gazed at the line up at shows the dogs being so different in looks that the American and Europen lines look like two completely different breeds. Of course you don't get the perfect dog, my dogs have faults and so do everyone elses. What I do object to are clubs attempting to change the standard to incorporate what is in the show ring in that partuicular country For me my preference is with the Europen line and the entire setter world must walk on the side of caution to ensure this beautiful breed is not changed upon all recognition and loose the lovely features that make it so special.
So well said Joanne, you are so rite it isn't just in the Antipodes that we have yellow coats straight fronts and over-angulated rears, and anyone who knows anything about movements, and construction, knows that this combination makes for rubbish movement. Definitely not the ''daisy chopping'' movement that this breed should have, we have far too many hackneys out there, and they are winning, that is the worst part of it all.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but they should still look like ''Irish Setters'', and you are rite the standards should be taken from the ''point of origin'' and that is ''Ireland'' no where else.
Hello Joanne

I thought it important following your thoughts, to speak about size and height.

Throughout the history of the breed there has always been a variation in the size of the Irish Setter, from tiny dogs to giants and all were permissible. The Irish Red Setter Club was formed in the 1880's and the standard was written without a height being specified, the standard required that the dog was balanced and in proportion.

I recall in the late 1980’s running my Wendover bitch at a Field Trial, there were tiny adult dogs of Moanruad breeding there that were about the size of a 5 month old puppy, and at the same time in the show ring, some the size of a bitch Great Dane. None of these dogs were disqualifiable for size. Going back in time, many judges’ critiques would refer to size, saying whether the exhibit was big or small, and often referred to them as ‘my ideal size’. I can recall some really big dogs at that time that were in every way absolutely beautiful. Today we don’t see such a great variation.

The UK Kennel Club was in existence at the time of the formation of the Irish Red Setter Club and the Irish Republic was at that time part of the UK, so shows, registrations and all things dogs in Ireland were regulated by the UK Kennel Club and it can be added to this, that the original standard was the agreed standard for the UK Kennel Club. We can trace the early history of the dogs bred in Ireland, as the UK KC breed record was published for all to read. In the 1920’s Ireland became a republic and the Irish Kennel Club was formed, and from then to my knowledge, no record of breeding or registrations have been published. So it’s quite difficult to look back at breeding trends in Ireland from that time.

With regard to height, throughout the world, the spirit of original Breed Standard remained unaltered, until the Irish Kennel Club became a member of the FCI. The FCI insisted that the standard was rewritten in their format and it must include a height. The IRSC initially refused, but eventually were left with the ultimatum, you decide on a height or we will do it for you. Many other FCI countries were very anxious at that time and wrote to the IRSC voicing their concerns; many dogs would be banned from showing and field trials if they were above or below the set height. So the IRSC did set quite a broad height range, and began a program of height standardisation. Over a period of 12 year, breeders were required to bring the height of Irish Setters within the agreed standard, Males 23 ins. (58 cm) to 26.5 ins. (67 cm) Females 21.5 ins. (55 cm) to 24.5 ins. (62 cm)

In the UK we did not adopt the new standard but retain our current one. This is also true of most other countries not members of the FCI, New Zealand, USA and Australia included. If you check the standard in all these countries if a height is given, it is merely given as a guide not a rule.

The Americans like a big dog and I say that’s OK, the hunting owners like a smaller dog and I say that’s OK too, lots of us like a moderate size, and I say, all of us are right! The important thing is that they are balanced and in proportion.

I believe the IRSC would never have brought in a height standard were they not forced to do so and perhaps if Ireland left the FCI would remove it.

Your new Marindallas puppy looks lovely, she has some American lines through her dam, I will watch with interesting to see how she develops!

Type with all sizes of Irish Setters is another story and a big one!

Hallo IS friends!
Pitty the discussion about this very interesting topic is not carrying on especially by including the best of breeders and judges from UK!

Their knowledge,experience,opinion would be so important to save this most beautiful breed!
Yes the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder........but where is the understanding and knowledge of standard of the irish red setter?????
American-english type-no type -two different red setters-but but the english one is the Red Irish Setter!
Americans-lovely dogs,but not irish setters!Just rred setters!
If I take on one leash an american one and on the other the english one,most of the passers by will turn their heads after the american one being very attractive specially when prepared for the show!I would say the beauty is in the eyes of the new owners!So please take what you want to be your life companion,but do not mix all the judges in this problem!
This is the topic for the very broad and long even scientific discussion,but without bad feelings,just based on polite,intellactual level!
As far as the judging is concerned The Specialty show with the judges specialsts is the Queen of all the shows!,although we must admit that even the best judges are judging from the offered material!.So the show results are so different sometimes and somewhere!
Tempora mutantur,but Historia magistra vitae est!
With many thaks and the greatest respect to all the well known breederfellows and judges being my teachers concerning the adorable IRISH RED SETTERS! They all know who THEY are!!!




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