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Reading the Irish Setter breed standard which states:


On head, front of legs and tips of ears, short and fine; on all other parts of body and legs of moderate length, flat and as free as possible from curl or wave. Feathers on upper portion of ears long and silky; on back of fore- and hindlegs long and fine. Fair amount of hair on belly, forming a nice fringe which may extend on to chest and throat. Feet well feathered between toes. Tail to have fringe of moderately long hair decreasing in length as it approaches point. All feathering to be as straight and flat as possible".


it seems that a large proportion of the IS's have very wavy if not curly coats; not that I have anything against that but we seem to be getting away from the breed standard?  I understand that coat is only a small part of the important make up of these beautiful dogs and conformation is more important.

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My apologies Lindsey.  I have re-read my comment and I think it was a little misleading.  Concept was top IS in 2008 but he has been top sire for the past 3 years.  A son of his is currently top Irish Setter and though my boy is retired from studwork his children and grandchildren are producing beautiful children of their own.......so all good and thank you for your comment.

I wish you luck with your girls and hope they live to a happy and healthy old age for, in the long run, even though we argue and debate the finer points that is more important then anything else.

thank you Eva,  I did try showing for a while but with little success!  I've given up now and just enjoy them at home.  We have lovely walks together every day which they relish.  Yes they are lovely healthy girls and love life, which is what attracted me to Irish Setters in the first place.  Their wonderful nature is hard to beat!

Just one other thing I noticed going back to the breed standard it states that feet should be well feathered between the toes.  I see now that myself included, most people prefer the trimmed foot look. I trim my dogs feet as I find they do not get clogged with mud and in summer less likely to attract grass seeds.

Hi Lindsey,

Yes it is more convenient to keep the feet trimmed.....especially on a rainy day, you get less mud and dirt in the house. I supposed judges become used to seeing a trimmed foot in the ring and ignore another point of the Standard!

And we all know which one that is don't we Catherine.......hehe

8 pages on ONE FEATURE of the Irish Setter!  To my mind it is more important to try & produce Irish which are representative of the breed & as closely as possible conform to the breed standard without compromising the function of the breed.  I would rather have a wavy coat than poor feet, sickle hocks, houndish eyes, etc.

Just my opinion...

Your dogs are lovely representatives of the breed Pat
Thank you!

And Pat an opinion which has a wealth of experience and knowledge behind it.........always carries more weight than one that doesn't........

Lindsey, if you look at photos of show IS going back to post 2nd world war you will see that the feet were being trimmed then so it is yet another point that is not a modern day phenomenon.  I keep all my dogs trimmed, especially hocks and feet.....you are right about the mud and grass seeds!!!



If you read my comment....it states:' it is more convenient to keep feet trimmed'.....and  I do as I say! As I live on a farm and my dogs spend a good part of their days free running in paddocks! If the dogs have been entered at a Show, they will arrive with their feet trimmed as they are done as routine!

Catherine, I think Mel just wants to highlight that, when it suits, we all ignore points of the Standard, even those that criticise.  If you feel strongly about it then you can, of course, trim the feet but keep the feathering between the toes.


I think,  I understand very what well Mel is talking to me about, and I  really don't need you to explain.....she asks if I show my dogs with untrimmed feet....I don't, as I keep their feet always trimmed. The Show side is only one part of their lives, the main part being dogs living in the Countryside.

Catherine, I think you have missed the point.  We all accept that feet are trimmed to keep them clean and free from grass seeds and in the Countryside it is the sensible thing to do.  No one has a problem with that.  However, as you have objected so strongly to the Standard being ignored and you have said that this is yet another example then why do YOU do it? 

I apologise for being facetious but do you see my point?




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