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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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Thank you Eva for using the C word and for acknowledging that both types of coats are unacceptable.......I rest my case!

Now Im off to pick some cherries!

Well blimey Val, there you go again, deliberately misunderstanding and putting words into my mouth....again.  Where in my comment have I acknowledged anything?  My mind is much more open than that.  The degree of unacceptability in coat variation is part of your argument not mine.  You cannot find curls objectionable but waves acceptable when the Standard doesn't differentiate between the two and neither are unacceptable just preferable, for that is what "as free as possible" means. Even the white paw which you seem to find so abhorent does not disqualify.   You have a long way to go yet before you rest your case.





Oh!.........and I thought we were getting somewhere but obviously not.

I would never try to put words into your mouth Eva... there are more than enough there already!

Of course one can find curls objectionable and a few waves acceptable!

Let me clarify what is meant by "as free as possible"

It means -

A good quality coat free from curls or waves is ideal.

A few waves here and there on a otherwise good example of the breed is acceptable although not desirable.

A very wavy/curly coat is too far removed from the breed standard to be acceptable.


1 = ideal (dogs with a good quality flat coat & feathering

2 = average (dogs with a few waves which do not detract from it's overall appearance)

3 = below average (dogs with very wavy to curly coats)


Im waiting Eva......Im sure you'll be back for more! 




Well Val, sadly you have just proved my initial opinion of you.  Sorry to say your views don't rock my world nor do they alter the status quo, certainly not mine anyway................

I may be going off the subject but please breed dogs that have healthy skin. I have a sorry little girl that has severe seborrhoea dermatitis (a top dermatologist has never seen anything like it in any breed). Bless her she looks like a moth eaten carpet and is no advert for the breed - other than her affectionate personaility and ability to sniff out a pheasent before she leaves home. Surely diversity of coat is not to be condemed out right - when things dont go right a breeder may be grateful to go to the opposite of what they consider the 'stanard'.  Without that choice it could literally be 'the end of the line' -  a breeder would not be able to sell many more dogs like my girl before changing tack.

I think it has been discussed....69 times so far!

Good idea Mel, I was wondering when Lindsey was going to contribute towards her discussion.

Anyway, Ive said my piece, don't think there is much more that can be said on the subject so Im off to bed.

Good Night!

Obviously I've caused more than a stir, which is certainly not what was intended.  I am relatively new to the world of Irish Setters and have only recently been fortunate enough to own them, having adored them most of my life.


I am not a judge, know little about about the breed and therefore this is just a lay persons observations really!  Personally I prefer a straighter coat with possibly a small amount of wave and there seem to be fewer and fewer being bred and more very wavy/curly dogs being bred.  I go back to the point that I obvuiously understand that conformation is far more important than a straight coat and given the choice, yes you would have a well proportioned dog over a straighter coat.


Perhaps it's time to end this discussion before anyone gets very offended!

Lindsey you might only be new to the breed but you have a much clearer understanding and an open mind......  Yes a straight coat is desireable, with all things being equal, to be prefered over a wavy or curly coat.  But things are seldom equal and when judging everything is taken into account.  Paramount for most judges is good conformation, good movement, classic head then coat.   In an ideal world this would be as close to perfection as possible.   But it is never that easy.  Eevi made a very valid point when she said that you can have all types of coat in a litter, as you can have different conformation, heads etc.  Most puppies at eight weeks have a straight coat so it is impossible to tell how the adult coat will end up.  My Concept, who has waves and curls has sired dogs with all types of coats, including very straight ones. 

Lindsey, this type of coat is not a new phenomenon and this is not the first discussion we have had on it.  There has been many a heated debate over the years!!  We have had dogs with waves and curls, certainly in the 40 years that I have been showing, breeding and judging.  ShCh Cornevon Prince Charming, ShCh Twoacres Gold Eagle, ShCh Wendover Jeeves, ShCh Wendover Royal Justice.......etc etc and of course currently my own ShCh Caskeys Concept at Aoibheanne....to name but a few..  All these dogs were multiple cc winners. 

The Standard does indeed say coat "to be as free as possible from wave and curl"  It is preferable but it does not say this type of coat is unacceptable nor does it disqualify.  We all have our preferences but none of us obsess (well most of us don't).   I apologise for re-visiting  the same old ground and you are right, once you start going round in circles and the discussion degenerates into absurdity then it is time to call it a day. 

The one thing I must ask you Eva before this discussion closes is......

Why would you as a judge use a dog with a curly coat as a sire, knowing that it is undesirable? 

Okay, so some of the puppies developed into adults with straight coats but that doesn't mean that they won't pass this fault onto the next generation as it is genetic.

I always thought the idea of breeding was to improve the your bloodlines!

Anyway Eva...Im finding that having to reply to you so many times is becoming tedious and time consuming therefore just to keep you happy, you can have the last word.......for now!


No Val what you should be asking is why, despite his waves and curls, he has managed to be top Irish Setter AND top sire for the last 3 years.  Well the answer lays with his winning children........what else can I say..........

Oh almost forgot........he is clear of PRA RCD1 and CLAD and has a very low hip score...........

Many congratulations Eva & Concept he is obviously a truly fabulous dog!  That is some achievement - top Irish Setter and Top Sire for the past 3 years!  Well done.




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