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Did the breed change or not since the sixties?

Did the Irish setter breed change in half a century or not? In a topic elsewhere there is a statement  the breed did not change in fifty years.


What is your opinion? Did the breed change yes or no, if yes in what aspects (conformation, health, character, working capacities)? Can you document your opinion? Same for no changes in your opinion, can you document that?


Here is a kick off with an article on the Derrycarne Irish red setters, bred by Maureen Mc Keever, published in 2003 in The Leitrim Guardian, written by Kevin Mc Manus. Her activities cover a large part of the period mentioned in the statement. She bred more key Irish setters in both show and working nowadays Irish setters. Would these still be able to win - show and/or work?


Because there was some interest in Derrycarne history, on request a story is added on a daughter of Derrycarne Harp - Ailean O'Cuchulain. Its entitled Devils Dearest, written as a tribute.  On request as well a story Hartsbourne Flame was added. She was a shower of hail and littersister to IRCH Derrycarne Martini

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Oh dear, I did not mean to get involved - but here goes...;-)

As you probably know I try to train my dogs for the field and have had reasonable success in the last few years. I began by trying to train my typical show bred Irish (Coppersheen Bramble) but had to give it up as she was big, heavy and slow - in both mind and body. Bramble is a very easy going girl and much loved by all but no good for work in the fields!
I then chose a more lively and active type of bitch for breeding who had a strong hunting instinct and mated her to a show bred dog from a line I knew to be very energetic. I am now in the lucky position of having a dog full of power and drive with a strong hunting and pointing instinct with the looks of a 'sound honest dog' (not my words but words I consider high praise).

My background of showing and more recently training setters helps me to see a bit of both sides and all I can say is there are good and bad judges everywhere - it is a human thing... and very much open to personal interpretation;-))

But I must say that I also get the general impression at some shows (in the UK and in the rest of Europe) that the judge has never seen our breeds at work, let alone handled one themselves in the field. How else could big heavy dogs with excessive bend of stifle, extreme coats and heavy lumbering movement win in the show ring? These points would not allow a dog to work all day.
I am in no position to pass an opinion on field trial juding as I know too little about it. All I know is that they are not judging for looks but for performance. Those I have spoken to are generally dismayed by the show bred Irish Setter but also aknowledge that the looks of the working type could be improved.

I do think rather than criticising each other we would do best to see where we ourselves may have gone wrong. Sorry if this sounds patronising, it is what I try to do myself but do not always get right - I'm only human after all!
You are much more diplomatic than I am, Susan !
Susan, I would go one further and say that this is not being diplomatic this is being balanced and fair.
Maybe it would hearten you to know that not every judge puts up or likes big heavy lumbering dogs with extreme coats. Otherwise why would small dogs be winning cc's.
Ossian, indeed the show ring is my shop window but please don't expect me to stand idly by and accept all the hammering I and other show judges get from Margaret et al. Margaret is right but only up to a point. There has to be give and take in everything.
I did indeed say that but we were. I believe, discussing bitchiness in other exhibitors when I commented on my friend all but giving up with her Gordon. I think you mentioned something about 'Princes of Darkness' generating the evil side in their owners, or words to that effect.
I did! I also appreciate the great effort that many judges go to and I am not sure how much of our feelings towards judges are justified and how much is "how dare you criticize my dog" but I do feel there is an odd reaction in the show judges (and some exhibitors) at the moment some judges have become very sniffy about "working" dogs but I wonder if that is because quite a few exhibitors have jumped on a "my dog is a working dog" bandwagon.
I think you are right Ossian. The middle of the ring is a lonely place, you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don't. Everyone, me included believe our dogs are the best certainly in public, what we think of them in private is a different matter. Of course all dogs have faults, but that is up to the judge to find. It does surprise me to learn that there is a working dog bandwagon..........how can that happen?
I have judged the Gundog Group at the Irish Kennel Club Show. The dog I awarded best in group went on to win best in show. I have to ask you Margaret what is wrong with me,why have I been left out.You never called or told me that I was "ignorant prejudiced blind incompetent"I demand to be treated equally. Terry The Bloody Show Judge
Oh tongue very firmly in cheek Terry..........I know why but I will let Margaret tell you herself.........................
Terry doesnt judge in the UK, he has been offered appointments but refuses to judge to the UK breed standard :))
I believe he is judging at the Red Club of France show next month. I wonder what he will put up (VBG)
Terry's loss Margaret............
Hello Eva I was asked to judge in the UK but I was told I would I would have to sign a paper agreeing to judge to the GB standard for IRWS.As I am an IKC judge and the IKC the FCI nor the IRWSC do not recognise the GB standard for IRWS I refused to do so. I was told I should do so and just judge to the Irish standard.I would not do this as I thought it would be dishonest.I dont consider it a loss to to be honest.Terry
Interesting point Terry. I am a UK judge and I too have to abide by the terms of my contract and judge to the Standard of that country. I think that to say the IKC or the FCI do not recognise the UK Standard is not quite correct because the reverse could also be argued. Yes the Standards do differ and perhaps you could outline this for the IR&W. In rspect of IS the UK adopted the revised Dublin standard in 1930 and apart from differing discriptions for eye shape, set on of tail and texture of coat fringes and of course lack of height parameters, in essence, it has remained the same.
It is true that dogs should be judged to the Standard of that country but as the FCI doesn't prevent its judges from judging in the UK it, therefore, must accept this.........."when in Rome" so, in reality, there is nothing to stop you.
Please correct me if I am wrong but I understand you are, at present not on the 'A' lists for either the IR&Ws or IRs in the UK,therefore, would you need to be approved before you can judge or could you just be invited as a 'foreign judge'.?
I do think it is sad to restrict your experience in this way but then, as you say, it is your choice.




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