Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

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

Views: 3826


Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

Just adding some experiences/sources. From memory I'd say you can breed IS looking like Afghans simply by selection, no cross needed. This is what another topic on this subject here tells - inbreeding to two IS studdogs in the USA with extreme coats. Another memory is that quite a few dogpeople in the sixties said worlds most beautiful breeds are IS and Afghans.
Whatever it was - selection or cross, it certainly destroyed quite some heritage.
Thanks Henk for a great topic and all your information. I just spoke with my dogs breader. She knows you and said you were a wonderful man and a friend of hers. Unfortunately I don't want to start another conversation but she feels the American field trial IS might just be a candle in the wind. Hope to participate in your next topic.
I agree with Eva Henk. It has been an amazing subject that I would like to be able to look back and refer to. I would also like to document it and send it to the ISCA.
Michelle, firstly....please don't crawl under any rock. Opinions from all over the world are most welcome. There have always been extreme curly coats ShCh Cornevon Prince Charming whelped in 1966 was a good example, ShCh Joanma's Saffron whelped in 1970 another etc etc. Joanne is right about American dogs being curly when they are not shown. I have been told by American exhibitors that they could get my dog's coat straight. I am the first to admit that I like it with movement but I know all rounders have passed him over for top honours because of the waves. He has achieved more than enough for me so I am happy.
To your question are dogs judged on their looks or pedigree....well it is a beauty competition so it must be looks and that encompasses the entire dog, head, conformation movement coat. However, there is a type that emerges from certain pedigrees, especially when they are line bred, (Henk please don't chip in with any comments on in-breeding here} so an element of that must creep into the assessment, even though, maybe you don't want it to.
If you are interested The Irish Setter Club of Dublin in 1886 approved a Scale of Points of the Irish Red Setter as follows:
Head....10 points, Eyes....6 points, Ears....4 points, Neck....4 points, Body....20 points, Hind Legs & Feet....10 points, Forelegs & Feet....10 points, Tail....4 points, Coat & Feather....10 points, Colour....8 points, Size, Style & General Appearance...14 points, total...100 points.
So the Body carries the most points, Head, Eyes and Ears are next, then comes General Appearance etc with fore, hind legs and coat on equal points and tail last. Strange really when there is particular mention in the standard of the tail being set on just below the level of the back and carried level or below and tails carried bolt upright or in a sickle are ugly but often ignored by overseas judges.......why? Can you also please tell me why tails are held up in America and Australia in the stack when the standard specifies the above.
Curly coats are indeed in the winners you mention, but I see no evidence for your statement "they were always in" (winners) in Irish Setter Show Champions in Great Britain 1947-1982.

Same publication of the South of England Irish Setter Club shows a trend: more coat in winners. Many show champions in earliest decades show coats now considered by showjudges as "lacking showfringes".

This documents a fault becoming a trend and a coat according to the standard (FCI/UK) penalized. Same book shows in earlier winners a structure nearly absent in later decades. Typewise: one that tells you in a glimpse the first words of the first standard: ...must be racy....
Henk, I am talking post war, I admit that if you look at the early setters than to our modern eye they do not have enough coat but since I srarted showing in the early 1970s all the winning dogs HAD show fringes and in abundance and talking to friends who exhibited in the 60s it seem there were many who had a profusion of coat then. I could list you very many big winning dogs who had movement in their coat from that time. The modern day setters in Europe and the UK haven't changed much in coat since that time but what we have seen, especially in Europe, is an ever increasing emphasis on rewarding dogs JUST for having straight coats. Judges who have never owned or bred or cared for an Irish place dogs who have untypical heads, upright shoulders, no heart or lung room, who carry their tails too high and who don't move properly but have no curles.........for heaven's sake coat accounts for only 10 points of the dog's make up don't get over obsessed with curls. Many American dogs have coat fringes down to the ground, especially on the forechest. Surely Henk you must have something to say about that.........uncurl your mind!!!!!!!
Incidentally you don't have to be bald to be racy..........
I think 1947-1982 IS post-war or what war are we talking about here????? Is the discussion about the last 50 years or I have missed something???
Well done Catherine you have spotted that 1947 is post-war. Henk mentions the Irish Setter Book of Champions 1947-82 but we have an additional 28 years to the present day and a lot can happen in 28 years, The European dogs do not carry as much coat fringes as the American and Australian dogs.......any views on that Henk, or Catherine?
The book had a follow up. There are no pictures of IS in last one, showing absence of fringes on chest. This might point at showjudges, because of misinterpretation of the standard, did exclude those. That was the case at last ISCN show.

As for racy, those are spotted in abundance in the book dealing with earlier decades of half a century, topics timeline. You are right, you don't need to be bald to be racy. So what did change? In my eyes: bigger is better, more coat.

Curls, waves, longer coat in UK culture might seem a mouse compared to USA's elephant - fringes down to the ground but it is just a few steps further. You already mention under what title (modern eyes/ beauty show) you can head a misinterpretation of the standard.

This is how USA-breeder Erica Bandes interviewed on the Afghan question (Irish Times, 1998) described changes in America: "The trend began for bigger is better and more coat is better.."

You see, it all begins with trends. It might end with only movement in coats....
Henk it is interesting how you keep refering to the recent ISCN Show. It surprises me that you can be so critical of something that you didn't see as you weren't there. No film, or art or music critic will comment without viewing first. It is easy sitting at home and criticising.
The dogs I have mentioned, especially in recent discussion, I have seen.and, interestingly, Margaret Sierakowski asks why no one has commented on the Irish dogs and that is a very good point. Well I cannot comment because I haven't been to Southern Ireland but those who have should. It would be interesting to know how the Irish has changed in the country of origin.
Henk you are forever quoting other people and agreeing when it suits your particular opinion. You have criticised me because YOU think I misinterpret the standard and have no understanding of it. Well you are entitled to your opinion and I must admit it won't cost me any sleepless nights worrying about it but let's get back to the point in hand and get some useful opinion from breeders and exhibitors who HAVE shown through the years you mention and have first hand knowledge rather then just looking at photos and reading articles all the time.
Incidentally, how much has the working Setter altered since the 60s because their must have been changes and refinements. Can the field trialers please join in, it should provide a balanced view.
This topic started with Irish dogs. Objectives were agreed by you.

If you can find a recent show champion in GB with no/ not much fringes on chest, succesfull in shows, you win this detail of the topic. They were present in earlier UK winners that I've seen/enjoyed.

Try to find ONE recent winner resembling Derrycarnes of mrs Maureen Mc Keever. Analyse differences of recent show-winners with those of earlier days Hartsbourne, Wendover and you've got a list of CHANGES. Coat is just one, head, ears, structure and especially movement others.

As for personal notes, stick to documented facts. You are misinformed. Quoting experts - knowledge of their writings certainly benefits quality of opinion. I do note that much of that is not present anymore. To quote (uhoh) one of your leading experts now gone, Sybil Lennox : Who teaches the teachers?

As for the show mentioned, I know the dog, the report was: "A working dog. Pleasing head. In good coat condition. Lacks the furnishing for the show. Good bone and strong, powerful shoulders. " Note lacks furnishing for show, this documents my point above. The dog did show a few features now rare in showrings....

I join your invitation to people with knowledge on early Irish dogs to join the debate. Maybe it would be of help to post a picture of Int FTCH Derrycarne Red Admiral of Rye? He was behind winningest setters in field trials AND shows. I doubt whether this dog would have ANY chance under leading showjudges UK-culture, he would in Scandinavian/French and Italian scenes!
Eva, I can't answer your question. I hope Michelle can. Also, would like to know why the dogs are often stacked with the hocks at 45 degree angle instead of at 90degrees to the ground.... the rear is overextended and the topline is exaggerated.

Please remember that there are Irish Setter people in Australia who own and show UK type dogs and do stack the dogs in the traditional stance and present the dog with the tail level with the top line.

Can you tell me that if a dog on presentation scores really well and then falls apart on the move, what are the deductions for movement/incorrect gait, etc. The points don't include the dog on the move? I am not a judge, so just interested to know more about how a dog on the stack may have the points calculated and on the move just thrashes around with a hackney front movement and weak hocks bending out and still wins!!!




© 2024   Created by Gene.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service