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Please remain decent and respectful of others views. Just wonder what all of you think of pedigree dogs exposed on bbc4 this evening 

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Ann, thank you for explaining the the status of Fiona's litter and the KC protocol for issuing export pedigrees in this situation.  It has cleared it up for me.  However I never implied that opposition came from the KC because if it had Fiona would never have been registered.  We all know it was the Dalmatian breeders/owners who were opposed to her and, once again, I cannot understand why!


Eva, we have people in IRWS who consider it "immoral" to mate an IRWS with an Irish Setter. And this in a breed which goes back only thirty years to a mix of red and red/white Irish Setters. A fictional purity and the maintenance of a preferred breed type  based entirely on appearance  is more important than health

Sorry if this veers a bit OT!

Margaret, given what you have posted above, would it not make more sense in the wider scheme of things - given the genepool/loss of diversity - to just go back a few years & simply call the dogs Irish Setters  - one breed - may be solid red or white/red.

I know this is an oversimplification of the situation but it would solve the problem.  Rasbridge said that the simplest answer to a problem is usually the right one.

Pat, that would probably make life easier for the working IRWS breeders, but disaster for the show people, who would have to put their dogs in the show ring with red Irish Setters. One commonly hears at field trials in Ireland from other setter field triallers that with hindsight it was a mistake to split the breed, but the same people would be horrified if being a single  breed allowed the mating of red and whites with show reds!



The IRWS stud book was closed by the IKC, making the IRWS a separate breed and making any breeding to other breeds, crossbreds and promoting purity in the subsequent revived breed - so you would have to convince the IKC.

A very important obstacle to IRWS breeding is the Fear of Ticking in FCI countries and the UK.  UK breeders have reduced the ticking inherited from the founders, to a great extent - not entirely a good thing on breed diversity grounds.  Outcrossing within the breed - expanding the gene pool - is easily done without introducing the health issues of another breed.  The only thing that stops it happening is the brainwashing against ticking.... a purely cosmetic thing that only obstructs the dog from being exhibited in FCI countries, but does not prevent them from being field trialled.

"Fear of Ticking" as a reason for not outcrossing? Is this another  scare story being circulated in the UK?

Anybody who has been involved in outcrossing reds/red and whites in the past, or seen the results of outcrossing, legal or illegal, in the past will tell you, the quickest and most effective way to clear ticking in IRWS is an outcross to a solid red. If you need some advice on the effects on colour of outcrossing, I suggest the UK club turns to John Kerr for advice ( tongue in cheek, of course you wont )

I dont see any badly ticked IRWS being field trialled, the most badly ticked IRWS I have ever seen, live or from photos , are UK and Canadian dogs, and lets not get sidetracked into where that ticking came from (VBG). Thankfully the colour of the dogs has improved in recent years. But if fear of ticking is being used as a reason not to outcross, it suggests some people are more concerned with appearance than health

you beat me to "ticking"

Let me add this though. Several times there has been reference to "discussions with the

 KC and the IS clubs over outcrossing in the UK. The poster implies regularly that she "is in the know" about these things. If these current comments are indicative of the level of understanding at the core of the committee responsible for  genetics in the breed (and worse are being submitted to the KC as evidence of reticence) I dread to think what future proposals will look like!

Ossian, here is a quote from an article AGAINST outcrossing in the last IRWSCGB newsletter.

"In future years such dogs may be the result of outcrossing or are descended from outcross dogs even though they look like normal Red and White Setters. Why should we be concerned? Well you could in all innocence breed a litter on from such a dog and to your utter surprise the litter could contain some dogs that were wholly red, partly red or strangely marked. What would you do with these puppies? You could not sell them as proper Red and Whites , and if bred from the problems would continue into the next generation"

So club members are being told that if they breed from red and white dogs descended from an outcross they could find solid red dogs in their future  litters? Genetically this is impossible, you cannot get a solid red dog from two red and whites

As Evie says, if this is the level of knowledge about genetics , on which advice is being given to club members, God help the breed

The same writer talks about outcrossing as being "dangerous to the purity of our breed", and advises us not to buy or use a dog from Ireland without "advice from an informed source about the provenance of its pedigree" ie make sure its "pure"

If at the same time, the genetics sub committee are "consulting" with the red Irish Setter Clubs and the KC about outcrossing, clubs members must be getting more than a little confused. If you want to get them to support  a possible outcross, it might be helpful to supply them with more appropriate and accurate information

I find it difficult to understand why there should be so much emphasis on colour, ticking, markings etc.  A dog is a dog, if it is fit, healthy, why worry about whether puppies are all red, red and white, flecked or whatever. It seems to me that we are going against nature all the time.  I was shocked a few evenings ago.  There is a guy in my puppy classes with the most handsome English Bull Terrier I have ever seen.  He is a also the happiest I have ever encountered.  He can't be shown because "his eyes aren't triangular enough, and his skull not bowed enough".  Perhaps that's why he is such a stunning looking dog,and such a happy good natured dog?  I think the dog scene has lost the plot.  I personally couldn't care less if my red setter has white on feet, or white on their backs, or my red and white has flecks.  Providing they look healthy, are healthy, what more could anyone want - yes even for showing.. I have nothing against showing, but just feel the emphasis is in all the wrong places?

Margaret, why do you take  things out of context?  It is not a scare story being circulated in the UK - the ticking question has always been there.  As an eliminating fault in the FCI breed standard, ticking is a serious problem for the Irish IRWS

You know that breeders avoid certain lines 'because I don't want ticking in my lines'.  You have said so yourself - although to use these lines would reduce the COI considerably and preserve working ability too.

As for asking John Kerr for advice.... he WAS asked in 1986 and he refused in a very  rude, abrupt manner.

I sometimes wonder!

YOU specifically raised "fear of ticking" and its subsequently erroneous explanation and now when challenged you execute a neat little sideways turn worthy of an England fly half and now its "always been there"

Where too is your evidence for the phrase "although to use these lines would reduce the COI considerably and preserve working ability too."

Finally to admit that because Mr Kerr was rude in 1986 he has never been asked again is appalling. How very remiss of the club and most definitely the health and welfare arm  not to make EVERY effort to keep lines of communication open with people who have such a vast working understanding of its history and health. of the breed. Perhaps the man had reason to be rude? Does the club want to lose such an encyclopedia of information? Perhaps it doesnt chime with the thinking pf the current regime?


Didn't you know that ticking has been contested since the breed came into England 30 years ago and was given as a reason why 'English' IRWS would not be used?  You surprise me!

Here is some evidence that outcrossing within the UK IRWS population could be an advantage - a theoretical one - because it will not happen:

Dalriach Rob Roy COI 22.1% x Shannonlee The Wood Lark COI 26.8% (a working IRWS) would produce a COI of 8.7%

My son wrote to John Kerr, as his role in the GB club required,  It was not a rude letter, but one truly seeking advice from someone with experience.  The reply was rude and the request was 'not to bother him again'.  Peter was not the only one to be dismissed off-hand.

And now I have to sign off as I have many other things to do today.




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