Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World
As an interim measure until the official register provided by the Kennel Club is fully up and running, the SEISC has decided to offer an opportunity for owners to post their recent PRA rcd4 DNA test results.
This will be on our PRA rcd4 page.
This is available to all owners worldwide not just SEISC members and will be in a similar format to that already used by the Kennel Club.
For further details please see the Club website www.seisc.co.uk.
Listing will be available sometime today - slight kink in my "html" !!
I was wondering about testing within working dogs too Margaret as Henk did say that Thomas, as a candidate for inclusion in the outcross programme, was tested for everything, implying that he hadn't been tested for anything before. Henk also said in his comment on Friday that he didn't know of much testing among working dogs. Colette also made a plea for increased testing when one of hers came back a a carrier of rcd-4. I can see why Mel asked the question.
I know that we keep blaming line breeding for many genetic conditions and yes if we go back twenty and more generations we will find most present day Setters, both working and show, sharing a common ancestry but this latest condition is right across the pedigrees and can be picked up even by outcrossing for a very low COI. More importantly it is not just restricted to show dogs, as Thomas bears witness to this.
Yes the requirements for breeding a good worker are different as emphasis is firmly placed in performance rather than looks and that is the sole criterion matings are based on. However the cynic in me feels that if line breeding produced the best working gundogs then line breeding would be used among the working fraternity too.
Line breeding happens in working gundogs too. In every top class working springer you will find multiple lines going back to Markdown Muffin and Hales Smut, for example. But one doesnt have to line breed to get good working dogs. One isnt looking to produce a clone of one physical type. One can simply keep breeding from exceptional dogs whose working traits provide what one is looking for, who may or may not be be related or similar in outward appearance. And maybe because people who own working gundogs usually grew up in a rural background, there is somehow a stronger sense that breeding dogs is about being being a good stock man. I find this hard to explain what this means, but people with a farming background will understand. When I'm over in Ireland, I find this among a lot of Irish dog breeders, maybe more Irish people are closer to their rural origins? More awareness of the risks of continued close linebreeding, whether its in cattle, horses or dogs? Someone who comes from a farming family and also breeds dogs once said to me, a shepherd can look at a large flock of sheep in a field and his eye goes unerringly to the one sheep who doesnt look quite right, and it will be removed from the flock. And she said its the same in working dogs, the good stockman has the instinct about the one who isnt quite right
If one can mix the instincts of the good stockman with a knowledge of modern genetics, and willingness to make use of modern DNA and other testing, that seems a very good recipe for breeding healthy dogs :))
Very well written and all is explained there in your lines for those who wish to understand......
Margaret I agree with you and appreciate that people who own working gundogs often grow up in a rural background and have a great understanding of animal husbandry but do you need that farming background to be a good stockman? My great uncle between the two world wars bred Anglo-Arabs for the Polish Cavalry. He had an unerring eye for a horse but did not come from a farming background. I think many of our best stockmen in gundogs could draw on their vast experience for their knowledge and ability to breed good dogs. I do think it is a shame that we have lost this to a degree in the show world.
You are so right in your last paragraph what a brave new world that would be!!!!!
Catherine, there are many who do understand and who wish to exchange opinions and learn where they can, including me, without the need for pointed barbs.
Well Pat there were still a few families faraway from main lines of descent when I was searching for them around 2000. Old archives were very helpful in the search, it is not easy to go back 10-20 or more generations. That was inspiring to know as it is priority nr 1 for genetic experts and our own breedexperts underlined their importance far before scientists did. But they are not winning competionschemes, so apparently nobody cares. So we can wait for more trophies for genetic bottlenecking the breed like this topic....
If you are thinking about an IS/IRWS outcross in Holland , you will need to make an application to the IKC Outcross committee and get it approved first