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Due to problems accessing the AHT website Dr Nigel Holmes has kindly agreed to extend the "promotional code" for the South fo England Irish Setter Club until 31st August. Unfortunately the original code cannot still be used so a new one has had to  be issued and will have to be obtained again from the SEISCwebmaster. The AHT apologises for any inconvenience caused!

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There can be a case  for close breeding in a new breed or a newly imported breed with very few founders, to try and get an identifiable type. But not so good to continue breeding  closely once the type has been established. How Laverack bred his setters in the nineteenth century isnt necessarily the right way to breed today. And from the colours found in the Laverack setters, he clearly did some outcrossing not recorded in his pedigrees, as well as some very close breeding. if his pedigrees were what he recorded, he couldnt have got some of the colours he did!

You are so right Finn....it would make any decent person baulk.

I expect you will get a reply telling you how essential 'incest' is to the breed...after all, don't forget, the breeder who wrote the comment got a CC and BOB from a brother/sister mating so that must mean it's ok!!!!



IF you insist on quoting at least get it right! 

Finn, I posted about doing brother/sister matings - 2 to be precise. I do not feel obliged to explain the whys & wherefores but as you are "angry" I will. Not something I would do normally but there were highly unusual circumstances & years before AI was used in dogs.

The bitch flatly refused to have anything to do with the several stud dogs we presented her with over several seasons, only flirting with her litter brother owned by the breeders. As we are not into forcible matings (dogs or goats) & after much discussion with our vet, the breeders, & a breeder in the UK - which took several months - we went ahead & mated the pair.  We had 8 beautifully healthy puppies with superb temperaments & oustanding personalities as we had expected with their their UK lines (both grandsire & granddam imported).  The bitch we kept was my "heart dog" until her death - & she also was a successful show girl, amongst others winning the Bitch ticket & Reserve of Breed under Jimmy James of Wendover when he judged here was the highlight... She subsequently had litters to other stud dogs without turning her nose up at them LOL!

As for the goats - I do not mate son to mother all the time LOL!  But if the parents are really good examples of their breed I will do it to "cement" those characteristics into the offspring.  It works, & people who breed farm stock will understand why.  

With close matings such as the above one has to really KNOW the lines behind each animal - much burning of the midnight oil & discussions with other breeders.   One must also cull rigorously - anything not measuring up to my high standards is not used for breeding - puppies sold as pets & goats sold as pets or meat (they are South African Boer goats, developed for meat.)

I hope this clears up any misconceptions you may have had, Finn.

i  think the same finn

brother and sister than you cat all soo all the bat what is in the line back

no line is clear from everthing

Of course you have to focus right now on the practical things, identifying carriers and affected dogs and working out a strategy for breeding away from the problem. And you are rightly pleased about the speed and openness with which Irish Setter breeders have tackled the problems, congratulations on that ! I'm not an Irish setter breeder, but if I were I think I would also be musing a little on how linebreeding and use of popular sires leads to doubling up on a "bad gene" and hasten  the spreading of the gene though a breed, even though it isnt the cause of the gene itself. You are all coping very well with this problem,  and when you have got over the immediate practical solutions maybe  it will be time to think a little about how to reduce the risks of another different  problem in the future, or at least making sure the next problem which shows up affects fewer dogs and spreads more slowly. As Rieky said , no line is clear from everything, but one doesnt have to breed so the same problems occur in many lines. Then it becomes a much bigger problem and harder to cope with. Just my thoughts, and please dont jump on me, I have great respect for many very experienced Irish Setter breeders , and quietly read most of what you all write
Thank you for your balanced view, Margaret.
Yes, I agree. Probably better to separate out the discussions on the practical ways of dealing with rcd4 right here and now, and on the more theoretical issues of breeding strategies for the future. There is a understandably a lot of emotion and sensitivity around now as breeders get their results, and maybe it will be easier to discuss future breeding strategy (and I dont mean only how to breed from clear, carrier and affected) as things settle down again . Its also easier to look at issues like line breeding and use of popular sires, if one keeps away from specific dogs or breeders, or what has gone wrong in the past, and looks at more at modern research on dog breeding in general  and advances in genetics . Many things happened in the past and are still having effects on dogs  now because breeders didnt have the knowledge which is becoming available and changing so fast. One cant blame breeders for not having the knowledge which wasnt available only a few years ago. Understanding of genetics is moving so fast, it is hard to keep up with it!
Very well written, Margaret ! I very much agree with what you have written above.

For your information the bitch that I bred and her puppies that are affected have  COI of 14%.

I don't consider that to be high. We realise now that there are many carriers out there and with a wide range of breeding- it only takes two to come together sometime to create affecteds.

It is extremely unhelpful and hurtful to insinuate that we have done something wrong when we didn't know about this problem.

There have been a some discussions on ES in the past where I have been so horrified at the tone of discussion that have have walked away for a few weeks.

This particular subject (obviously) concerns me so I don't feel inclined to leave it.

Just please take a moment before you write to consider whether your comments will hurt others. 

I think that the overwhelming majority of viewers of this forum have felt that you were desperately unfortunate, Deb., and have profound sympathy for all who are in this situation. I don't know you and am moderately hard-hearted but cried at your posts.

I'm not a breed expert but have had fine irish setters for 25 years and in almost every case where I've looked into the pedigrees of affected dogs it's been noticeable how widespread the breeding stock have been, in at least one case with totally unrelated sire and dam lines. It's 2 throws of an incredible complicated set of dice and sometimes comes up double-six. And the dice being as they are, with many of these dogs, the possibility of one late life problem will be balanced by being 'clear' of others that could be even more devastating but not tested for yet.


I don't think the in-breeding arguments should be posted in any of these lopra threads but treated as a separate issue for another time.

Deb as someone that has had a blind dog in the past, My lovely Jasmine, I cannot understand anyone saying that you have done something wrong..people only do wrong when they know that there is a problem...you and the rest that breed their dogs before 1 August have nothing to reproach themselves for nothing what-so ever...now we know then that would have been different but we didn't know you can't do something wrong if you don't know...YOU DID NOTHING WRONG....so don't reproach yourself...please....




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