Exclusively Setters

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Hi All

I am a newbie, both with Irish Setters and with showing, so I apologize if this sounds like a silly question...

Once a week I take my spaniels for some off-leash walking at a park near our house.  It has a stream running through it and three lakes and my dogs LOVE swimming in it.  I don’t mind because it is good exercise for them and when I get home I just rinse them down with clean water and let them dry naturally.  My spaniels are not show dogs, though.

My little Irish Setter, Karla, will be old enough to join us on our walks soon.  I would like to try my hand at showing her and keeping her coat in top condition will therefore be very important to me.  An Irish Setter owner and exhibiter that I recently met told me that regular swimming will dry out the coat and that I should try and keep her out of the water.

I was wondering what your thoughts are on this?

Any tips in general on coat care will also be welcome

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My dogs aren't shown but Fred's coat shines like a conker and he loves swimming.
i dont show either of my two girls and in the better weather swim in the loch near us and both have beatiful shiny coats if theres water tia my oldest would have to be leashed to keep her out of it hasnt done theyre coats any damage i just towel dry them and brush them when dry
I would think only swimming in a pool with chemically treated water would be damaging to their coats.  Not just a romp in a creek or lake.
I can't answer about streams and riers, but I know my show dogs' coats look amazing after a swim at the beach.  I think it takes all the built-up residue of shampoos etc right out and leaves you with a healthy, shiny coat.

My dogs are shown and they swim nearly every day if they can.  They swim in our pool which is salt water chlorinated.  Their coats are just lovely and soft, so definitely no damage from the pool water at all.


If your bitch loves  swimming , and the exercise is doing her good and keeping her fit, I find it very sad if you are even thinking about stopping her from going in the water just because it might affect her "show coat"

Are show results  more important than a fit and happy dog?

Totally support Margaret's answer, first the health and happiness of the dog, second our wishes. Anyway Estelle, I cannot imagine you could deprive your young bitch of having water fun games with your spaniels for too long... :-) 




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