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Over trimming or shaving of the Show Irish Red Setter?

I would like to know the opinion of all show people on the over shaving(trimming) of the setter? I was very surprised to see that trimming is actually mentioned in the AKC breed standard (coat section)"Trimming is done to preserve the natural appearance of the dog" How over trimming or shaving can preserve a natural look is quite puzzling to me!!!! I make my dogs as neat as possible for shows with a scissors or hand plucking but never put a blade near them!! I think that over grooming is quite the opposite of the natural appearance!! I believe over trimming/grooming makes setters look a bit like cardboard cut outs,not real dogs!!!!!!!!

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I am always a couple of weeks before the show shaving my dogs neck. On the ears I use a sissard. I really like the shaved neck on the Irish, it make them look more elegant. Most of the judges who is judging here in Sweden haven´t complained.
I do think the over-trimming is not specific to only setters.
This is something that has crept in to practically all breeds with enough fur to use a pair of scissors on. Remember the Soft-coated-wheaten-terrier? Not so many years ago it actually looked pretty natural...now it is as close to a cardboard cut out as you can get.
I have even seen trimming done on pugs!
As in all competitions, everything has become MORE.
For better or worse.
I agree also that over grooming is in a lot of breeds(especially terriers) but there are also plenty of breeds which still look natural(border collies,german shepherds,irish wolfhounds,bearded collies etc..)So why not the gundogs too! Just my opinion!!;o))
You know Carmel, I DO know people grooming (and doing a lot of scissorwork) on German Shephards and all types of Collies. At the moment it is still done so that you dont quite notice...unless you know. But in the future?...:-)
I can certainly see both sides. When I'm getting ready for a show weekend I sometimes wish I didn't have to do so much trimming to make my dogs look like the rest of the dogs, and especially the ones shown by handlers. They have every hair in its place, so I can't not have mine the same.

One of the problems I see with all this grooming , and not just the grooming on our Setters, but all show dogs, is the "public" comes to a show to see the breeds. They fall in love with the Irish Setter, they get a puppy and then wonder why it never looks like what it saw in the ring.

Its kind of a fake in a way. I love a well groomed Irish Setter, and when the pet people bring their dogs to the show grounds and I know them, up on the table the dog goes and out comes the clippers.

They look so unkept with all that hair growing out of their ears and on their muzzles, and down their necks. I do feel our dogs do better with the hair removed from the inside of their ears and nothing removes it safer than clippers. Cleaning up the feet helps the toes stay dry and the mold out.

I think there is a middle ground between our country and others that don't groom as much, but it very doubtfull the American's will ever put their clippers away. We like a elegant looking dog , one that catches the eye, and if that's what it takes to be just a step better than the competition then that's what we'll do.

Interesting discussion, Loma and Red Friends
I do feel that grooming is escalating.
And not just in the US (although we tend to feel we can give you the blame for starting...:-)
Now an increasing number of breeds are beeing groomed that you would almost consider to be un-groomable like pugs, german Shephards, Collies etc (these are the ones I know and am in contact with).
And yes Loma, its totally 100% fake!
But then so is make-up and highlights in your hair and plucked eyebrows and etc...if you are human! :=)
It would be great if it was not like this...but its a spiral, one person does it and then the next...
Friends of mine show border collies here and they do some(minute) scissors work on their dogs but it is very subtle and I think that is fine!! The dogs look wonderful in the ring with basic common sence grooming! Again my point was only on the OVER grooming of dogs(not general grooming) I would not show my own dogs without some grooming but again it is not exaggerated in any way! ;o)
There are several breeds that say in their standard, "no grooming", but I've noticed in the PBGV's that even they have a few being shown that are being blown out, hair trimmed to be more smooth than ruff, and these are being shown by proffessional handlers.

If the judges allow that dog to be the winner they are giving their permission for them to go against the standard. That's where it starts.

What is PBGV's Loma?
Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeens , cute low slung dog, very long, wiry type of coat.


Thanks Loma. Yes I do know the breed but wasnt familiar with the abbreviations!! We have very few of them here in ireland! Not sure how they are groomed here! Will look out for one at the next show! Some breeds we have very few of here, like, Nova scotia duck tolling retrievers, large munsterlanders,curly coated retrievers etc.(we are a very small nation!!)
I know you are talking about over-grooming Carmel, but I feel what we now see (in previously non-groomed breeds) is just at its startingpoint.
In say 30 years nobody will dream of entering a showring without (more severely) grooming for instance their German Shephard or Collie. It is as if manipulating (or helping or whatever you like to call it) nature becomes more acceptable all the time.




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