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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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And I look no different...ok then...its the clipping off thats needed!
Yes you pay for expertise, I know that I am a bit rusty.....like 48years rusty and when I started in hairdressing a trim etc was 5s 6p my how things have changed, going to the dentist tomorrow, she is about 15 what is it they say when the professionals look like children......me getting old......YES!!!! unfortunately......
Hi Dee,
as a owner/exhibitor with English stock in a very American environment, I would love a few tips on how to get the coats flat. My lovely boy has quite a wavy coat and it doesn't help that I live in a very humid climate.
Carmel Stringfellow
Which Dee are you talking about, is it Dee Milligan Bott or me, if it is me because I do use the clipper on the neck, and only 3 weeks before a show. I hope that I have some experience a) with Clippers and b) with dogs......I started my working life as a Hairdresser at the tender age of 15 when I left school, so that is the Clipper thing our of the way, I hope.....and I started in Dogs in 1971 I know that you are always learning in this 'game' so I hope that I have evolved with the times, and gained some experience.....I use clippers because I have arthritis and can't use thinning scissors for too long, so do most of the work with the clippers and then 'finish off' with the thinning scissors. Are you coming to Crufts?? if so please come and see the finished product, I am quite proud of what I do with Jas and Saffy all dogs are different to prepare, and you have to take that into account, what I don't do is shave close to the skin. I always use a guard on the clippers, never shave the ears off, and always go with the coat, this all comes with experience, I think that I have said it before, it takes a very long time to get the dog looking natural, and natural is what I like, not shaved and sculptured, but that is just me, I think we know that others do like the sculptured look. I am sure that it is the 'other' Dee that you are talking about, but I think that she would probably say something the same, probably put it a bit better though....oh and a ps. PLEASE don't clip puppies, just tidy them up....the hair WILL come through light if you start shaving babies, its a no-no.
I thought that it was the other Dee....but I think if you look back on what I had written, not sure if it was this forum or another one, that I have said the same, but confused.....yes it is me that is confused.
I had written the whole thing before I realised that is was the other one DAH!! just put it down to old age, I am going senile, and hey if someone has the same name....you can always jump on the band wagon.....especially if they say the same as you!!! ;0))
I think, if you're very careful, clipping can be done without the dog ending up looking like they've been shaved "to the skin." I also understand that if you don't like clipping, you will never agree.

Here in Australia, it is common to use clippers on the necks. I always make sure to use a longer length on my blade, so I never take off more coat than is necessary (feel free to browse my photos to see the end result - I would not consider my dog over-groomed or sculptured. I certainly don't take a ruler to his coat, and I take off length only as a means of keeping the ends neat. I work hard to maintain an English-style look in a very pro-American-type environment. I am always over-joyed to be complimented by judges who tell me how much they love and have missed the "older" style Setters). It took a lot of trial and error, but I know now the length of blades my boy needs so that he doesn't end up looking like he's lost a battle with a lawn-mower. I also use the thinning scissors on the sides of his neck and shoulders - a trick I'm still getting the hang of, but finally coming close to a look I like for Fionn.

I have to admit, I love a clean neck on an Irish - but that doesn't mean it should be shaved to the last millimetre. There should at least still be COAT on the neck! I have also been lucky in that Fionn's coat has never changed colour from clipping. I would personally LOVE to take the feathering off his ears, but it's not the fashion here. I try to keep his ear feathering trimmed neatly and fairly short (compared to the US-type dogs) as a compromise. I love the detail that is brought out in the head when the feathering is removed from the ears. In the end, however, you groom to bring out the best in your dog, according to what suits your tastes and your location. Some love the sculptured look, some prefer as natural as possible. Sometimes, "natural" is a matter of judges' perception...which was perhaps the catalyst for over-sculpting in the breed in the first place. The best-groomed dog is not necessarily the best-built dog, but it is very easy to be beguiled by great grooming. I have often wondered what the results would be if the same dogs came into the ring without any grooming at all.
I agree with you, I too like a clean neck (but not scalped) I like the ears with some hair on them, (have done the shaved look on the ears) but with a bitch it softens the expression with some hair on the ears, and going to a show just after clipping the neck is a recipe for disaster, saying that ''Keep practising Aleksandra'', practice makes perfect, and that is it in a nutshell, practice....and practice on something that isn't going into the ring, and then not too much damage can be done. I did like the comment on the picture that Susan put on this discusion, and she was told that a little bit more trimming would make him look much better, (DON'T AGREE, HE ALWAYS LOOKS PERFECT TO ME) but with your hectic life you may find it easier if you use clippers, it is much quicker, try again, but not on him.......until you have it down pat...
I think in UK we strive to get the 'natural' look, we all have our own idea as to what that is, and it does take a long time to get it rite, I dare say that the people who shave and measure (I have to say I have never heard of that before, what do they measure??) think that their dogs are the best groomed, its horses for courses, and I think that I was told, many many discussions ago that this is for the 'extreme' trimming and shaving, and it doesn't look like any of us go to extremes.....And I would like to think that our dogs look GREAT!!!!!
I think there should be a class for totally untrimmed dogs, that would sort out the judges !
And perhaps without their usual handlers that would really put the cat among the pigeons most of them wouldn't know who belonged to whom....I think that I would like to enter that class....
me too,I would enter!!
Oh me too!! I would love all dogs natural with neutral (unknown) handlers!! That would be an interesting show!! There are good judges out there but also a lot of "political" judges too;o))
Glad you are not one of them Susan!!;o)
Well thanks for that Alison I think I am just getting old....and a little senile, but yes do come and look at my girl.....be glad to see you at Crufts..
As for the ''new show'' hey perhaps we could start a trend, has anyone ever had anything to do with 'cat' shows they are SUPPOSED to be neutral, But in the words of George Orwell, ''Everyone is equal but, some are more equal than others''.....I know that is Communism, but hey it fits.
Perhaps Susan that is why I haven't been asked to judge too often either, I don't look at the handlers just the dogs, strange concept at a dog show I know, perhaps I should have taken the other end of the lead into account more....then I could be an expert in the breed instead of just an also-ran. I have to say that I think that it is the best way, (not judging the lead)....but it doesn't get you anywhere in judging!!! :-))
Susan smile....and then you will remember who is in the line-up, Perhaps it is all connected....Just joking....so will you judge the new show for us?????




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