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Quel avenir pour le setter irlandais en France ?

Nouvelles directives de jugement données par le Red Club en France.
Lors de l'assemblée générale du Red Club, le 28 juillet 2007, le comité nous a indiqué les nouvelles directives de jugement :
Taille idéale pour obtenir le CACS : 56 à 60 cm pour les femelles et 59 à 64 cm pour les mâles.
Ces tailles ont été fixées car, d'après le comité, les grands chiens ne savent pas chasser.
Pour obtenir le CAC en exposition il faut avoir 7 caractères jugés excellents ( tête, avant main, corps, arrière main, ensemble, robe et démarche ) et un chien dans la taille idéale.
Ceci nous a été indiqué le samedi avec application à partir du lendemain lors de la Nationale d'Elevage.
Que pouvons nous faire, quel est l'avenir du setter irlandais en France ?
Je remercie Susan qui s'est proposée pour la traduction.

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Katariina, if you read my text, I make a special point of talking about swedish lines (as these are the only ones I have first-hand knowledge of). I have been to field-trial competitions, and to training classes, and perhaps I have come across the wrong lines...I dont know. But the restlessness you are talking about is something I have noticed in the field-trial-lines.
And NOT in the show-lines!
I am convinced that a good hunting-dog will be fine as a pet if he is given ENOUGH of what he is bred for (like yours) but at least the ones I have come across would not be the kind of dogs to settle down in a "normal" pet-home.
I am now talking about a pet home that will take the dog for walks, a few classes and that is just about it...
The field-trial-dogs are too much bred for one purpose.
(And they are jolly good at it!)
But getting that type of setter as a pet is rather like getting a formula 1 car and then just use it to take the kids to school :-) You may not be too happy with the result!

I am only expressing the views of the setters I have seen in Sweden...so as you say, there are differant lines.
And also you dont want finnish dogs to search in quite the same way. So perhaps we are comparing differant types of dogs?
Theres no threat for survival of a show Irish setter - there IS a threat for survival of a working Irish setter.

And there is an even bigger threat for survival of the Irish setter able to do it all: top companion, able to compete in trials, conformation, obedience, agility etc.

The working Irish setter is near to be buried in many cultures thanks to a dominant influence of showculture. So a kind of brother - murder. One of those happened in the USA, where working culture was and is nearly totally isolated by leading showculture.

The world that bridged working and show was present in the USA and UK, most typically in Emily Schweitzer and Florence Nagle. There are nearly no Emilies or Florences left - all vanished thanks to dominant influence of showculture.

It is true that not only show- but working culture as well is responsible for blowing up last bridges left. Nowadays leading type of working Irish setter is without doubt smaller and -the top of it- faster.

Luckily there are still quite a few working cultures like Denmark and Norway where many Irish setters are top companions, field AND show champions. And the old type of Irish setter so more what Frances knew (me as well by the way) is also still florishing. Quite a few of them I noticed during a lot of visits make best companions as well - not only for hunters and triallers!!!

Because the genepole for working Irish from Ireland are nearly all Moanruad Brendan-descendants (male lines) its no wonder that they are of a lighter color. It was Ray O'Dwyer describing this color as "the lighter pale of hue". It is -and was- one of the varieties of color that people playing conkers must have seen.

I'm not saying this type of working Irish setter is the true or only one. But it sure is of value for a healthy future of our breed, that these will have future in cultures with birds and fields in abundance, like France.

Not wrong either is that a dominant influence of show-culture is curtailed by the Red Club France, I don't say I agree with their sizes. But sure as hell, I do not agree with all trends in showrings of last decades dictating trends nowhere present in standards. THAT lead to an Irish setter, far too big and too heavy to perform. So why not hanging a bit on the other side to get things more in the right proportion?

The Irish setter was, is and hopefully will stay more than a beauty without brains. Fans of a traditional Irish setter now complaining about the Red Club France, may find themselves in a near future the next to become extinct and overruled by a new trendy showsetter.

Look what happened in the USA and see the message of the showcircus is: bow or become beheaded.
The reason we have dual champions (working and show) in for instance Sweden, is due to the judging system. Not to anything else.
As the swedish hunting setter is very fast and efficiant in the field, no slower dog of show-type (although fast enough for any normal hunter) will stand a chance of competing when it comes to field trials.
As all setters need to have field qualifications to be able to become a champion, (and only field trial qualified dogs are allowed to gain the CC*s) you suddenly end up in a very weird situation. You may have a great line up of dogs in a ring but only one that is actually able to become a showchampion.
Depending on the type of judge, you may very well end up having a setter made up as a show-champion that certainly would never stand a chance of being placed had the compertition actually been "fair". Fair in this case = judging a dog by its exterior qualifications and NOTHING else!
As it was so correctly put in this thread, if showing in a "beauty-contest" is what the competition is about, that should be the point on which to judge.
No dog gets extra point for "looking good" when it comes to a field-trial or obedience compertition.
Ursula I'm backing the point of Katariina. That makes two of us saying the working Irish setter is a BETTER companion than the show Irish setter. And I think we both have experiences with both of them, at least I have.

Also - my pups with white went to people doing all activities so from hunting, trialling, obedience to even showing etc. and quite a few had a life long (like people in Canada) show Irish. All of last category say the working is a far better companion - better trainable, better adaptable etc. etc.

So on what exactly is your statement is based. It might be a sources-problem (I heard that and he said and me thought he said). It might clarify if you name your sources or tell about your own experiences with both -show and work.
I think the answer I gave Katariina (and was probably posted at just about the same time as yours above) goes for your text as well Henk.
I am not basing this statement on anything anyone else has said but on what I myself have observed during field-trials and field-training.
And (I am repeating myself!) the breeders of field-trial setters agree on the fact that their dogs do not make ideal pets. Their dogs are bred for specific purposes...
But please do not miss the point!
I am NOT talking about field-trial-dogs not making good pets AS WELL as being great hunters. I am certain they do.
I am talking of these dogs not being good pets ONLY.
And like it or not...thats what most dogs are nowadays.
ASnd pets only can still include showing and training etc. but not the level of work you are talking about.
So you are saying that what I experience is not possible?????? Hey thanks for letting me know this:-))))))

Not even John Nash was capable of placing all his Moanruads in trialling houses. Of course all like most hunting and/or trialling people for their setters. But theres difference between practice and preaching.

ALL my four Irish are pets/companions first, second all other capacities. My first working red Kay (100% Moanruad-lines) was by far the best companion I ever had.

But hey I agree just a dog with a red coat looking like an Irish setter but able to live in huge skyscrapers missing the spirit to go any further than just around the block, is much easier to breed and sell. Thats exactly why the Irish setter has become a victim of vanity.

In my eyes for the benefit of the breed it would be better to have the show as a minority, likewise top field trial. And mainstream: sporting dogs somewhere inbetween. Those inbetween missing in some aspects could retrieve missing links in both minorities. And those mainstream should be dogs like Emily Schweitzer and Florence Nagle once bred: able to do it all.
As I have said several times before : I am basing this on experiance with FT-dogs in Sweden. You have several times refered to these and seem to have some knowledge in to their behaviour and you also seem to favour them and think highly of them.
As to you having sold to pet-homes, I have no idea about your dogs and their temperament Henk.
So perhaps yours are like mine in temperament? (I can see you cringe here...:-)
Able to do a bit of everything?
And not so VERY specialised like the FT-dogs I have come in contact with. And I have also seen some of these that WERE placed in pet-homes and these were NOT good situations for neither dogs nor owners.
I feel that NONE of the working breeds FROM pure WORKING lines are suitable as pets and pets only.
There are (once again in Sweden) huge differances in both temperament and looks between working setters, retrievers, border-collies, shephards and spaniels (just to name a few) and the ones more based on show-lines.
And once again I would like to say that i feel the working trial-dogs are probably as far removed from the "original" as are the most extreme showdog.
Anything that is a competition means that competitors in that particular field will want faster, more aggressive and quicker dogs. All depending what you (as a competitor) are looking for.
Thus changing all breeds competing in any field to become something else.
So please dont think that within setters only the show-setters have moved away from the original...
:-)
Well hopefully you will experience one day that your FEELINGS is something different than FACTS.

You again: "I feel that NONE of the working breeds FROM pure WORKING lines are suitable as pets and pets only".

I told you that after living a life with umpteen Irish setters myself active in all possible activities, Kay from 100% working lines top trialling was by far the best companion I ever had. You tell me he was not suitable????

Irish setters here from backgrounds like yours (so mainly showbased) were great companions as well and all individuals - so differing a lot. But alas in showlines -over the decades- also missing a lot, somewhere on the line lots vanished. What happened???? Selection on shows only, in my eyes....

And yes I have a lot of experiences with Irish setters of all activities around the world - Scandinavia as well. My observations differ from yours - the best pets for example I've seen in Denmark (Sulhamstead/Scandinavian-lines), all round hunters doing a specialist job as well.

Note I don't say there are no Irish setters not ok for a pet life only. These are in both activities show only and field only and yes to be found in top competition. Thats where we agree.

And yes I see a red setter being bred in shows for skyscrapers, only needing a walk around the block. Free spirited athletes degenerating in victims of vanity.

More showwiners nowadays even nearly never come of the leash just to keep their beauty intact alas already as well in red and whites. And more showwinners simply have too much coat, are oversized or carry too much weight to enjoy their outings.

So probably the Red CLub France hanging on the other side of the line of changes, is for future effects for the benefit of the breed. It makes people wonder about what exactly they were doing over last decades....
I agree with you Ursula, in the fact that there exists a certain type of a setter which is developed only for competitions. These belong to professional trainers and are from professional kennels.
Thank God(forbid me) this kind of professionalism will never have support or even possibilities in Finland. But those are minority even though those kennels produce a lot of puppies. And true is the fact that only the ones trained by professional trainer succeed in trials.
We have imported some from those professional kennels to Finland.Finnish professional -FTdog-owners have succeeded also both in Sweden and Norway, those bought from professional kennels and living in ordinary homes. So the environment where the dog lives in has a lot to do with the fact that what life is with this kind of a setter. I have close friends owning dogs from the "US"-kennel, those dogs are living in the family among children with no problems...
In Norway some of the FT irish owners have become more and more interested in finnish lines where the dog combains with width, high speed, very good contact among other qualitites.
This speed the setter needs to carry on with, is a trademark, we don´t want these breeds to become like German Pointers. Setters are the galloping type dogs and when galloping speed comes along.

Have you ever thought that when you go to a trial or even hunting the dog changes. The speciality of a field trial setter is its wisdom of usage of the field he is searching. These dogs have to have this quality of understanding all terrains. If you´re in the woods the range of search is not that wide. When you put this dog in the high mountain"fjäll" it knows that it has to widen this range. While searching in a wide range these dogs are in contact with the owner all the time, otherwise those ones wouldn´t be in trials. Hunting is not a succes with a dog that has no contact with the owner.
These dogs(the best ones) have this quality of letting you know where the game is if he has gone far and has found the grouses there. He comes to tell you to hurry up, ours take us by the hand and make sure we are following. This is the example of a perfect companion, the dog wants to work with you, not alone.
If a setter starts to work alone something has gone wrong when the puppy has been growing up.
And that is by far the biggest problem in owning whatever a dog. The owner does not understand the breed he is owning.. All difficulties are based on that, not on whether the dog is a fieldtrial-type...


I know that in Sweden you have absolutely excellent setters for working in the woods. We have this "border-line" competition in Pello every year. But yes finnish dogs have been better in resent years... :D

So what you see in competitions is the maximum width of the searching range but it is a competition. The same dog knows when home, after taking off its red trial-jumper ;) that he is not allowed to go that far when he is taking walks with his familymember.
This is the real fieldtrial irish setter, and that is what my breeding is based on. The wisdom of the FT-setter is remarcable

Our mixture dog Woitto covers Fjäll terrain about 1,5-2km in one side but I have never had any problems in keeping him with us in Helsinki and let him run free in teeny weeny areas ;))
4 of his sisters and brothers live in cities and live totally as familypets.
This is just an example of the fact of pure bred hunters living in families and in cities. Those families go for long walks and the dogs are happy as they are, no one has had any problems with them being active dogs. On the contrary they are proud of their lively, full of life- attitude, which has been noticed by other people and other setter owners.

So please do not blame the FT-type for not being suitable for familypets because it is not true. True is the fact that people, the owners, do not understand the breed they are living with. And this goes for all breeds God ever created ;)))
It is a pity this discussion is going in the direction of 'the one true type' we had some weeks ago.

I enjoyed reading Katariina's post when talking of the skills her hunting Irish must develop. It sounds a wonderful life for dog and owner!
I must agree with her that in the end it is the type of home and owner that matters. Owning a working type Irish will work better for some and not at all for others. But just the same must be said for show bred Irish: some owners simply have difficulty coping with the needs of the breed.

Sadly, I sometimes get the impression that some people from the 'working fraternity' are not willing to accept that in today's world all type of activity with a setter are to be encouraged and that there is not just one right or wrong. I would hope that both the Irish Red Setter Club and the Red Club of France will appreciate the fact. I would also hope that the newly founded 'International Irish Setter Club' (of which I know very little) will take this into account.

I admit I have my difficulties with by the black & white position that Henk tries to put across. It will only deepen the ravine. Dogs differ as do people - and every dog has some 'field' in which it will excel.
Haven't been here for a long time. Nice discussions going on;-))

Just 5 cents in this discussion Henk vs. Ursula coming from Germany:
We breed pure working IS. Also sweden has some bloodlines originating from our kennel. We never had problems with our dogs to have them as perfect family and pet dogs. And they don't turn crazy during summer time, when ist is nesting period and they can not run either.
So I wonder...what went wrong in sweden, if Ursula has the right 'feelings' ?

Nevertheless, I know several breeders around here, who also keep telling:
IS are best family companions when they come from non-working lines...
Surely it makes it easier to sell puppies, being able to give them to 75ys old ladies living on 2nd floor in big cities. Less temperament, less desire to move, less demanding. But is that all ? Sell more puppies to EVERYBODY ? And pretend that it is unfair, when some people are regarding IS as a working gundog breed ?

Ursula, I like the look of showdogs, but I doubt it will serve the breed to forget that IS are still gundogs. Whatever is done, the Irish Setter is a gundog first.
NOT a showdog.
Shows are nice, but a big meeting place of vanities. A judge is good, when he places your own dog high;-))) Shows should serve the breed to find correct build dogs...but maybe I am a dreamer.

regards Christiane
Forgive me if I have misunderstood Monique's original comments, but I think we are digressing a little. Is the point of this discussion whether or not working dogs make good pets/companions - and vice versa, or is it the autocratic attitude of the Red Club in imposing a new standard, it appears without reference to the FCI?

With this in mind those taking part in this discussion might care to look at the following articles of the FCI's constitution:

1. Constitution & Aims: Articles 2c., 2e.,
2. Membership: Article 8
5. The General Committee; Article 14g.

The General Rules

Article 4 National Organisations para.1
Article 5 Standards

This is all open to interpretation and as I have no legal training I would certainly hesitate to insist that my own interpretation is correct. I am not clear as to whether a member country has to apply all articles of the FCI Constitution with regard to the national (CAC) award but it does seem that a change in the standard must be approved by the FCI. Are there any legal minds amongst us?

Vanesssa

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