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What was your first Irish Setter encounter?

The first time I met an Irish Setter was March of 1993. I had a first date with a woman who I would eventually date for 3 1/2 years. When she opened the door, Chelsea was barking away. After introducing us, she volunteered that "Irish Setters are the most beautiful dogs in the world". While I thought Chelsea was beautiful, I was not prepared to concede that title to red heads at that moment but did not want to start a fight 5 minutes into a first date. I later found out that Chelsea was her ex-husband's dog. We moved in together for about 18 months and then when she moved out, I got custody of the fur kid. So, my first Setter was my ex-girlfriend's ex-husband's dog!

And over the years, I have learned that she was right. Irish Setters are the most beautiful dogs in the world!!

How about you? How did you get involved with Irish Setters?

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I was about 5 when I went to my first dog show. My father's cousin was showing his Newfoundland and another one a German hunting terrier, so we went there to encourage them. We ended up watching the finals and a magnificent red dog was BIS. You guess, an Irish. Then some years later when our mix-bred bitch died I was allowed to buy my own dog. I was 12 and of course I chose an Irish Setter. They were hard to come by. Only 1 litter in the country that year with 4 puppy bitches and we got one of them through a friend who had a friend who.... Through a school friend who was showing Poodles I got intrduced to the dog shows. We bred a couple of litter from our first Irish, Bela. Mated to Ch Wendover Tussle she produced an All Breeds BIS winner and mated to Ch Red Witch of Grič Ringor she produced two champions.
When she died at 9 years old I recieved as a gift a puppy from an Italian breeder. Her name was Miss del Biondo. Since I was stil studying and money was tight we only did a few shows and bred a litter from her. I also worked with her in obedience and did a Junior FT. I had some success with her son Swing, but again we only went to a few shows. So once I had time and money to start more serious, I purchased 3 bitches, all offspring of a bitch I really admired Ch Vicary's Pumpkin. All went to live with my friends as our old bitch was stil around and would not tolerate a companion. I started showing one of them, Ch Zennith Ankaranska, along with a Gordon bitch Ludstar Marbella.
Then as our old girl died at 13 in 2002 it coincided with one of these girls having a litter and we got our "Pika" now Multi Ch, BIS, BISS Yesterday's Hero Red Roses in Diamond. Pika was one of those "puppies from hell" but seems that for a show dog that is what one is really looking for. She is smart, very sound and healthy and really enjoys the attention at shows. I trained her in obedience and agility. She also completed her Junior FT and qualified at a FT a year later. She is at the moment a champion of 13 different countries in Europe + International Champion. She has won numerous BIG and BISS and since this year is also BIS winner. We've bred 1 litter from her last year with 10 puppies. 8 of them are being shown, the other 2 hopefully will be shown in the autumn. They are just like their mother - sound, healthy, intelligent and sooooo noughty. I've been showing 2 boys this spring - Slo J Ch M'Eudail Take That and Ch M'Eudail The Temptation with great success.
At the moment we are awaiting a litter by Ch M'Eudail The Temptation out of Ch Free Minds Esa, a daughter of Zennith. Hopefully end of the year we will also mate Zennith and Pika again. So lots of work, but also lots of happiness for us.
Alenka
My first Irish came in the spring of 1997 as a present from parents.
…Traditionally all the men’s in our family were hunters, and I too was dragged in to that very early. Buy the time when I turned 18 years old, it was time to get my own gun and a dog. I wished a Labrador but father was cheering for the German shorthared pointer. So I bought a dog magazine with ads full of puppies. In that magazine was also some report from the dog show, with the picture of the Irish setter wining it. To be honest I have never saw an Irish setter before, and it was love at first site! …Anyway I found out that setter is a bird dog, and after few weeks I found a litter too. That is how “Luna” came in to our home! Since the beginning it was clear that this is not an ordinary dog – this is a lady, and she sure did act like one!!!
I knew nothing about the breed, but Luna is the sweetest dog and I was learning along allot. The more i was learning about the breed, the more it would just go under my skin, and off course Luna has to be ‘blamed’ for that largely. Very soon we had our luck in the dog shows too, after that came litter with eight wonderful puppies, and it all just contributed to even greater devotion to the breed.
Today beside Luna (who is now at her eleventh year already, and still a true lady and such a wonderful dog) I have her daughter “Lana” and Lana’s son “Storm”. We still go to shows every once in a while with all dogs, but no pressure - strictly for our own pleasure, also both girls had one litter each so far. Meanwhile I have met some really nice people bitten by the “Irish bug” like my self, and I’m looking forward to continue so.
Greetings from Serbia
The first Irish Setter in our family was a working dog called Grouse who was staying with us while his owner was away. I have an old home movie of him from 1957!!!! I was 1 year old at the time,so that was my very first time knowing a red head!! Then when I was 15 years old my Father bought me my first red setter and we called him Cognac(all our family dogs were named after drinks!!) When I moved to the US I got my second Setter named Beoga(another male)I moved back to Ireland and I was then busy bringing up my three children so we mostly had cross bred dogs, but all great family pets.So, one year after my beautiful collie cross bitch, Wooly, died I decided to get a setter. I made contact with a breeder Trudy Walsh in Dublin and she put me in touch with a lovely lady ,Gemma Grace who had just mated her bitch, so I booked a puppy and in June 2001 I was the proud owner of a beautiful pup named Rua(Glenrua Realtog) Well that was the start of my showing Irish Red Setters!! Unfortunately Gemma never got to see Rua gain her champion title as she died the year before. But she would have been so proud that two pups from her first and only litter became Irish Show Champions!!(one of Rua's brothers also gained his Irish title) Rua is my foundation bitch for Clannrua Irish Red Setters. Carmel
My first irish setter I met an Irish Setter was April 2004. We went to watch some irish setters in the neighbourhood because we got one by ourselves. My father loves the breed when I was young. There was a breeder in our village a lot of years ago. He stopped and the irish setters were gone here. But know we have one, we see more and more irish setters coming.
In June 2004 we got our first irish setter 'April of the Autumm Sun', at home we called her Jolly. I went to some shows with her. But she don't have great results. The most important thing is that I love to show my dogs, so the results doesn't matter ;-). At obedience she got to national level but we stopped. She loves to run at the beach and dunes. Hopefully we will have a lot of years to spent with each other and my second irish setter Blossom.
I met my first Irish Setter when some people moved into a house down the road and brought their beautiful Seamus with them. he was a terror as their garden was not fenced and he could slip his collar which they used to tie him to a line. As soon as he saw me whe would slip the collar and follow me to my work in a bookshop where he would sit on the mat across the front door. Whenever I tried to catch him he would move just out of reach. I used to ring Judy his owner and tell her Seamus was with me but after a while we worked out that he could take himself back home when he had enough of the city centre.
As beautiful as Seamus was I told my husband when he wanted an irish setter that no way would I have one of those, they were so much trouble. But luckily he convinced me and Conaign came to enrich our lives with his beauty, grace and joy.
Vera
In summer 1996 I went to a dog show with my rottie friends. Looking around at the miniature schnauzer ring (my mini just had died not long time ago), I turned my head to the other ring... And there he was: the most beautiful dog I've ever seen. Later it turned out that he was the father-going-to-be of Odin. But I was living in a student hostel and was not prepared to take a dog then. Some weeks later a couple sat in front of me in the underground, with a dog sitting in front of them. Yes, an Irish Setter again. I don't remember the dog, but I remember those eyes. Shortly after this I moved out from the student hostel and hired a room in one of my friends flat. She had a rottie (not the one above, by the way) and allowed me to buy a dog. After some research I ended up at Emese, kennel Berboss. Odin was born in December 1996, I took her home in February. And guess what, I had no showing on mind! I even thought that the breeder was crazy when she started to put the pups up on the table and was talking something about hind angles and lenght of neck :-) I already made my choice when they were 2 weeks old, very professionally I wanted the one without white on the chest :-) So this is how I got my Odin, who went on to be one of the most famous dogs out of the Berboss kennel, having many BIS and BISS, not to talk about all those wins made as a veteran. And last but not least: she was World Winner in Dortmund 2003 (total entry of 156) at the age of 6,5 years, as the first Hungarian-bred Irish. A real show girl and the best companion I can imagine. Those who met her surely know what I talk about.
I never really had the choice... my grandparents in Britain owned english & irish setters, my aunt bred irish and my mother decided to get an irish as the family pet when I was 9 years old. Whilst waiting for our 'Copper' to arrive, I remember showing all my school friends the picture of an irish setter in the small dog book I had been given. To me, this dog looked absolutely beautiful. It was many years later that I found out who the dog was: Ch. Marksman of Ide, to this day in my mind a really lovely dog. Maybe you'd call this 'imprinting' at an early age???
Sadly, our first Copper dies of bloat aged 4 years, but we stuck to the breed.
I always admired the working bred Golden Retrievers (dark coated of course...almost like a red setter) but somehow never managed to get away from my first love...
Susan
When I was three my father went to the local SPCA to get a "small dog" for the family. In the basement of the shelter was an Irish Setter whose owners had gotten a divorce, and each thought the other had the dog - who had actually run away and was at the shelter. Dad had grown up with Irish Setters, and when he saw this one he knew he had to have her. The shelter had traced the breeder through the dog's tattoo, and they called the breeder and asked if Dad could take the dog. The breeder said yes, just as long as she is spayed since she had been hit by a car and her pelvis broken, so they did not think she could have puppies. Dad brought home Lady Barbara of Shannon that same day. Barbie was a perfect first dog! Dad gave her a bone that first day home and I toddled up to her to take it away. Barbie took my arm ever so gently in her mouth (Mom must have died a thousand deaths!) and moved my hand aside, and went on chewing her bone - she was home! We had her from the time I was three until I was 19 years old, ever the confidante, playmate, listener of childhood woes - I miss her to this day! I will put a photo of her the day I got her, and one shortly before we lost her at nearly 16 years of age, in the photo section.
My parents were real city people, raised in Brooklyn, NY, and knew nothing about animals. As kids in Los Angeles, my brother and I had goldfish, little turtles, and later an aquarium of tropical fresh water fish. When I was 5 or 6 years old, a little mutt dog wandered into my father's place of work. His co-workers convinced him that since he had small kids, he should take the dog home. So he did.

When my father was a child he had to be sent out of New York City in the summers because he had terrible allergies to ragweed pollen. He would go to a farm in the country, where they had a Collie named "Towser." My father loved spending time with Towser in the summer.

So we called this little mutt dog "Towser," of course. My mother was beside herself. She knew nothing about commercial dog food and would cook hamburgers for Towser. I remember my little brother, probably 3 at the time, rolling around on the floor with Towser and laughing and laughing. My mother also knew nothing about leashes, and we would take Towser for a walk in the neighborhood every day. He would kind of walk with us, but he also went off and investigated things only of interest to dogs.

One day he wasn't with us as we returned and my mother said, "Oh, I hope he never comes back." And he didn't. But from then on I always wanted a dog and kept asking for one. The family moved several times and I always asked for a dog at the new house, but we never had much of a yard for one. Finally my parents promised me that when we moved to a house with a big yard, we would get a dog. When I was 11 we finally moved to a good-sized house with quite a large yard. I waited and waited for my parents to get a dog, but they never did. Finally I confronted them and said that now we had a big yard, so could we get the dog. And they told me that they really did not like animals and were never going to get a dog. Talk about betrayal!

Down the block from us was a family that had a big furry dog that they called Laddie. He looked to the kids like a Lassie-type Collie, but was only black and white. All the kids loved Laddie, and he would make the rounds of the block whenever kids were playing in their front yards. As soon as he got close to a kid, he would roll over onto his back, so we all gave him tummy rubs. Everyone loved Laddie except my mother. If she saw him with us, she would tell him, "Shoo, go home!" And he would mournfully rise to his feet and saunter down the block in the direction of home. I would complain when my mother sent Laddie away, and she would say, "When you're grown up and have a house of your own, you can have all the dogs you want." (A prophetic statement to be visited in another discussion.)

Years later, when I had left home for college and only returned for vacation periods, I became close friends with a girl I had actually gone to junior high school with. When she was 18, both of her parents died within months of each other, and she was left as guardian for her younger brother and sister, neither of whom was more than about 8 years old. But my friend and her father had purchased a dog shortly before he passed away, and she was an Irish Setter from Thenderin Kennels in the Los Angeles area. Her name was Camille, and I was absolutely smitten with her in every respect. I would visit my friend and spend lots of time interacting with Camille. I thought that if I ever were to get a dog, it would be an Irish Setter, and I would name her Ribbon, because when she ran, her tail would look like a beautiful ribbon flying in the breeze.

It was about 10 years later that Ribbon actually came into my life. By then I was living in Northern California. I had lots of cats and thought I knew what owning a companion animal was all about. Ha, ha! One day I walked into a dress shop that belonged to a friend of mine. She had a wonderful dog named Hash who was part German Shepherd, part Dobermann, and part Afghan Hound. I had become very fond of Hash and liked to spend time at the shop partly to visit him.

My shop-owner friend said to me, "A woman came into the shop today and told me that her Irish Setter had 11 puppies six days ago, and I immediately thought of you." She gave me the woman's telephone number and the next day I went to visit the pups. The mom's name was Hannah and she was very relaxed and easy-going. She did not at all mind my visiting her pups and in fact seemed very proud of them - 11 little week-old "yams."

I spent the next few weeks in a frenzy, asking everyone that I knew, including my veterinarian, if they thought I would be able to have and take care of a dog. My vet took my question quite seriously and asked me what kind of dog. When I said Irish Setter, he gave me what I now consider a remarkable reply. He said that Setters were such laid-back dogs that if I did get a puppy, I should take the most active one in the litter! Now mind you, this was 1971, just at the beginning of the great public craze for Irish Setters, that led them to become the 3rd most popular dog by AKC registrations mid-decade. I also learned later that my vet was a cat person and really knew nothing about breed characteristics of dogs.

I kept visiting the pups and decided that I really did want one. I started the process of elimination, always keeping in mind the advice from my vet. I definitely wanted a female, and there were five females in the litter. Three of them had pink noses and two had black noses. (An aside here - the owners of the pups really knew nothing about breeding. They were a couple, not yet married. Jack had come to the relationship with Hannah, and Laura had a young Gordon Setter male. They planned to breed the two, just to see what they would get [solid black dogs with a bit of white on the chest, as I learned years later.] Unfortunately, the Gordon was killed by a car before he was old enough to breed to Hannah. So the couple knew someone with a male Irish Setter and decided to breed to him. But when Hannah was in heat, this Irish male broke a rear leg and was unable to breed, so they picked another Irish male that just happened to live down the block from them. They had three reasons to make this match: Hannah was small and the male was good-sized; Hannah was very laid back and the male was more energetic; and Hannah did not have much feathering and the male had a great deal. Oh, my!)

So on the day that I am to pick out and pick up my puppy, Ribbon, I decide that I want one with a black nose, just cause they look cuter. So that eliminates three of the girls then and there. We go into the kitchen and sit down on the floor with the two black-nosed females. There is also a kitten wandering around with us, about 4- months-old. One of the puppies is curled up in my lap. The other is just demolishing the kitten, won't leave it alone. The words of my vet spring to mind - pick the most active pup. So that's what I do, take the puppy who is mangling the kitten. Little did I know that that was also a good sign for a prospective birddog! And that's how Field Ch. Lady Ribbon Bright Star, CD came into my life, and we are now 8 generations down from her, fortunately always with dogs with black noses!

I met my first Red Setter through Phil my partner. His parents had taken Rufus as they felt he needed more company than Phil could give him. I didn't know about Rufus for 3 months while we were dating. Then when we moved in together, Rufus came to stay. He was 12 and only had months to live. He was used to having his own bedroom and I grew up on a farm, which meant that dogs were outside. I brought him a kennel, shared the garden and slowly got trained as a Irish boys lacky. He took on the role of being a best mate and protector of my daughter. He was a big red with a glorious coat and nature. He lived until he was 15 and half. I wish I knew what I know now then. Our boys are wonderful but I think Rufus was something special. A true red gentleman who made our new family complete. It was many years before Phil could open his mind and heart to a new Irish. He often comments how the farm girl now has 2 Irish sleeping on the bed.

Probably The first dog I ever saw was an Irish, as  My Father had always had Irish ,

so I grew up with them,learned to walk hanging on  to one and learned *my doggy manners * with this wonderful Red Playmate,,,,,,,,,,,,

,as in time did my 2 girls  and my 4 grand children with a long succesion of these heart stealers, along the way I ve had an English Setter  and a beagle.............But the I.S.  is my first love and my soulmate

I was brought up with dogs always at least two at a time, my husband never had a dog and said he didnt like them. After 34 years of marriage, two children now grown up and married, I decided it was time for me to have a dog there was only one dog I had always wanted, but my father would not have one YES thats right the beautiful Irish.

I told my husband I was going to get one, he said NO but I decided that I had lived life his way for 34 years. I had always given in to him, so he thought this would be the same so went along with it for a while. It was a year before I found a litter with pups still available so we went to see them on a wet evening in March 2004.

We arrived at the time arranged and someone shouted through the door go round the back, so we did there was a dog barking in the house.We were met in the back by a lady who opened the door of what looked like a coal shed which had a small area fenced of in front and out came these beautiful 6 week old pups, they took no notice of us, and we could not get close to touch or fuss them I had no feeling for these pups, the lady let the mum out from the house, she took no notice of these pups at all,when I fussed her my coat was covered in fur. I had read lots of books to prepare myself in the previous year and this didnt seam right at all.I could not believe that I said " I had another litter to see before I decided and we left." Now my husband was sure he had won.

Three months later I went to see a litter of 5 weeks old irish, this time I went with my daughter in law. We arrived just after feeding time, and in the garden sleeping of their meal were about 3 pups, in the kitchen was another 3 and laying across the door step was the most beautiful red girl.There was only one pup unsold I wished so much that this was the one and yes this was my lovely Abbie.I had to wait 3 long weeks before I could collect her. On that wonderful day it was like giving birth to my first child, I loved this girl from the first second I saw her and I always will.Oh! my husband well he took over after about a month I couldnt hold the lead when we went out, and that is when he didnt just take her out on his own, it was his lap she sat on watching tv, his feet she lay on,my side of the bed she slept on facing him, it was him who asked me one day when we were out walking what I was going to call my next dog!!!!!!!!!!!!

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