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Which comes first? The Chicken or the Egg?

There's a lot going on in the showbred/red setter thread, so much so that I'm getting confused and wondered if we could break it down into "little" (HA! not-so little!) topics. This is my second attempt to break that conversation down a little!

The following was on that thread: "How do you expect your dog to be able to go out and do his or her job if their conformation does not allow them to." Good question!

So what comes first? The Conformation? Or the work?

Does having what may be considered "correct" conformation mean that a dog can, or will, work, simply based upon conformation? Or does it mean that a good, sound, hard-working dog "does" have correct conformation, otherwise he would be unable to do his job?

How can that be when he is penalized severely, even disqualified, in the show ring? I have some opinions of my own, but would like to hear what others think – maybe I’ll learn something!

Londa Warren, Edmond, OK, USA

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you pushed the reply button under margareths comment, so your text appeared there. this page, higher up, it is there, don't worry :-)
Not wasted at all!!! I loved reading about your start to trialling and the impression you managed to make with Portia. And your final comment of 'two weeks on grouse' means there is hope yet for us:-))
I would have loved to meet more reds during my training session with Peter in February but as it was, my Glen was the only Irish present.
there will be at least 2 next year, i promise!!!
No definately not wasted Collette, I've just this minute read every word and it's given me goosbumps. You have certainly acheived alot in your career. Congratulations. I've never seen an Irish Setter working.......more goosebumps I expect.
I found it easily Colette and well worth reading!! Well written!!
I think that it is wonderful watching a dog that was bred for showing, doing what comes naturally, in a field, it is like poetry in motion. Next dog I get will not be aloud to chaise everything when it is young. I would like to take it further, this is what these dogs should do...given the opportunity it does come naturally.
Colette, I really enjoyed reading you story. If only we all could watch our red dogs working it is a wonderful feeling.
Dawn, You will have to come to a field trial in the summer which are held on the borders of Northumberland and Durham, which might be the closest ones to you,depending where abouts you live in Northumberland,also trials at Lauder along the A68 are good ones for spectators as the going isnt so tough.It is definately worth seeing a good setter work.
There's a thought Collette, I should make the effort, it sounds like alot of fun. I'm in mid Northumberland, 15 miles north of Newcastle and 20 miles south of Alnwick. So not too far from either of those areas.
I would like to put in my 2 cents. I 've not produced any champions, have any titles, but I still have comments. I think, logically, it all boils down to this. In the field, where there are not really appearance standards, dogs will change over time due to many factors as everyone has talked about here. However, in the ring, the standards were written by a certain "subset" of folks as to what they wanted the setter to look like. I believe the standards that were written were not true to the original setter and the all setter owners are paying the price for that mistake. Surely, the show dogs are beautiful. No doubt. But they are definitely not true to the original dog. Thus, as the breeding progresse according to the standard the "split becomes worse and worse. Again, this is due to a few of the people. That is the way in all of life. A few people control what happens to the chagrin of everyone else. It is sad but true. As for the field, those dogs will change as well from the original according to the changes in the filed itself, as many talked about here. Myself, I have a picture in my head(as everyone does) of what an Irish Setter should look like and that is what I will try to attain to--regardless of what a "few" trend-setting people think or write up as gospel in a standard. And it will definitely not be an extra tall dog with hair down to the ground! They have their place, but they're not for me. All this may be a little bit off the track of what Londa started with, but I think it applies to what much of the recent conversation was. And I'm sorry if I make anybody mad, but this is just my opinion...

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