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Hello everybody!
First of all thank you for this great site. As I see here is so many experienced breeders, so I would really like to hear your opinion about mixing american and english type in breeding. We must admit that there is different types of Irish setters (FT, American, English) and specially in England they really are worried about keeping the type at the same time for 7 years our special show judges were from England and american type setters usually get very high places (this year best bitch, dogs champion class winner etc). Our entry is about 80 Irish setters and most of them English type and not bad quality. So, at least here and already in Sweden and Finland I see people are mixing two different types and are more open to new things!

best regards,


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Yes, there are certainly several types of setters. As for breeding the different types to each other, I can only express my own viewpoint and that is that you start off by falling in love with one type. Somehow it becomes difficult to then somehow jump across to another type. I can not see myself doing it. On the other hand, Im not a show-person.
Which of course does not mean I dont have a type in mind when I combine two dogs!
I can admire the american type of setter, and the fieldtrial-type just in the same way that I can see the beauty in other breeds. But somehow that is not the same as wanting to mix the two/three types.
Perhaps I am too stuck in my ways?
But then I started with setters in the early 70`s and the first setter I owned was an english one and that is the type I will stick with.
Greetings from (at the moment) sunny Sweden.
:-) i can see a war coming :-)
but gonna gather my thoughts and write them down - though i am not a breeder. but a person with viewpoints, opinions. :-)
Hey! No war with me please!? :-)
Its only a discussion as to mixing types. At least that is how I read the question. We are NOT talking about the true type, the best type, or the type that most represents an irish setter. Had I been in the US when I got my first setter (and liked what I had), THAT would have been the type I would have gone with. Now of course I was in England and ended up with the english type. (And got hell for it when I contacted the swedish breed-club once I moved back over here). The english type was nothing they wanted to have anything to do with. As far as the breedclub was concerned at the time there was only ONE true type and that was the field-trial-type. I honestly feel that there is plenty of room for ALL types of irish setters. Particually as I fell in love with the inside. :-)
;-))) you've got me smiling... I suggest we don't discuss THE ONE TRUE TYPE - just all the others *bg*

Who was it who said 'Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder'? So very true.

No war on me please either!
Great Susan!
Thats makes two of us that hope no discussion with the heading of "The one true type" will come up! :-)
Could not have said it better myself: Beatuty lies in the eye of the beholder!
But we can discuss the MIXING of the two...I think we may be on safe ground there:-) :-)
Well you sure hit something here Piret:-)))

There was a time when exchange of US/UK was quite common. If you go back far enough, you will see UK showstock has quite a lot of American lines and vice versa. Some of UK's and USA's best came from that under whom Ch Hartsbourne Popsy and many Tirvelda's.

According to UK breed-expert W.J. Rasbridge the influence of British dogs stopped since WWII, with the exception of two or three Hartsbournes, used by Irving Eldredge of Tirvelda-kennels.

Rasbridge does not mention the reason.

Showring talk in both countries learns that certainly one reason is mutual distrust. So fear of bringing in new genetical disorders. This has clear historical roots.

The other is type: the standards in the USA and UK are different (the third one with the biggest influence is the Irish so the FCI-one). Plus quite a lot of UK (-influenced) showbreeders note "Afghan hound traits" in USA showbred Irish setters.

In field trial Irish setters there is division as well.

By far the most intresting country for field bred Irish setters is Norway, providing a mix of American/Irish and old Scandinavian lines. This is a very healthy scene for Irish setters, because nearly everywhere else they are heavily linebred (=inbred).

It would certainly be in the interest of a healthy future for all Irish setters, when this island culture stopped. For example by cooperating in an international knowledge-centre. The weakness in Irish setters was and is reliable information....

There was a conference in Dublin I think in 1995 on divisions in type, so a lot of your topic has been discussed already. Problem is there was not much done with the papers and no follow-up arranged.

Henk ten Klooster.
MADE IN AMERICA You got me there:) I'm so affraid for eurpoean irish setters,that I'm trying to start a petition for not to mixing those two types and to separate them like american and english cocker spaniel.
Because they are two DIFFERENT BREEDS. I'm aware that probably I'll get someone angry or hating me,but I really,really find american irish setter uf...not nice at all. THAT IS NOT AN IRISH SETTER. It is some instant dog with no stop in head,too big,too heary,bad angulated,tail to high,ears too long I could do that till tomorrow...in fact it remainds me so much on AFGAN hound....that I think it is an afgan hound in an irish setter coat. On one Dog Show , it was an american bitch.....When she entered the ring....I can asure you....she moved like an afgan hond,she had ears like afgan,she had body like afgan,she was angulated rear like afgan,she had that look in the eyes from afgan,but it said irish setter in the catalogue. So tragic. I like an irish setter from my childhood,I will love them forever. So I can't sit and wait that wonderful breed going in the past,with all it's wonderful characteristics as for interier and exterier.....Cause this in the picture....Thats not an irish setter any more.
It's on every breeder to chose-to keep their roots and original setter or is it just important to win on shows? You may win on the shows with american today,going to some non expert and non specalist for the breed,but tomorrow,when american irish setter overflow Europe,mixing and importing.they will all be like that,and you won't win anymore-----but that european setter won't exist anymore with it's pure bloodlines. Then it will be to late. Please don't do that to that wonderfull breed!!!
Congrats, Ana, i can t more agree with you! I am sad too :-((.
Please don't do that to that wonderfull breed!!!

Hi again!
Very interesting to read your comments, stillllllllllll I really hope no war comming and like Susan says- Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. I am sure here is many good qualities in all types. And as I said already judges from England (at least when they have judged (they are breed specialists) here in Estonia, place american type in very high places). And I also hope we will not have a discussion of true type, just what you think can we get our breed better by mixing? Estonian breeders started with setters from Russia, its field trial type and we started to mix them with English show lines. With that we got health problems, but nice looking dogs! Before our setters were super in obidience (they were extreamly smart), now our dogs are super in shows! I have used dog from States and it was very nice experience, mostly people are so nice and helpful and they know so much about their lines and when compare to UK or Europe I think they have better history in hips core and other health tests. Still I think that in future I will stay in English lines, I adore the heads and type. I could use dog who is already mixed, I think this is more safe not to loose the type I like.
I added one photo of my little princess and my true type, she is Dubliner Watermelon and we call her Jente, now she is already 5 years old.


Mixing the types... a very touchy topic because "De gustibus non est disputandum (There is no accounting for taste) " LOL
I grew up with the english type. That is the type I have right now, even though I live in the States. Many have and do question the reasons why import a dog from far away when there are plenty where you are. But I know the lines, know the type, love the type :))) Do I think that the type I have is an end-all? no. I think everything can get better - if you do not, how can one claim they are breeding for the betterment of the breed?
But, even though there is a lot to improve in each type, and that they could all benefit from each other, I do not believe all should become alike. That is the beauty of the field setter, english type, australian type - they are all different. Should they mix? Yes. Should they all become alike ( melting pot)? No. Bigger is not necessarily better. Nor is more of anything better. After all, all three (UK, FCI, AKC ) standard stress the importance of the balance.In every way.

Should there be so much mixing of the outside blood in EU that the distinct type dissappears? No. But that also goes back to people breeding to the current winner regardless if they are altering future type of their dogs...
So it does go to the judges in that respect, although the breeders actually control what they produce. It is a vicious circle ;o))))
About me - i do think i will in the future mix in a little bit of blood outside of Europe, but as Piret said - I adore the type. I will always go back to it..
so, fire away...I have crocodile thick skin ;o))))
I do prefer the european type, the Ameriacain type is so different. Maybe the characters are the same, and is what counts too.
There IS room for all three types of irish setters, and although I have what is known as the english type, there are still plenty of specimens within that group that do not appeal to me. Neither is this discussion specific for just irish setters. It is basically the same in any breed that has a fairly large population. Breeders and judges have always had their own and personal way of interpreting the breed-standard.
And thats good!




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