Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

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 is a room,they are all cute in their own way,so let's keep them separated. No,characters are not the same.Moving is not the same. Instinct in field is not the same. I am really sory,but I only see Afgan in it,nothing else. If I would like an afgan,I would buy it. Character and exterier will disapear and you will have irish afgan setter.
I don't see why don't separate them and have 2 breeds,so everyone can choose which he will have. Then,there will be no need for one of them completely disapear! Who knows how would today look cocker spaniels if they hadn't separate them? This way you have 2 breeds to chose...
yess, irish setter and american setter - problem solved :-))
My first love was a English type irish setter out of Wendover lines and i still own a Irish setter out of that line
, the American type , in my opinion , are afghan dogs in a red outfit , the same with the gordon setter American type , it is a matter of taste , but for me i choose the english one , i am not a breeder and can only speak about what i see and what i prefer , i would not mix american with english lines.
What a great discussion!! I too have strong opinions on the types around the world!! They are so different from country to country! I do prefer the Irish and English dogs but would like to see less dramatic coats, as working dogs, they should have moderate length of feathering!! I would also like to see moderately long necks as opposed to giraffe necks(if they are too long they look like a seperate part of the dog-stove pipe!!!)I would like to see more mixing of the working type here in Ireland with the show type to improve both types(Show types would gain on hunting instinct, strength and stamina and the working type would gain on looks,coat colour and general structure and size) I have noticed that the Swedish working dogs are also very handsome!! I am sure this is true of other European countries also? The American type (I think) should not be mixed with European lines as they are almost a different breed! They are still very beautiful and lovable, but poles apart from their roots!! I did own an american bred dog in the 70's when I lived in the US but he looked quite like the dogs in England or Ireland He was from a dual kennel and I think dogs changed very much after the early 70's.Regardless of which type we like they are all brilliant, these Red Heads!!!;)))
Just a reminder: once USA's winningest in Irish setters were in type not far from UK showbred top so Wendover or Hartsbourne. Look for the pictures in Thompsons "The New Irish Setter". Marvellous athletic dogs, no exaggerations!

In UK showstock as well the nowadays leading so called "American" type dived up. But they were not in the winners. So the huge change of type within three to four decades has everything to do with selection, judges and their education. Maybe Afghan hounds as well but remember the Irish water spaniel played a role in our breed according to O'Callaghan. So bubbling under in some strains..

As for "types within cultures", there was a time when UK show red setters were divided in two camps with different types. When they mixed these types it became the new founding stock for the nowadays leading UK showbred type. Both camps became a minority.

In the USA there as well different types. Quite a few of these minorities are still experiences to meet and some even scoring in all fields so work, obedience, show, agility and so on. The UK-scene provides a poor shadow of that.

In all mentioned cultures, the decline of the Irish setter in numbers is on the same timeline with change of type and/or show-selection only. And relative high genetical disorders statistics as well. And no doubt, for refreshment of bloodlines they do need eachother, in both USA and UK showscenes the prolonged linebreeding (=inbreeding) was already called alarming decades ago!

So theres something fundamentally wrong in ALL showcultures.

According to -again- W.J. Rasbridge it is the average breeder that changed. In his eyes in too many cases "knowledge, experience, caring and study plus progressive planning" are missing. "It has become simply mating a bitch to a stud of the same breed" he states.

Something to think about....

Henk ten Klooster.
What an interesting topic! I am just your average dog owner so I didn't even realize differences existed on each side of the pond. I understand the differences between a bench and field but not American and English. Could someone post photos of both English Irish Setters and American Irish Setters and point out the differences? I would love to get educated! Thanks in advance...

this is the same dog though :)
Are you trying to convince me that there is no difference in Am and Eng type,that there is only in presentation?! I must ask you if you have ever seen bach angles of an english type? Compare only that to american! That's not presentation,sorry,nobody on this world will convince me that somebody didn't put some afghan in american bloodlines. I know too good all breeds,although I'm not a judge and I'll never be,I have no interest in that,but I have studied medicine for 6 years(which is hard),studied genetics,and I'm very good in my job so you can imagine and compare theese 6 years to 20 years of constantly studing breeds....I know what afghan is,belive me. For me,TV (I watched westminster irish setters) is enough. No need to go to America. When I saw one pure american on show (and seen lots of mixes) That was it . It was so different from our type that you could see it from the plane!!! Especially moving!!!
I don't say your setters are bad or whatever,I don't like them,and it's only metter of taste,but I think that they are already so different that they should be separated. That's all.
I don't want to argue,it's my opinion and it's on every breeder to decide weather or not he will mix. I won't mix ever,and if the price for that is that my dogs never ever win any show again,fine by me. I WILL BE HAPPY EVERY MORNING when i look those eyes of my setters,the type that I like and adore,seeing in them all the love in the world they can give me and I can give to them....Shows are only on weekends,and you have your dog every day with you,loving you more than anything else in the world. So,every dog is beautiful to his owner,and he loves him,no metter type.As you like yours. For type,therefore is standard and it says black on white. We are all trying to get that perfect dog from standard,yet nobody so far sucseeded. And it'll never be sucseeded. It is in our heads. PERFECT IRISH SETTER IS ONE THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR HOME-HE IS PERFECT FOR LOVE HE GIVES YOU.
Standards written in black and white still need human beings to read and interpret them. The way we read and understand any given textmatter depends on our previous experiance, our background etc. Yes, there are certainly different types of setters, but this is a fact with ALL breeds. If you were to divide the irish setter into american and english, you would also have to add field-trial as a seperate breed-division. Mind you, even there you will have to subdivide. So I think at a guess you would end up with at least 6 differant irish setter breeds. (And that would only be the start...soon these 6 differant irish setters would need to be divided again due to personal preferances) Why not accept that within ALL breeds there are differant types?
And there always will be as long as breeders, judges and owners remain individual human beings.
Yes, you are right. There are lot's of differences between for example am and eu doberman,german sheepherd...it is in all breeds...And I see your point,there would be 6 different types,and in all breeds....maybe no need to separate,but to make your own choise.....As for standard, some things could be interpreted differently,but if the standard says for example "....tail.....carried as nearly as possible on a level with or below the back." that means following the back line,not higher or down....or "Head....From occiput to stop and from stop to tip of nose to be parallel and of equal length, brows raised showing stop." Thats not a point of view,thats mathematics-paralel and length....See,some things ARE black on white,some our for interpreting:)
:-)))))), bravo!




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