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It seems popular to shorten Irish Setter tail feathering these days. I've never considered doing it before, although I do trim the end of the tail.


Rory's tail feathers are about 8 or 9 inches long at the root, if I decide to do it..........and I may chicken out. How do you do it? Surely I don't have to try to free hand a curve with straight scissors. Could I make a template...........maybe?


Dawn R.

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Thanks Barbara, that's what I do too.

It's just that, some dogs seem to have much shorter hair all along the tail length, as if it's been carefully trimmed. I can see how it can create a more balanced look when the dog isn't heavily feathered generally. I must say I could quite easily forget the whole thing, I worried I'm going to make a mess, I'd rather leave it long, than do it all ziggy zaggy, and wish I hadn't started.

Dawn R.
I do the end of the tail by wrapping the hair around the end and trimming off anything that sticks out beyond the end. It gives a nice shape to the tail without having to "sculpt."

For the rest, I only trim if it's looking ratty from wagging in the dirt. To do it, I simply hold the tail out as if I'm stacking the dog, then grab the hair in small sections, pull it straight down, hold it between my fingers and trim about 1cm off all the way along. I don't bother to get a ruler-straight line. I just trim it by eye. It always ends up looking neat and as a method has never failed me.
I do the same as mentioned below I twist the tail and take the end off keeping my thumb on the end of the bone, I also have heard that if the tail is a little short then you can 'lengthen' the appearence by cutting further away from the bone - If the tails too long your stuck with it....... looking at your post I think you are thinking of the fringe, personally I have never trimmed this part.

I do as Aleks does.  plus what Barbara does with the tail.  If, as you say your dog has a long tail and not much anywhere else then reducing it improves the overall balance.  I also do it bye eye.

Concept has so much coat you would all die if you saw the amount of feathering I used to hack off him, and still do!!!!!

I sent Benson off for his yearly spring time spruce up and he's come back looking like a shawn sheep.  The chap responsible has just simply cut off the feathers with a pair of scissors and I've spent the past two hours trying to tidy it up.  Damage limitation, you might say.

I normally do it myself, daily brushes, trimmimg and a bath when needed etc but the idea of sending him to a "professional" is to give him a trim for the summer which means taking a little more off than I feel up to.  I wish I hadn't bothered as if I wanted him with no coat, I could have done that myself.  I've used a local woman since he was a puppy with no problems but she's been ill so had to use a different firm.  I was mortified when I saw what he'd done. 

The ironic thing is that she's just phoned to say she's up and running again so if I'd waited a week... 

As non-show person why do setters in dog shows have their chests shorn?
I've wondered that too, I wonder if it's to help show the neckline?
and why do we have to change their look and cannot accept to present them the way the nature has made them?

:-)   :-)  Tracy surely you will not compare our supremely beautiful redheads with men and women.... for human indeed, some enhancement can be necessary, but for our beloved IS there is nothing to enhance, they can keep the same robe for ever, they are very simply and naturally, superbly beautiful  :-)   :-)

What a great explanation Tracy. I shall use that one next time someone asks me............and not just about the dogs!!!!!!




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