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Reading the Irish Setter breed standard which states:


On head, front of legs and tips of ears, short and fine; on all other parts of body and legs of moderate length, flat and as free as possible from curl or wave. Feathers on upper portion of ears long and silky; on back of fore- and hindlegs long and fine. Fair amount of hair on belly, forming a nice fringe which may extend on to chest and throat. Feet well feathered between toes. Tail to have fringe of moderately long hair decreasing in length as it approaches point. All feathering to be as straight and flat as possible".


it seems that a large proportion of the IS's have very wavy if not curly coats; not that I have anything against that but we seem to be getting away from the breed standard?  I understand that coat is only a small part of the important make up of these beautiful dogs and conformation is more important.

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Well it was Jasmine that had the good carrier...not Saffy, but that is nit picking...but that said why couldn't that have been said earlier and the end of all this 'silliness' and bad manners to each other could have been prevented., (that is all that was needed to be said, and I think was over and over again).. that to me is all that was needed. End of conversation...Yes a dog is more than just a coat/foot/tail set/hight etc...and I am glad you agree that the breed standard is the thing that we should strive for...or I think you have...don't want to be presumptuous.

I feel that we should all look at our bitches (and that your bitch is the best one you can choose)...and be honest with ourselves as to her faults, and find the dog the compliments all the things that need changing...not just the dog that is winning at the moment, though it may well be him...(I have been guilty of that one) but now I choose the stud dog very carefully...he may not be the best looking dog but has all the things you are looking for.....though I love the dog I chose, and to me he was the best looking one..And luckily he complimented Saffy so well...Consiquently I love my last litter...just what I personally was looking for....but only my oppinion...and lets face it we have got to live with them..and for every 'show' dog there are 8-9 pet dogs and those people deserve the best of our knowledge...and we as 'oldies' should help, not ridicule, as has happened to me, when help is asked for...

My apologies Dee, it was Caspians Modesty I was thinking of. 

I have never denied that you should strive to breed or judge your dogs to the Standard, even in other Forum discussions.  However a dog is the sum of it's parts not bits of it.

I think that is exactly what I have just said...

Hello Mr Jansen, I have tried to contact you via private message to ask if you might send me a copy of the W J Rasbridge article you mention. It seems we must be 'friends' before I can send you a PM. Therefor  I request you to add me as a friend on Exclusively Setters and then I will give you my e-mail address, to forward the article.


Many thanks, Dawn Riddell.

Dawn, I have scanned the article and will add it as a Forum Discussion. 

Wilko I did ask Rosie Dudley last month if it was a good idea to offer it to the ES membership and where to post it.  She suggested the Forum would be better. I think that those who knew Bill Rasbridge learnt much from him and I hope that those who didn't could learn as much for this article is timeless. 

I do believe it is invaluable as a reference and that is why I have posted it.  It is very much for information and education and is, of course, part of IS history.  Please tell me if you feel that I should pull it.

I have also been reading this whole forum but don't have much to offer in the debate.  I actually wasn't aware of such waviness/curl in Irish Setter coats until I joined ES a few years ago.  The Irish I have always owned here in Australia have not had wavy coats but have had just some wave around the neck area. (having a bad hair day!!).  Having wavy hair myself!!!! 

Personally I would prefer not to have to groom a wavy dog straight to enter the shows over here as I'm not sure how judges would judge a very wavy IS.  I think seeing the differences in type is more than enough challenge for the judges sometimes!!  Given that I know a few people do spend hours straightening wavy coats, I couldn't really tell you how many wavy coats we actually have in Australia?

My question is (which follows on from Wilko's comment):  Is this wavy gene a recessive gene?  It seems that it isn't very dominant as Eva has mentioned that Louis has sired pups who are both straight and wavy.  I would be interested in people's opinions on how dominant they think the waviness is?  If you continually breed wavy coated dogs together will the gene be compounded for the future generations or if you breed a wavy with a straighter coat, will it be contained???


This is a very interesting question you ask.....I don't know the answer and I wonder if anybody in the UK who has used a sire with a wavy coat has researched the genetic side of this topic? I await comments with intrigue..........

I agree with you Camilla that coats and presentation are definitely an obsession at the moment. 

We see this over here in Aus too.  Some dogs are so well manicured and trimmed to perfection, it's like looking at a sculptured coat hanger instead of an Irish who can work and run in the field without getting knots and matted coat.  The texture appears so fine and whispy.

I also agree that just aiming/concentrating on one trait is to the detriment of the whole dog.  Over the years we have seen loss of heads and structure, but there has been dogs bred who are big and heavy coated!

To me health will always win out as top priority with correct structure, then with pedigree analysis, the cosmetic traits whilst important too, are considered lower on the scale.

It is interesting to read that all types of coats (straight, wavy, curly and lack of) have been bred in the same litter.   Do you find that the texture of all the coat types is the same?  I would presume the texture of the coats regardless of coat type are all correct and are easy to groom, no matting, easy to get burs and debris out of when they run in the fields? 

I did some research into dogs coat types and colours after I bought my Sable Roan Cocker as I intend having a litter from her and because of her rare colouring I researched dog genetics and this is a small part of what I found which concerns the coat type not colour.

There are only 2 types of hair genes   curly (C)       straight (S)

If a (C) is bred with a (C)  the offspring are curly

If a (S) is bred with a (S) the offspring will be straight

If a (C) is bred with a (S) the offspring will be both types (Cs) carrying either 2 types of the one gene or 1 type of each gene.






For most "traditional" genes their is a dominant and recessive version but it's not as simple as that when it comes to the genetics of hair-types.

Hair-types follows a type of inheritance pattern known as "incomplete dominance" which refers to the fact that if one of each gene is inherited then you get a mixture of both hair-types.

II have just read the same article because I googled the same website.  However this article is about humans.  I am not a geneticist but if there is anyone who knows whether this also applies to dogs than I think we would all be gratedull for their input.  We have a far greater diversity in coat textures and colours in dogs and I don't believe it is as simple as that.  I know that colour in the IS is a straight recessive as both parents need to carry the gene to produce it, presumably with complete dominance.

Camilla said earlier that in her two Bubbles/Concept (wavy/curly to wavy/curly)  She had all manner of coat textures and lengths from wavy to curly to straight in varying lengths and depths of colour.  So to follow the theory there should have been no straight coats, only curly and wavy (with incomplete dominance). 






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