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Did the breed change or not since the sixties?

Did the Irish setter breed change in half a century or not? In a topic elsewhere there is a statement  the breed did not change in fifty years.


What is your opinion? Did the breed change yes or no, if yes in what aspects (conformation, health, character, working capacities)? Can you document your opinion? Same for no changes in your opinion, can you document that?


Here is a kick off with an article on the Derrycarne Irish red setters, bred by Maureen Mc Keever, published in 2003 in The Leitrim Guardian, written by Kevin Mc Manus. Her activities cover a large part of the period mentioned in the statement. She bred more key Irish setters in both show and working nowadays Irish setters. Would these still be able to win - show and/or work?


Because there was some interest in Derrycarne history, on request a story is added on a daughter of Derrycarne Harp - Ailean O'Cuchulain. Its entitled Devils Dearest, written as a tribute.  On request as well a story Hartsbourne Flame was added. She was a shower of hail and littersister to IRCH Derrycarne Martini

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you are right Eva, everyone interprets the standard differently. You are also right about the American dogs looking like Afghans. But that again is their interpretation of the standard. I was told by one Gundog judge that coat is the last thing you look at. And I was told by another Gundog judge, who works her dogs, that if you can't look at a Gundog lineup and think that every dog there is capable of doing it's 'job', then that dog shouldn't be there.
Absolutely Carmel.........and that is what makes it so difficult. That is also why no 2 judges/exhibitors/breeders agree and why there is such variationn. I must admit both Gundog judges are probably right. My only reservation on the latter is that the show ring is a beauty competition and should be judged as that. A dog might look as though it is capable of doing a job but if doesn't broadly (and I say this with reservation bearing in mind the differences in interpretation) conform to the breed standard in make shape type or temperament then it caqnnot be considered.
May I just respectfully throw into the discussion the point that if an Irish Setter reminds you more of an afghan than of it's own breed then how can that be correct?
Thanks Eva,
most of the IS here remind me of Afghans more than IS. They are considered correct by most judges but I do find some who like my dogs. And yes the show ring is a beauty contest...but I still think that a dog should first be considered for the job they were bred to do. Obviously with a very small space to work in, you can't really judge the working ability of a dog in the show ring. But you can judge it's soundness. And sadly, many dogs seem to find the trip around the ring more than twice too much for them. And not just IS...many breeds seem to be heading this way.
Is it the same in Europe and England?
Yes it is.......this is why your Gundog judge who considers coat as just the icing on the cake is so refreshing.
She was my 'mentor' from many years ago. She bred Labradors and is still influential in my life.
Unfortunately there are many Irish here in Australia who do not exhibit typical Irish Setter traits or resemble IS of the past, particularly in head, structure and coat texture. I can't honestly understand how a judge can interpret the standard to accommodate the lack of head, the incorrect gait (hackney) the lack of angulation of the shoulders and over exaggerated angulation in the rear which gives a completely different structure.
Hi Carmel
Well Im gunna have to agree to disagree.I recon that as much as some of the american heads look like afghans that some english and european heads look like boxers. Probably one of the reasons our breeders in Australia didnt stay loyal to English lines was the hereditary diseases that English breeders were having problems eradicating.(Clad PRA Hip Displacia).We needed to find an outcross for our top winning lines that all had the Greglyn/ParrLeyn line. Prabably the best Irish in world at that time as said by many overseas judges.
Sorry bout the aussie slang
Cheers best wishes Rick
Well, I'm not so sure why Australia didn't stay loyal to the English lines as I wasn't in the breed at that time. Some breeders who were breeding at the time are still in the breed today, so it would be interesting to have their opinions.

However, I am not so sure that the need to eradicate health problems was what created the import of the American lines? I believe there were a number of clean lines here in Australia at that time? A breeder from that era told me that when the American Import "Robalee Yank" was brought to Australia in the 1970's that the dog show was a "buzz" about the American dog with comments like "have you seen his coat!!" There was a lot of talk about the glamour of the dog!

So what brought in the first American import? Are the American lines any healthier than the English lines? I haven't heard that they are today. Both lines have problems with HD and bloat! Both lines have been able to test clear their lines for CLAD and PRA.

Even if there were American Imports, why did the heads, structure, gait and coat texture change and how did this come about. From previous discussions on this forum, Henk has mentioned that a number of UK dogs were exported to USA.

Why are some current lines so different to the lines they originated from?
Sorry Cheryl for not having reacted on this one. It is correct that UK exports had a huge influence on nowadays USA

Irish setters from the Sh Ch Hartsbourne Tobias x Ch Hartsbourne Popsy galaxy and for that reason as well Hartsbourne Flame (littersister to IRCH Derrycarne Martini) mother of Tobias, are in most USA lineage.

Mrs Eileen Walker (Hartsbourne) was the first to note in a report published in British dogpress about Afghanish looks in USA Irish setters, if I remember well on movement.

Her exports would now probably be discarded by all showjudges concerned, for having not enough showfringes.
Have to reply to this older post Henk. Word got out that in US that a couple of show breeders were crossing the setters with afghans for the coat and the ears.
It was very under the table but many people knew. AKC let it go. ISCA has a strong hold over AKC that is why the field dogs cannot be registered.
Kristi who was sitting at the table when an Afghan and Irish setter were going up and down:-)?
Dont kniow Hank but it sure wasn't the ISOA, lol.




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