Exclusively Setters

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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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Eva you still have not let me know what the proper way in england is to descride the three setters. One is show and also called bench. One is field I understand that. What is the proper name for a pet setter that is not shown or trialed. Do you just call it a pet setter?
Lar, It is not me, I didn't know either, I was just responding to other comments.
HI Lar,
I often help out with Setter rescue. All four breeds.
I have never yet had to collect a "Show Type" dog of any of the Setter breeds. These dogs usually come from the Dog Pounds, having been left there by their owners, or they could be cruelty cases.
The most common excuse is that they were gun shy.
The Breed Clubs in the UK have extremely well run Rescue Committees.
All new homes are checked and they usually have a waiting list for these dogs.
If there is a suitable home here in Ireland they will get a dog.
At the Irish Red Setter Club Championship Show, we run a Raffle, the proceeds of which go to Irish Setter Rescue.
People who are involved in Rescue, do it for the love of dogs, they do not get any monetary payment for their services.
Trudy, you have highlighted one reason why some dogs rescued in Ireland are rehomed in England - the English breed clubs have well organised rescue groups and raise money for rescue

Does the Irish Red Setter Club in Ireland have a rescue group group or committeee? I know that the IRWS breed club in Ireland doesnt , although they have sometimes asked why they are not always informed when IRWS turn up in the pounds and are shipped out to the UK

Dorothy Park and her friends do a fantastic job locating dogs in need of rescue and getting them over to the UK. But it seems to be an informal initiative outside the breed clubs?or have I got that completely wrong?
But if as Lar says, there are people who like to have working setters in pets in Ireland , is there any way they can be identified ,and the dogs advertised as needing homes in Ireland? or is that being done already?
I sense quite a lot of animosity towards the breeders of working setters, but if some effort was put into building bridges ,more communication and less passing judgement, could some more constructive solutions be found?

I see the Irish Dog Breeding Bill is likely to be passed soon, which will do you think that will help to reduce the number of dogs needing rescue?
I would be interested to know how many breeders with working lines would be happy to have their dog be used at stud with a show bred bitch? I don't know, but I get the impression there is not much interest by the working dog fraternity in Australia for their dogs to be used in the show genepool?

I would love to read your opinions and experiences in this regard.
They will use US feiel dogs to help European field dogs. They both need the gene pool and it will better both breeds. It is already being done heavily in Norway and Parts of Ireland.
Hi Kristi, thanks for your advice, but I was specifically asking if the field dog breeders would allow their dogs to be used at stud with show bred bitches.

We often talk on this forum of the need for both field lines and show lines to use each other's lines to help bring back gene diversity and we have talked about both field and show lines deviating from the standard?
I understand Cheryl I don't know about the setters there. I would think they want more working in the dog not show. I know many hunters in Europe that want to improve the breed with US lines. The US gene pools are small here also. The ISCA and NRSFTC are always fighting. I know there are some nice field trail guys who are helping out the AKC show/pet setters. They are giving stud service to the bitches to help bring the structure and hunting ability back. AKC doesn't let many field dogs enter their events. The show people want to win also. The field dogs have pretty much swept the events. For good or bad the hunters here also have attitudes towards show people. It looks like they want to help now because there gene pool is in trouble. The dutch are crossing Irish and US lines pretty heavily. They need the breed restored all the way around. They took a beautiful breed and preyed on it., LOL in the US that is. Personally I think they should give stud service all the way around both Europe and US vise versa. It looks like they are suffering from small gene pools all over. All US hunters care about are field trials. But they are ruining the breed also. I know they are having some health issues also. Supposedly a dog named Speedy Edie was a great hope for another Red Setter Hall of Fame girl. Suddenly at 7 she came down with cancer and died pretty quickly. It was a great loss. I think if the AKC would register the field dogs again the hunters would love to widen the gene pool and be open to widening the gene pool all over.

You are right about US dogs being imported and used in Norway. Elin Witthusen imported Zansett dogs around 1990, and their influence is now in many Norwegian working lines
And there have also been a few AKC working reds that have gone to Norway and Sweden, Dan Moore sent a dog over to Sweden to be used as a stud, Susan Russell Matsumoto who is on this list sent a dog (or two dogs?) to Norway

If there are any US bred dogs in Ireland I am surprised . Do you know who they are? Although I know a working ES was imported into Ireland about three or four years ago. But AFDSB dogs cant be registered in Ireland (or anywhere else in the FCI countries), and there is a general consensus in Ireland that they wouldnt want to introduce American working setters, even AKC ones, as the working style is so different from Irish and European dogs - the high tail, the upright standing point, running a line instead of quartering, and as the US dogs are not required to flush birds, only to find and point, they may lack some of the bird handling skills of the Irish dogs
Ah yes, Hugh Brady's dog. Any others?

And in Holland, Henk imported one US bred bitch, ahev there been any more US imports in Holland?
Susan Russell Matsumoto also sent a dog to Christiane Lohmann (also on this list) in Germany that she seems to behaving a great deal of success with (Russell's Kismet), and Cassie Allen, also on this list, has sent dogs to Europe (one in Italy immediately comes to mind).

You bring up an important point of semantics that seems to have eluded any of the preceding discussion involving American dogs, namely the FDSB red setters. In terms of this board, and in particular this discussion, these dogs really ought to be thought of as "American red setters" or "American field trial dogs". The semantics are important as European members, mindful of the red and red and white setters in the history of the internationally *recognized* breeds commonly refer to the Irish setter as a 'red setter' to differentiate it from the 'red and white'. However, Americans often confuse "Irish setters with a red coat" with "red setters".

This terminology is exactly what the FDSB uses to promote their hybrid, very American, field dog. These dogs are effectively hybrids (and openly admit to recent cross breeding with everything from viszlas to GSPs) produced to generate the "perfect American field dog". The published breed standard varies hugely from those of all internationally recognized breeds of setters (and may be read here: http://www.nrsftc.com/standard.htm complete with illustrative photographs) The most fundamental variance is the desire to have the tail pointing straight up out of the dog's bum to twelve o'clock - something that is absolutely NOT AT ALL desirable in the AKC Irish setter, field or no, and certainly unacceptable to those breeding for Dual Champions. By their own admission the FDSB is only interested in qualities that make a competitive American field trial dog.

Despite what others might say here, the FDSB split with both ISCA and the AKC had more to do with the lack of ability of FDSB breeders to be willing or able to produce a reliable five-generation Irish setter pedigree. Additionally, one of the few remaining FDSB/AKC double registered dogs rather famously failed its DNA typing - the dog in question bearing absolutely NO genetic relationship to the purported parents.

Another wrench to throw in the works, but the confusion certainly is not helpful to this particular subject.
AKC breeders who favor working lines, due to competitive tastes in America, tend to opt for a tail carried higher than what would be considered optimum for the show ring. As young dogs, still working on check lines, they are often taught to raise their tails on point. My boy points naturally with a more traditional European tail, and frankly that is the way I prefer it. You don't necessarily have to have the 12 o'clock tail to do well. . .but some of the competitors from the, err, what we might call "red-neck" set will do anything to have that tail because they think it is both "intense" and "beautiful".




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