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I have owned setters for more than 30 years now, I have only ever had them as family pets and very much loved.

My dogs are as happy and healthy as anyone elses except maybe not as well groomed lol.

As long as a dog is loved and cared for well isn't that all that matters?

I admire those who show but that is not for me........does this make me a bad owner or simply someone who loves the bred and company of setters as a family member?

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Your dogs are both beautiful!

My dogs have always been "companions" first. Full breed, mixed breed, registered, non-registered......They all deserve loving homes  : )

Mary if you are a bad owner then so am I !! I love my three girls to bits they are my princesses. They are happy, healthy and not so well groomed either. I donn`t just love my girls I love everybody`s, and I will admite that I have cried many a tear for other peoples dogs. Thing we are very much alike, cuddles to your beautiful reds <:)0

Of course you're not a bad owner just because you don't show your Irish. My Irish Setters are pets too, pets that go to dog shows with me for a day out, but they run through the fields and woods, go paddling in the burn and lie on my couch watching TV in the evening. It's worth saying that this applies to everybody I know in the breed.


You're absolutely right, as long as the dog is well loved and cared for nothing else matters.


Enjoy your Irish, there's no better breed. :)


Dawn R.

I don't show mine either Mary and I am sure there must be many that aren't shown.

Arthur is three today and I can't believe how those three years have flown,Joan and I couldn't have wished for a lovelier dog,he isn't perfect but he has all the good nature in the world.

thank you everyone for that, as you may have guessed someone said something unkind which made me question myself.

My red Bailey is a wonderfully relaxed and good natured boy he is now 6years old. My youngster Logan is nearly 2 and so loving and always wanting to please.....he is always happy. Logan is a cross between an irish and a Gordon which is where the unkindness came from. He is healthy and happy and very much loved.

Lucky you Mary.......I only wish that I had owned this beautiful breed as long as you :0) I wanted one so bad when I was young but wasn't allowed. I'd go and pat Red, the one that would wander the streets near where I grew up I adored him. That's 40 years ago and I remember it like yesterday!
The Irish have sure left pawprints on my heart :0) Take care

Awwww bless you. I remember my 1st encounter with a red, A couple were walking a stunning large red in a woods near where I live, I vowed then It was the only breed for me. Bailey is my 4th Irish over a span of 30 years. I don't know what it is about the Reds but from that 1st day in the woods they have stolen my heart........I just love them, everyone is different but all with the same special something I saw all those years ago.......You are not wrong about the pawprints x

Showing dogs for us is merely a hobby that we can enjoy with our Irish. We had Irish for a good many years before we started showing. It is a great way of seeing many more Irish setters up close, even jumping up for a quick cuddle when we're watching ringside:)

Other than that, our dogs are very much members of the family and loved more than I can say....our life in fact.

What's more, its no-one else's business what you do, providing you are caring for them and their needs, which you clearly do. Long may you continue to love and enjoy their company in your daily life.

All my dogs are firstly my friends and companions. Anything we achieve in the show ring is very much a bonus. The amount of times I have had to withdraw dogs from shows because they have damaged their coat etc from running through fields and being allowed to be dogs.

The most important thing for any dog is to be well loved and happy :-)

I got my first Irish Rufus as a pet who turned out to have a very good pedigree and was a very good example of the Breed so I started showing him and as a novice handler achieved many first and a reserve CC. Over the years I owned many more, in fact my youngest , Venus who is now two years old is my number 12. So they have ended up one or the other in the ring, BUT and this is a very strong BUT , if they have disliked the ring or not achieved great heights there, they have stayed with me to their last day. They are my babies and part of my family and I would never rehome a dog for his failings in the ring. Also, apart from being pets, mine are worked regularly as we live on a farm and are lucky to be able to give them the freedom of looking for birds and game and learning to flush for the gun. I don't know what insensitive comment was made to you but I would dismiss it as ignorant! Enjoy your Irish as pets! I am sure they love their lives with you! :-)

We have also  had Irish for over 30yrs and we don't show.....Riley 2yrs and Bracken 12wks are half brothers we are always being told to show but it is not for me they are just our fur babies and free spirits who we love so much......I admire those that breed and show and good luck to them....but its not for me.. 




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