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What causes an Irish Setter to over reach in the show ring?

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Thank you Eva for posting a bit of the breed standard for people who may not have read it. Thank you for listing a lot of other faults but I posted for information on one Over Reaching. Ahh not really interested in past heated arguments about coat that I was not involved in or a mine is bigger than yours discussion! Last state champ show had 80 entries not 20. but hey this is not a post about UK vs America vs Australia. Images of over reaching are from every country. I appreciate that you do not like to move your dog more than once around a ring for a judge. Unfortunately I am not that interested in appraising judges decisions on movement. My early comment about owners not needing a judges opinion to point out a over reaching fault is still true. I think it is ultimately up to the breeders. All people like to win in the ring  but I would rather have a true moving Irish than a 'Name' dog that moved poorly. Sadly I  did not even mention the word judge in my post, I am more interested in the dogs and their movement.  Given the choice of watching the judge point the finger or watching a wonderful true moving Irish in the ring, I find the later far more wonderful to watch. I enjoy watching Irish in the field trials too, again for the delight of a true moving dog.Thank you for pointing out that I am new to ES, although I am not sure how it is relevant to the post. A quick thank you to all the posts I am enjoying the open discussion.

Rhonda, I posted the whole paragraph on movement from the Breed standard not just a bit.  I think it is a great shame that you are not interested in past discussions, whether they be about coat or any other subject about the Setter for they are many and varied and much can be learnt from them.  And it t is you who first mentioned coat, I just followed on.  Discussions can start on one subject and develop (see also Melinda's comments ref judges and judging, surely all pertinent to this debate.....yes?).  All the images of over reaching that you speak of come within the context of showing dogs so surely it must follow that the judging of them would be discussed. I have also responded to your comments regarding the breeding of dogs and that wasn't mentioned in your original posting either.

Margaret comments on the balance between front and back angulation and she is right.  It is the inbalance that is bringing about faults in movement so why is this happening?  Why, whenever steep shoulders, short upper arms, overdone hindquarters, high tails etc. are discussed American/Australian dogs are brought up as an example?  You would know better than me, I live in the UK.  Has anyone asked?  Can anyone come up with an answer other than "that's what wins"..

Ref entries in Australia I do believe they vary depending on location but apologise for getting the number wrong.

Finally, I did not point out that you were new to this Site I merely said that as you were a newer member you hadn't been able to participate in previous debates on coat.  I meant no disrespect by this.  I do think you would have found them interesting.


Eva This is a discussion not an argument. The posts do not need to be judged! Please explain true movement for me. I am interested in your knowledge.

Rhonda, believe me it is my sole intention to discuss not to argue but so far you seem to be telling me off and I am apologising so let's wipe the slate clean and start again.

I feel that I have asked some pertinent questions in my last comment to which I would be glad to receive answers.

Margaret has made observations regarding American dogs reference their construction.  You and Melinda have commented on the movement and conformation of Australian dogs.  Even though Australia has adopted the UK Breed Standard breeders lean towards the American way of presentation and of course they import many dogs from the US.  You both feel the dogs are built and move badly.  Perhaps you can give us an insight in to why.  I am sure the breed clubs have put on seminars about this subject.  What do they say?

How can I explain true movement without sounding like a text book.  Firstly it should be workmanlike, effortless, joyous and free, not laboured or stilted..  The stride should be long and easy but not exaggerated.  The drive should be from the rear without leaving the hocks behind.  The forehand action, often described as 'daisy cutting', without toeing in, not bandy, hackneyed or loose.  The topline should be strong and not carried up at the rear.  The tail carried level with the back not high or thrown over the topline like a sickle.  Hind movement should show no sign of pinning.  Though if given the choice I would sooner see a dog slightly pin behind than move cow hocked for the former can strengthen and improve with age and exercise.  You cannot improve the latter.  The movement in the Irish Setter gets better with age.  What starts off as a gawky puppy can end up as a very good mover.  It is true that the oldies can teach the youngsters a thing or two.

To go back to your posting about over reaching I still believe that many times it can be controlled by moving in a more measured fashion but a dog who over reaches badly will compensate by crabbing.  That can be caused by an inbalance between front and rear angulation but also from a dog being too short in the back.  I do believe I have already mentioned both.

With regard to single tracking well it is generally accepted (and not just in the show ring) that a dog's limbs will converge to the centre of gravity as it speeds up at the trot.  It is a labour saving way of decreasing lateral displacement and provides support for the central mass.  It is not only dogs, most animals will single track.  Animals who trek tend to single track as it puts less stress on their shoulders. Single tracking should not be confused with moving close.  

I cannot go on any more without repeating myself on previous comments........... 

Not all breeders import from the US. Many IS members from Aus would be horified by this belief. How much should a dog be moved around a ring to allow for movement to be assessed is probably a good idea from a future post. I do not feel the movement and the conformation of Australian dogs are bad. That is definitely your comment. I have seen many wonderful examples and some are not being shown at this time.  I am not comparing Irish generally from the UK vs America vs Australia. I am interested in individuals. ES and the internet allow for the comparision so as not to be based on one country. Now the slate is clean Enjoyed reading the rest of your post. It will be interesting to chat about slower handling at the next show.

Rhonda, just out of interest - at the last State champ show you mentioned, what was the breeding of the winning Irish, out of the 80 entries?

www.iscv.org.au/assets/img-y04154352-0001.pdf Pat this is the link to the marked catalogue. 3 generations for each exhibit was in the back but it has been removed! American judge so some exhibitors who have imported European lines did not enter.

Pat's question and my answer have made me reflect. Over reaching is a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work. If a dog has to be handled a particular way for this fault to be controlled wouldn't that indicate an  inability to perform its traditional work? No one is handling an Irish in the field trial to make sure it does not go too fast. There is a lot more pressure on the dog to perform over uneven ground. If a dogs movement is faulty on a flat area in a short time, what is it going to be like for a longer period over uneven ground. With this in mind Judges as well as breeders have a responsibility to ensure that movement is sound enough for the dog to be able to leave the crowded show ring and move over uneven ground to perform its traditional work.  If this is not done and movement is a low priority then those wonderful true moving Irish are not going to be in the show ring for me to enjoy, have images and videos of. I will be left looking at a lot of pretty but  useless Irish. Perhaps the breed standard with all its points is finalised best in that last paragraph and its message is as true to judges as it is to breeders.

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

I like the way you have answered this, I agree with you.

I totally agree with you Rhonda. Too much emphasis is being given to flashy and coat and the true aspects of the Irish Setter are being forgotten.

You would not have the room or speed of handler to canter or gallop therefore it is not something that I would suggest but perhaps that is because I am slow on my feet. Again over reaching was the fault I picked for this post but it would be great if you could start another post outlining the movement faults that you believe are as bad or worse.

Are you going to start another post on a bad or worse fault. It seems that talking about one at one at a time (never said judging one at a time) has concerned people. I urge you to share your knowledge on a movement fault so we can all learn more. If everyone who has taken the post to be judging one at a time put a post up as well it would be very informative.




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