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Please watch and give me your thoughts around this... I would appreciate it

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Cheryl I give you respect for the above...


Many seem to miss the point of my thread....in simple plain words I wanted to bring the point that a dog can be perfectly healthy but it cannot do what it can originally do because it is breed away from it...

I know I have triggered some here and have chucked gasoline in the fire but I purposely did that without reading any other thread on the forum. I am aware that there are recent few posts on health issues but my intentions were different not just for medically keeping the dogs perfect...as explained above and below in my last big post....



Well, given that you have posted the link to Pedigree Dogs Exposed, one would have to think that you are talking about inbreeding; changing the construction of the dog; deformities and genetic health problems.

It seems to me and I'm sure you will correct me if I'm wrong, that you have started a discussion about a topic that actually has nothing to do with pedigree dogs exposed program.  I also point out that the deformities that were discussed with most of the breeds on that program do not exist in the Setter Breeds and therefore don't relate.

If you want a discussion about the Irish Setter being fit for purpose then you need to be specific when you ask for comment.  Unless I am mistaken the program doesn't discuss this point at all, but I must say I watched it three years ago and only had a quick browse through again today.

Our breed isn't perfect, there isn't one that is.  Some of the health problems that we see in our breed like epilepsy; GDV; hip dysplasia can be seen in crossbred dogs too.  These health problems are seen in all types of Irish Setters.  Yes that includes field dogs.  I believe here in Australia that high hip scores were known in the working lines as well.

You may find if you do some checking that there are many breeders who show their dogs do hip score their stock and have quite stringent criteria on their breeding plans to try to improve hip scores; minimize any known genetic health disorders and still breed a structure which is correct and is fit for purpose.

Not everyone has an interest in field work nor has the ability to do field work due to the locality of their home to any areas where this type of work can be done as part of competition, etc.  As Michelle noted the Irish Setter is a very versatile breed and can perform very well in many disciplines aside from field work.

Again, if you look into the forum discussions of the past, you will see a huge discussion on the “Fit for Function” of the Irish Setter and has the breed changed in 50-60 years!

I have to say that I haven’t seen an Irish Setter 1metre tall ever. I currently have 2 bitches who are 59 and 61cm and my dog is 72cm tall.  He is a bit taller than I would like, but he is certainly fit and agile.  He is the tallest male IS that I have ever owned as my males have usually been around the 68cm  He is shown and he has successfully competed in tracking and attained his Tracking Dog Title this year. 

There is an argument that size can affect their ability to work in the field, but I feel that more importantly if the dog has the correct structure then they are efficient in the way they move and put less stress on their body and are fit for purpose.

good good... keep it coming...
Attack me if you wont, I dont give a toss much,,, make it personal I dont care....

But all you say is that things have changed....

Ill Quote myself since you missed the whole point...

""""But all you say is that things have changed....

The reason for picking on this is because I came across this video over the last few days, I was here on the forum since I got my IS pup 2 years ago, now the dog itself is a Ferrari when it comes down to what they are originally bred to be, i.e. hunt birds. He has been bred in a way that all those anatomical issues that arise in his relatives were not used to be bred, little temperament issue or anger issue leads to not picking the dog for further breeding.
I came across this website and yet I have not found one person who supports the working Irish setter with such high standards as the kennels from which the working setters come from either here in Pacific region or UK...

Now lets have a little contrast with the Red and White Setter from which our fully red setter currently is.
The red and white can barely be seen on any field trails these days, I know some use them for hunting especially in the Scandinavian countries but its standard has been brought down so much that it can no longer do the job which it did before this Pedigree Dogs bah bah came im, or it can but not the way it could originally.

My point is, the intention to compete in shows that a judge looks at a dog by its appearance and then awards the dog for it  - gives you an incentive to go astray from what the dog is for originally. AKA the dog is not for showing, that sounds harsh but its the truth, the dog is for bird hunting. 

Now lets go further, Lets put a Irish setter, Dogo Argentino, Ridgback and Bulldog in a show ring, and assume the IS wins... What is the end result when comparing apples with bananas. 
The Irish setter which is in a show ring is probably a metre high, the hip score is no where as good as any working irish could be....and yet is awarded for its beauty when a Ridgback without the black spine who can do its original job is perfectly capable of doing it up to its required standard.

This whole process leads to giving you an incentive to breed away from what the breeds were originally for..

No we can all go vegetarian, and be Vegan just for saving a chicken's egg or not face the truth of how animals are treated for the purposes of food but look at the breeding of the dogs....breeding away from the original purpose even tho a show Irish can be perfectly healthy but its cannot do its original job.


My point of the post here was not to attack you personally or even hate the Irish Setter itself, not even support it on its own, instead over all for every breed.... the dogs cannot do their job anymore because they have been bred away from their purpose...
The reason for picking this forum again is because the sample size and population I targeted was those that do show their dog, and it looks like I achieved my target. 

First of all We have seen the credibility of the KC so there is no reason to rely on that.

Since you have made this personal which I had no intentions to but with you "mature manners"... Ill put the time to proove that your above premise is not consistent let alone relevant to what I was trying to get across.


Quote   -   "Natural insitinct which includes quartering and to a degree listening to my commands" - first of all Quartering is a training issue. Second of all listening to commands cannot be to a degree, it either is or it isnt. Again that is a training issue, if a dog is not listening to you it has nothing to do with its natural instinct, its pritty much telling you to p--s off because it doesnt want to do what you are telling him to dog....now when you achive to get your dog to listen to you when he is applying his natural instinct...I will take my hat of to you but as I can see you have no idea what training an irish setter is...

3) goes to Michelle Briggs,,, that is your opinion which I respect but dogs do not come in Packages,,,they are made to be that way... they were not to be hordes to lie on the couch but over time they were made like that which you kind of prove my point here that we simply do according to our wishes not for the best of the dog... or the dog's breed, said more accurately...
Blowing my own trumpet,,, metaphorically speaking I admit it was my intention. and yes I do intend to keep the thread to work infavour of my claim, as the whole point was to start a fire anyway and see the response as I do not care what people think of me... this is in a way a statistical try... 

and obviously it worked as the truth hurts... 

Oh my goodness you are a very "strange individual " I would hazard a guess that your credentials for working a setter are not all you boast !!
My dogs are all loved and have a very full active lives as well as the show ring they have 12 acres at home to explore ... Using their natural instincts to quarter and work as a team to find and flush the birds from the fields .. They go for walks everyday to enjoy rivers and different countryside . Yes at night they are COUCH POTATOES and I and they love their lives .. Please do not tell me they would rather be working setters and they would be healthier ... You do not know that .. Not all humans walk the same path in life so why should all Irish setters be working Irish Setters ??
You are looking for a fight ....but you are upsetting people at this difficult time and we as a breed are responding to a problem that has just been discovered . Things have moved forward from when this documentary was made . Please think before you respond in such an argumentative style to people on this forum ... You are proving nothing and your claims are " your claims ". Keep them to yourself ...( now I will wait on your rant and rude reply )

Wow, this is not where I saw this topic go AT ALL!!!

Petros, from what you wrote at first, no one would guess your wish was to attack show dogs! After all the topics that have been available lately concerning genetics, after so much has been discussed about our breed in particular, I actually though you were going on the "we are lucky with setters, and there is still time to help our dogs successfully" point of view!

True, our dogs are not what they were 50 years ago, but neither is the whole world! Not everyone has the chance to be out in the fields anymore. If Setters had never been used and bred as show dogs, I imagine we would have a lot less setters, if they were not extinct!

As for working dogs, we are still blessed with a good amount of choice within the working lines, so if you wish to hunt with a setter, make your choice from such lines! Show setters are doing their purpose - they are being shown! IT's not their original purpose, but it is one that has been created, and they do it quite well!

Even working dogs have new purposes now, they are doing agility, obedience, mushing, or whatever their owners believe they can do, and they are generally good at this new jobs! It's true some need more training than others, but their instinct is not lost! Have you ever met a Setter, show or working, that did not took an interest on birds???


You sound like someone that is disappointed with the breed. Perhaps you should have made a bit more research before getting your dog? Reading about show and work dog differences may have helped!

If you are, like I was an impulsive buyer and did not do your homework before getting your dog, you can't complain it does not achieve what you imagined it to be! It took me a lot of time and effort to understand what setters were all about, and what kind of setter I had with me. That effort payed of, and ES was a big part of the help I got, and right now you are making a lot of the people that help me feel resented whit this topic, and one I answered! So now, I resent you a little bit as I realize you are ignoring all the good help we newbies get, and labeling people disregarding their efforts!


I told you before what I though about the documentary, overlooking how sensitive this topic is at the moment, disregarding that this was an "old" documentary, probably discussed even before I joined! I took me over an hour to write that post! I had to make sure my opinions were made on top of solid scientific information, and researching what is was not sure of took time. 

So you can imagine how little credibility you have, at least to me, when you support your opinions with 1meter tall Setters! That's bigger than a Wolfhound or a Great Dane!!!!!


I can't stress enough, that we are all entitled different opinions and convictions, and this topic is bound to have some very strong and passionate points of view, especially right now.

I think I made mine pretty clear before, but I'll say it again:

This is not the time to be pointing out the problems - we are all aware of them! We have a lot of people testing their dogs and doing their best to keep our sweet setters healthy, and it's time we give them some recognition for their hard work! It does not worry me if we are going to have show setters, working setters, or mixed ability setters, my wish right now is that we are able to keep them healthy, and anyone that does anything to ensure this has my full support and recognition.


All of the comments above I find irrelevant as they are only arrguments...
Teresa Ill respond to you as I can see you are putting your time in this...

1) Agreed on the world evolving topic.

 2) Have I ever seen a setter not taking an interest in birds? Maybe not but the degree of interest or enthusiasm is enormous. Simply because a working one has the stamina to check out every bit of the ground, work with speed, style and has a great nose, much greater than a show line. This is one of the points that I am trying to get across, I am not arguing that in-breeding is wrong, there is no need to because we know it is, that creates the above problem. No argument there. But: If we are to show a dog which originally was at a different height, length, structure, breed for the field and to say that that is "anatomically incorrect" as one of the judges call it in the documentary, that I disagree with.
That was my whole point, judging (with proper training of the judges) can be modified to account for this, not just the appearance of the dog but I believe a dog should be able to do what it use to do (what the working can do now) because originally that is the dog. Because of this people have breed away from the original traits of the breeds. 

3) My research was finding the best working dog around me, and I did. I did research the setters especially the Irish so I did not just buy my dog.... carrying on...
I am not disappointed at the breed itself as I know who has the working dogs and who doesn't so I am fine on that part but what I am disappointed that a Irish setter and other breed have been bred away from what they are originally for, especially when I see few Irish setter dogs at a field trail and 20 Irish at a show ring... (don't hold me on this as I haven't been to a show won't even go for sure, but from the photos I have seen on this forum it looks like it)

4) a metre or not I came across a show Irish later last year, my dog was up to his bollocks with the nose... if I was hunting id probably mistake the dog for a deer... I would not expect to see that dog run like a small agile,  finely built Irish setter. That was just extremely too chunky, I would not expect it to run like a chetah as the working do, at least mine does...


5) opinions yes.. agreed... but come on, I would not be able to belive that a show judge will put a working irish setter or any other breed infront of a show irish setter/working dog simply because it does look anatomically correct. Now that is just a shot to the head issue right there. As obviously the judge has not done his research himself therefore I cannot stress enough how flawed the system is...

I am more than happy to stop this thread if you guys are, as I have proven to myself what I was expecting. I command you for looking after the dogs greatly health wise, keeping them exercised, and those that do actually go through the trouble of looking after the dog who had problems because of this sort of breeding. But those un-educated breeders are the concern, as well as my overall point above...


I see you are in New Zealand - I have never seen an Irish here anywhere near "1 metre tall"!!  And are you not aware that the NZ Pointer & Setter Championship has been won several times by Irish Setters??

Hi Pat,

I am part of the Pointer & Setter Club and the irish setters that win the championships are the kennel mates of my pup, since there is only one breeder in new zealand with working irish setters and that is where I got mine.

a metre or not you guys get my point (the size!!!!!), you guys get hung up too much on the details...

I guess you have one of Robyn Gaskin's Kilsheelans? Lucky man!





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