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Due to problems accessing the AHT website Dr Nigel Holmes has kindly agreed to extend the "promotional code" for the South fo England Irish Setter Club until 31st August. Unfortunately the original code cannot still be used so a new one has had to  be issued and will have to be obtained again from the SEISCwebmaster. The AHT apologises for any inconvenience caused!

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Very true James  :-))
Yeh quite true...;o))
Ah Susan, the noble art of dissapering up ones own orrifice....(well spelt something like that eh???) there are a few on here that have done just that a few times over...an art form....no???ha ha!!! (this is a joke) better put that in case someone takes offence...;o))Sorry...;o)
OMG I have had a tiering day...so very sorry I only stuck that in at the end too, the name that is...I think that I need an early night...eh??? but comment still stands hope I haven't offended anyone else....

Ok Su.......sorry Mel call it CRAFT or SENIER moment.....well at my age what do you expect...hey Mel do the lines come with any other ''punishment'' ha ha....

On another subject:- I have read a lot about people who can't understand why some animals carry both Gene for rcd4, but don't show any signs of going blind...well I have looked into this, if anyone is interested...

1) Late Onset - time of testing ie they will develope rcd4

2) Incomplete penetration of the gene

3) Epistatic interaction with other genes

I think that all this means that the gene is 'interfered' with by another gene so this is why they don't actually get rcd4 blindness...

But this still means that they carry two coppies of the Mutant Gene so they will still pass this on...don't be fooled into thinking that becaus they don't go blind that they won't pass it on...

Hope this will help everyone understand this a little bit better...

If you take away line breeding then breeders will be no different to the ordinary person in the street having a litter to the nearest Irish setter who lives down the road. Line breeding is a tool that helps breeders ( over a period of time ) to firstly identify the traits that arise from their own breeding lines.Having established this they can work at eradicating such faults from selective breeding practices.Knowledge aquired over time about possible traits certain animals have produced can be used to hopefully side step some pitfalls.Obviously this depend on the severity of the ailments that arise,some defects are worse than others ,life threatening being the worse graduaing down to going blind in old age or carrying the tail high etc.

If the way forward is just to use a dog with lack of common ancestory to our own over several generations, when various faults arise ,no one will know where they have come from, so will be unable to avoid or correct them.Breeding will be an even bigger lottery than it already is!.

Whilst i am in favour of using science wherever possible to eradicate defects i still feel that there should be some structure to ones breeding program to maintain those traits which a breeder may consider desirable ,which have taken years to consolidate.
Thank you for this sensible, intelligent post, Colette.  I think most responsible breeders will agree with you.

I agree Colette that there has to be a 'structure' in place to breed decent quality dogs and I would not suggest mating dogs and bitches with no common ancestors at all.....just not ones who are too closely related. 

I realise that many breeders have put years of hard work into their breeding programmes , but why do so many refuse to move with the times? 

They have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips and yet some still refuse to listen and learn how to help prevent health issues from occuring in the first place.


Wilko I put Bill Rasbridge's article on the breed standard onto ES.  It exisits in a Forum discussion and was put on there for everyone to read.  Hopefully they did.

Colette wrote "If you take away line breeding then breeders will be no different to the ordinary person in the street having a litter to the nearest Irish setter who lives down the road."


I can't agree with this statement. Breeding for diversity  can be done with just as much care  and thorough research as line breeding . Indeed, done well, it may take  more research of pedigrees  and data  about health and genetics, before the choice of a stud dog is made. And one can also preserve type, without line breeding, by choosing a stud dog with similar and desired  phenotype but with a very different pedigree. It takes a good "eye" for a dog to be able to identify the one with the similar phenotype

I would even go so far as to say that successful breeding for diversity takes MORE skill and MORE thought and MORE knowledge than line breeding. Its an intellectual challenge to find and recognise that dog from different breeding who has all the attributes of both looks and health that one wants. It has nothing to do with how backyard breeders produce puppies

Knowledge about canine genetics has taken great leaps forward in the last twenty years, and anybody who keeps up with the research on canine genetics knows that pedigree dogs breeds have lost so much diversity in their gene pools through line breeding and inbreeding and the overuse of popular sires, and that it has become so much more difficult to avoid "bad" genes in a depleted and increasingly homozygous gene pool.

Susan is right, dog breeding has to move forward into a new era , where line breeding and inbreeding are not the only tools the breeder uses to achieve excellence, and there is more recognition that variation in type within a breed is  actually healthy, and not everybody has to strive to clone  the same look (which is usually the look of the current top winning dogs)

But Rome wasnt built in a day, and I guess it may take decades to change the dog breeding habits and beliefs of the last century :)) Fighting about it isnt very productive, people just get entrenched in their own dogma, the best one can hope for is to work together with other like minded  breeders who have seen the light, and hope that when it becomes more evident that breeding for diversity produces dogs with fewer health problems, a new generation of puppy buyers and owners of brood bitches  will vote with their cheque books

And, slightly tongue in cheek so dont all rush to attack, isnt line breeding sometimes very akin to using the dog down the street? How many breeders mate one of their bitches to one of their own closely related dogs , because its the easiest thing to do? No stud fee, no travelling, no hassle getting the bitch to the dog on the right day,  no time spent researching pedigrees , and of course it helps to fix type . Could even be described as the lazier way to breed - now I'm ducking to avoid the gunshots VBG

Hee hee Margaret................what a good idea!!!!!  Funny you should say that because the stud dog of my last litter does indeed live only 45 minutes away, though not at all closely related.   It certainly makes life easier when you are returning for several matings.  Don't forget petrol costs...........wonderfully cheap!!!!  Must do it more often....................




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