I get the impression that some here think the perfect Irish setter is either kennel specific/country specific/inbred or outbred specific/beauty versus function specific/or just some nebulous specific. If it is not out of an English pure kennel, then somehow it has been contaminated. If it has been bred to a US Irish setter - most of which go back to English kennels- then somehow AKC has influenced and contaminated their line. If it has too much or too little coat-straight or wavy, what to do or apologize for? So what do most of you look for when breeding and how open is your mind to other kennels/other types/other countries and types when you consider breeding? Are most here willing to go out of the box and take a chance or stay with what they think they know and continue on as they always have?
I uploaded a head shot of the very beautiful and I think pure UK Irish setter bitch Thendara Miss Selfridge whose ear feathering is untrimmed. She's gorgeous and her ear feathering definitely rivals any in the US-just an observation.
She is a very beautuful Dog, but i do prefer the ear hair cut short like they are in the UK. I am not a big show person but surely the Irish should look as the Irish originally did. Improving a little, but not breeding out to an afghan to get a fluffy soft coat. Surely with a coat like this it would not be built for the field which to my knowledge is there job really. Please do not take this personally as i have had a look at your dogs and i do like the look of them. But i have seen other pictures and some do look a bit snipey as well. Not a look i particularly like. I will say John you have certainly started a immotive subject here.
I would like to know more about this alleged irish X afghan business. I find it almost impossible to believe that anyone could be so immoral to do this and the AKC to allow them to get away from it. I wish that anyone knowing who or what dogs are involved in this would name them so we can all know. With all the scientific knowledge that we have today surely DNA could prove it. Until someone can prove it and name names and dogs I believe it to be nonsense.
And yes I believe we can breed great dogs from all strains and types. We must not keep in breeding so close that we breed our selves into a corner. We must go to an out-cross every so often otherwise we may get some of these unfavourable traits. Therefore I ask could it be the inbreeding or that alleged mating?
I think we'd all like to know more, but if it did happen, then I doubt anyone is ever about to produce evidence. I agree it is also immoral...but perhaps I am way too cynical in that I believe some people will do anything to produce something which stands out in the ring. Enough judges around will put up eye-catching over correct-to-standard, so it's not something I can personally rule out.
As for the changes being due to in-breeding...well, I guess that is a possibility. But close breedings are used to fix type, from what I understand, so that type would have to be present in the original - and I just don't see it in pictures of the dog John posted. You can certainly change shape over time by exaggarating one or two features - look at Bulldogs! - but some of the traits in SOME lines of US Irish are let's just say very distinctive of another breed. Perhaps it is coincidence, but it's certainly easy to jump to other conclusions, based on what one sees. Perhaps if these Irish had been bred to fit the standard as is, these questions would never have arisen? (Bearing in mind, of course, that the US standard is slightly different anyway.)
No doubt I will have the criticisms levelled at me that I am one-eyed, kennel-blind, type-blind, stubborn, stupid, ignorant, too new, arrogant, jealous of others' wins, a whinger...etc etc. I have already heard most of it - usually from people who don't actually know me, don't know what I really think, and who have never spoken to me. People will think what they think, and good luck to them. Everyone is entitled to their likes and dislikes, and I wish to be honest about my own. I have seen some US dogs that I don't think are too bad. My own dog carries US lines, for god's sake...and like Joanne said of her dual-line Irish, I wouldn't give him up for quids. For a rank newbie, I have also done my fair bit of winning with him - over dogs of both types.
But the fact, for me, is that I prefer the UK type because I believe it is most correct to the majority of world standards - and it is certainly more in line with the ANKC standard than the US-line dogs, who, let's face it, have been bred under a different standard!
So, to get back to the original topic question, when I breed my bitch, I will be looking for a dog that best suits her, according to the type I see as fitting our Australian standard the most closely - the UK type.
Melinda I for one think you have done the breed proud over there in Aussie. Little Aneira is beautiful and sired by one of the dogs that I suggest Vivian has a good hard look at and most certainly has not been dragged through the bramble bush prior to entering the ring. You speak the truth and like me are quite open to acknowledging the faults on our own dogs and how we need to improve. Keep your opinions coming they are well received.
What a great subject
This could go on until, I don't know
Many many years ago I saw a drawing and photo of a dog called Seaforths Dark Rex and I thought that was Ideal. I recently saw a photo of Ferris in the Hooley website and was equally impressed.
Yes we are all kennel blind and will back our dogs as we love them and like our children are perfect.
We have 3 seperate divisions *1 The Poms who believe they are the standard and all others are outside it *2 The Yanks who have to improve everything and dog breeding falls into this category. *3 We convicts and some Vikings who are able to see both sides of the fence,take the best from both worlds.
I can recall a prominent English advising breeders to stay loyal to their bloodlines .This may be good advise but if your gene pool is to narrow you will have to outcross.
I hope not to get anyone wiled up and look forward to your point of view as this was mine and I believe I have a fairly open mind
LOL that's all of us categorised, Ricky :-P I look forward to your point of view, too! It takes a melting pot to make a bar of gold, after all.
If I may add a fourth category, though? I'm for WELL MADE dogs, of ANY type. If I see a US type dog with good angulations (as per the standard), moderate coat (as per the standard), correct movement (true reach and drive, as per the standard, and NOT crazy, hackneyed movement and heels kicked up behind, or so sickled there is no extension beyond the hock at all), head with correct proportions, square muzzle and parallel head plains with typical melting Irish expression, second thigh of proportiante length and a gently sloping topline (as per the standard) then I will always say, "Hey, great dog." I probably won't rush out to include it in my personal breeding programme, but I'm not afraid to acknowledge a good dog, no matter the type. A good dog, for me, however, will ALWAYS be first and foremost a well-made dog - and unfortunately, I just see too many conformation faults in US dogs. Not saying that UK/European dogs are perfect either! No dog or type is. But to me, the UK type is more true to the standard's requirements for angulations, coat, heads etc...
Let's be honest about it. If a judge puts up a dog with a steep shoulder, they are IGNORING the standard. Or, they don't know it. Or, they don't know how to apply to it an actual dog. No matter how you look at it, it's poor judging, and does the judge no favours - no matter what type of dog is in front of them. There's no other way to excuse it, IMHO. If they continually put up dogs with steep shoulders (for example, as a fault), then breeders who wish to win in the ring are going to breed dogs with steep shoulders - not because they are looking for steep shoulders in their dogs, but because they will use those dogs with steep shoulders in their breeding programmes because those dogs WIN.
Is that in the best interests of the breed? I personally do not believe it is. Nor is it in the standard, which is what everyone should be breeding to. Not saying you do this, btw! Just making a general point.
*1 The Poms who believe they are the standard and all others are outside it *2 The Yanks who have to improve everything and dog breeding falls into this category. *3 We convicts and some Vikings who are able to see both sides of the fence,take the best from both worlds We Irish also believe we have the correct standard, as country of origin!!;o)) And most UK types originated from good Irish Stock!! As did most USA types!! The dogs changed over decades of selective breeding to a preferred type as happened with the English Cocker and the newer American Cocker! In my humble opinion all types have changed and the coat seems to be now the most important aspect of the Irish Red Setter instead of shape (especially raciness) movement and colour, in all countries!!!! When I lived in the US in the 70's the setters there were still mostly Irish types with moderate coats and looked like most setters in Ireland,Uk and the rest of Europe!
;o)) Interesting attitude to Irish Red Setters from Ireland in the US recently! A lady who bought one of my pups this year, decided to try her hand at showing the bitch and after attending some ring craft classes got a few e-mails from some local exhibitors to ask why she had brought in a pup from Ireland instead of one from a local breeder??;o) She will bring the pup to a show in Oct. and I will be interested in the reaction to an Irish specimen!!!!
Cheers to you too Ricky;o)
An exhibitor was planning to bring in an american dog last year but it didnt happen!! Dont know the reason!!
We did have a bitch at the Euro dog show last year groomed american style, and personally I found it very strange compared to our more naturally groomed dogs;o)) Sorry it just looked like it had its feathering ironed dead straight;o)) It makes the feathering look almost a seperate part of the animal!! My personal opinion;o)