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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?      

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Kinvarra Michaelmas is out of Ch. Tyronne Farm Malone II ( Ch. Tyronne Farm Malone x Ch. Tyronne Farm O'Flare) and Battersby's Junior Miss ( Ch. Kinvarra Norseman x Kinvarra Cressy )

Ch. Kinvarra Bootsie is out of Ch. Kinvarra Norseman ( Ch. Kinvarra Kerrick x Kinvarra Clare ) and Kinvarra Lenore ( Ch. Kinvarra Kermit x Kinvarra Zorina )

Kinvarra Ensign is out of Milson O'Boy ( Higgins Red Coat x Milson Miss Sonny ) and Kinvarra Zoe ( looking for this)

Muckamoor's Marty McCuhl is out of Muckamoor's Michael McGuire (Muckamoor's Maroon Masty x Muckamoor's Mora Malarchy ) and Weblyn Masterpiece ( Innisfail Color Scheme x Knightscroft Erin McCuhl )
Thanks John for these pedigrees. That's a great help. cheers, Cheryl
Hi John

I guess I'll be the one to say it, since I'm sure my name is already mud from other comments I've posted here LOL. Such is the way of things. People enjoy fostering grudges ;-)

I suppose the feeling amongst those who prefer UK/European-type lines is that US lines are somehow "contaminated," as you put it, because of the arguable inclusion of Afghan Hound. Now, whether or not this happened (and there is very compelling evidence that it DID), this would mean that the American dogs are not technically as pure as the other types.

Also, the Americans breed their dogs to a slightly different standard than the FCI/UK/ANKC/NZKC standards. Granted, there are some differences between the latter...and you could also argue the differences in the AKC standard are minimal. But even small changes, once seized upon and exaggarated, can create massive differences in appearance, form and function. (Yes, field people, this is your chance to jump in about function. But let's try to keep on-topic!)

The American dogs are very upright in front. As you say, some judges there see that as drive. I would say many judges the world over see that as drive! Australian judges are certainly not immune. For some reason, they also seem happy to overlook sickle hocks, which from what I've seen is rampant in American dogs, possibly due to the ridiculously long second thigh. Dogs with sickle hocks tend to kick up their hind legs as they move - perhaps the judges see this as power from behind??!! To me, this just highlights the rather sad truth that judges have no idea HOW to judge correct conformation (which of course leads to correct movement). Also speaking personally, but I really dislike the flat, smooth, snipey American heads, over-long muzzles, non-parallel head plains and especially the harsh, aloof expressions on many of the US dogs. (Sorry - just being honest!)

I would also say that breeding healthy dogs, for me at least, means not just health-testing for known genetic diseases, but breeding dogs which have minimal structural faults - because these over time lend themselves to the development of any number of potential issues in breeds (eg ED, HD). Upright fronts are nearly impossible to get rid of. Why would I breed with an animal with that problem? IMHO, it is a serious fault. For me, true beauty comes FIRST from a well-made animal.

As for cottony coats, I think Cheryl wasn't referring just to that fluff on the hocks, but to the coat texture itself. The UK/European type dogs do have a different texture to their coats than the US dogs - even those who also grow the feathering on the hocks. There is a palpable difference, which the US coats feeling much softer, floatier and whispy (Afghan-like). The coat also behaves differently. Having recently groomed a US-type dog here, I can tell you there is a major difference...to the point where if I had shut my eyes, there is no way I could have told you I was grooming a Setter - of any kind - by the feel of the coat.

Personally, I have a dog here who is mostly UK, but who also carries some US lines. I have two who are pure UK/European. When I breed my bitch, I will be looking for the dog who compliments her best - and that search will include a detailed study of pedigree, health testing, and yes, a preference for the UK type. As a breeder, I think one's first loyalty should always be to the breed itself, and to me this means doing my best to improve upon the type I see as being the true Irish Setter type. I guess if I thought the very best dog in the world for my bitch was a US dog, then I suppose I'd have to consider him. But I also don't see that happening LOL There are too many good UK/European type dogs for me to even consider looking elsewhere at the moment.

Good topic, btw!
(I suppose the feeling amongst those who prefer UK/European-type lines is that US lines are somehow "contaminated," as you put it, because of the arguable inclusion of Afghan Hound. Now, whether or not this happened (and there is very compelling evidence that it DID), this would mean that the American dogs are not technically as pure as the other types.)

Hi Melinda,
You brought up some very good points for discussion, but your one inclusion above caught my attention. It is the third time I have seen this assertion and would definitely like to know where it is coming from, what compelling evidence, when was it purported to have taken place? I seriously doubt you or anyone has any evidence other than gossip-sorry. 40 years ago when I purchased my first Irish, American setters definitely suffered from many of your observations and American breeders tried to correct their lines faults. Heads were as you described them, coats were hard to come by and there was definitely a lack of that outgoing personality. An outcrossed dog-Ch Candia Indeed ( Ch Bayberry Kincaid x Ch Candia Fatima ) had a correct head, gobs of coat and an exuberant personality-all of which he readily passed on to his get. He was extensively used in the 70's and is still the top US stud and can be found in most current US pedigrees. It is from him and not some nebulous "Afgan" that US Irish setter coats descend. I was personally acquainted with " Indeed" and his owner WInnie Arland and he was most certainly not an Afgan. There were other lines here that carried coat-Webline and McCamon-but none passed it on to their progeny so pervasively and universally as Indeed. So if this supposed Afgan was supposedly introduced after 1970 I can definitely tell you that that is FABLE for I do have a hands on knowledge of most of the dogs since that date. If it was before-please supply correct documentable factual information to this infraction.
I'm not trying to be rude, but that statement undocumented really defies a rational consideration. John
Hi John

Absolutely fair enough, and I don't think you're being rude at all. :) You're right, I certainly don't have documented evidence - I doubt anyone would! It has been raised here several times before, too.

You'll note that I didn't say it DID happen - though I personally suspect that it did. Happy to be proven wrong, of course! But I'm being honest here about my own perceptions of the differences in breed type :) There are too many similarities with some lines of US-type Setters for it to be pure coincidence. I also heard of a published article some time back - and unfortunately I have no idea where I could locate it as I never actually read it, only heard of it on the grapevine; I will try google - where some lines of US Irish had tested positive for something previously only found in Afghans? Not sure... Again, not sure if the article was peer-reviewed etc.

I can't see your photo of Ch Candia, so can't say if this photo is the answer to the Afghan question - at least, where coat type is concerned. Also hard to tell coat texture from a photo ;-)

Also, the faults of which I spoke are what I personally see in US-type Setters today, not in the 70s. Some of the photos of US dogs in the 70s I much prefer to what I see today! (So much for the hard work of breeders, eh?) Again, this is of course my own personal opinion and is based on what I prefer to see in the Irish Setter.

Oops, I just realised that some of the things I think I replied to in my post were actually said by Ricky Young, not by you :)
Vivian said "but I have a question in response to Melinda's comment: *this would mean that the American dogs are not technically as pure as the other types*. Exactly how 'pure' IS the Irish Setter? Am I wrong or did the Irish Setter descend from the Irish Red and White Setter? If so, then none of the Irish are 'pure'."

We can all read the history of the IS and the original establishment of the breed. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the beginning of any breed, there is controlled breeding and cross-breeding if required, to establish a breed. Once established, then there is no further cross-breeding outside of its own breed.

The conjecture about the cross breeding of the IS with an Afghan Hound has been around for about 10-15 years I think (that I know about, so not sure when the discussions first started). The USA type IS that we have seen in Australia (and my comments are based on what I've seen here) have some very uncharacteristic traits that are not seen in IS of UK type. I would like to think that NO-ONE would be so crazy as to cross breed an IS with any other breed, let alone with an Afghan (Hound vs Gundog.... not same function or structure!!) and register them as pure!!!. The uncharacteristic traits are the traits that have been raised here by a few of us. These traits are what we see when we go to dog shows here in our own countries.

The discussion and perceived negativity is directed at the changes in the breed, not at owners of US type IS. We can all get defensive, but it won't make a difference. I believe that breeders of the USA type from the 1970's have had a huge impact on Irish Setters, in the USA and also other countries where their breeding have been exported to. The same goes for the UK type and the breeders who have exported their dogs to other countries

Vivian said "I guess we can agree to disagree, but I will NEVER be attracted to Irish Setters out of the UK or Europe, end of. You don't have to like our breedings either, who cares? "

You're right, we don't have to like your breedings either, but quite frankly, it affects the whole world, not just the USA. Australia and NZ appear to be the two most affected Countries by the 2 significantly different types of IS running in the show rings. There are a lot of people who care about what has happened with the breeding of the Irish Setter over the past 40-50 years. We should ALL care about the breed so much that we all take an interest. It's the breeders of today that need to take a good hard look at where the breed is and where it should be and what we should be doing about it!
To be quite honest this forum has yet again become quite rude which appears to be a regular occurance nowadays. Most certainly the European lines do not look like they have crawled through a bramble bush and at the end of the day they are a gundog so technically should not have coat to the ground which has been trimmed and sculptured. Bother to look at some of the beautiful dogs in the UK and Europe that have kept all the lovely breed types, do carry a nice coat and are nicely presented not over the top but pleasant for the show ring. I am Irish and was reared with this breed as a child.
The English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel it has happened to that breed and it WILL eventually happen to the Irish. A lot of the US type have snipey heads with no parrallel plans, straight fronts, over exagerated stifles which leads to hound like movement and pale light coats and eyes and expressions that are harsh and again far from what the breed standard says.
I think we all need to remember where the Irish Setter originated from Ireland, so why do the US type now look so different from the original breed standard?. To be honest Vivian I have witnessed conversations between breeders where the only aspect of the dog they look for is how long the coat is. COAT is not the only aspect of a dog. Too many of the US lines have appalling movement both front and rear the show ring is not just about PRESENTATION it is about conformation which sadly does not seem to be a priority on a lot of breeders list. Insulting and being rude is not going to change a thing people need to stop being blinkered and realistically ask themself why the breed in two continents has been allowed to become so different!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have a lovely little girl here in my kennels who carries some of the American line and what a little cracker she is, beautiful personality and I would not part with her for the world. However, the US dogs in her lines are beautiful dogs, have all the stunning breed characteristics including the dark and not overdone coat. To me the modern day US style of setter has lost its way, it is being bred for glamour and to be quite frank very little else.
I have not been to the US since the early 80's and have only seen the current American bred dogs on photos and videos so I will not presume to comment on what I don't know.
Joanne, on the other hand, is NOT from the UK but from NZ. Cheryl is from Australia. Both ladies have experienced US imports at first hand so are more qualified to pass an informed opinion.
I actually handled my friend's dogs at the IS Club of America speciality in 1981. The BIS winner that year was a lovely dog called Ch Shawnee Pipedream O'Charlton (have lost all my info on him and would be grateful for details of his sire amd dam). He had a beautiful coat, not at all "cottony" but of moderate length on the body (as per the breed standard) and shining like glass, very much as the coats in the UK. The Winners bitch was Meadowlarks Glorianna, very feminine with the same type of coat and the prettiest of heads. I saw very many dogs I liked that day. What impressed most were the good croups and tailsets and the short, neat hocks. Also some lovely and typical Irish heads. Though there were many with coats of correct colour and texture there were also quite a few with incorrect coats, lighter in colour, long and silky on the body, blending in with the feathering, probably best described as "of afghan type and quality". I am sorry Vivian, whether you like it or not this type of coat is not in accordance with the breed standard, (US nor UK).
Apart from the obvious topic of conformation the other criticism of present day US dogs is the lack of head type. Could you please tell me whether you consider heads at all because to my mind the American head lacks stop, the eyes are too far apart and the expression is very plain and bland........"the lights are on but there is no one in"!!!. Forefaces far too often are deep and almost houndy. There is no balance.
We have had many discussions on the change in the Irish Setter from the original dog bred in Ireland and, yes indeed it has changed. But comparing the differences in UK and the US the change has been far greater in the latter. Perhaps you could shed some light on that.
Ch Shawnee Pipedream O'Charlton was out of Ch. Candia Indeed x Ch Rendition Indian Summer and yes he was very nice! John
Thank you John....I did think he was a Candia Indeed son but couldn't find any confirmation so thought I would ask. Whatever happened to Meadowlarks Glorianna?
Vivian to be quite honest you are the one turning this forum into a you versus us sutuation. Infact you are the one becoming rude and personal towards different lines no one else. Well you may not care what others think about your (US) style of setter but I for one do as I am sure many others are and extremely concerned for the future of this lovely breed. Don't you ever worry or spare just a tiny thought as to why some lines of US setter look nothing like the style in the country of origin IRELAND?. As I have said earlier I have heard conversations between breeders who do not spare a though for any other aspect of the dog other than coat not conformation. I notice too you were very quick to mention how trimmed and groomed the US style of setter is and how the European setters are presented in the ring as though they have been dragged through a bramble bush. Well I suggest that you take a good look at some of the European lines that are magnificant dogs, beautiful specimans having all the lovely breed points and presented very well. Now I am an Irish lady who is a NZ citizen so please do not class me in the them and us scenario. Remeber I have US line in one of my girls. But what I will say is you have been extremely rude and degrading towards a very talented and committed group of breeders in Europe who have done wonders to improve the breed not only in conformation but health etc which is a damn sight more than many other countries around the world. I have only been in the breed a relatively short period of time in comparison to others but what I can say is that I can see where the problem in the breed lies with blinkered individuals like you who cannot see further than what is in their own country, that is right and everyone else is wrong. I also quote you as saying "I WILL NEVER BE ATTRACTED TO THE UK EUROPEAN STYLE OF SETTER, END OF ! What a narrow minded view to hold and express. But again I notice no one else on this forum has expressed such a blinkered view. The cold hard fact is that a lot of the US lines carry bad movement, appalling head shapes and hard expressions, read the standard for the breed and look it is not hard to see!.
I also have Gordon Setter of which are US and Aussie lines. They have wonderful breed type and movement so if the Gordon and English Setter breeders can do this why is it not also happening with the Irish?.




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