Exclusively Setters

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I am often wondering about this: What went wrong when you read on a breeder`s website or in the newspaper or whereever: "puppies left" What does that mean? Does it mean that there are too many puppies generally? Or that there aren`t enough true and good setter people around?

I do feel sorry for these puppies. What could be done? Should breeders breed less?

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Maybe they just mean that there are still puppies available?
Sometimes it takes a while to find the right people for your puppies. I have had pups here until they were about 6 months old. It doesn't mean that they were 'wrong'...just took longer to find homes for.
or does it mean they left for their new homes
When you compare the number of Irish Setters bred every year (1,700 UK) to Golden Retrievers (21,000 UK). You wonder how GR breeders are able to find so many good homes. Irish Setters have been overtaken by Hungarian Viszlas and Weimeraners so I don't think the markets are being flooded by any of the Setter breeds.
Pre-computers breeders always advertised puppies in local newspapers otherwise how would pet owners know where to find a puppy. That is how I found my first ever IS. Now we have national websites and prospective puppy owners who are prepared to travel greater distances.
There is nothing worrying about this and nobody's fault. Much depends on the size of a litter. Breeders may have, say, 8 puppies pre-booked but might have 10 born or a surplus of one sex etc.
There are many good and true setter people around who are thrilled that there are puppies available to them You can find them via newpapers and websites. That is your point of contact.

I know what you mean, Christine.

Some breeders are breeding for money and are not too botherered if they still have youngsters from a previous litter still looking for homes before mating the next bitch. Also in a close geographical area it does not make sense to breed a bitch if there are already 3 litters from other breeders still looking for homes...  It makes one wonder if the puppies remaining with the breeder will get the required socialisation and attention they need at that crucial age.

I also wonder if the breeder who has 5-6 month old pups waiting for a buyer will be quite so critical when it comes to assessing the potential new owners - is it not more likely the pup will be sold just so as to be rid of it?

I really think breeders should consider  whether they have enough buyers lined up and waiting before they decide to mate a bitch and also whether there are breeders close by still 'sitting on' their last litter.   

Agree with Susan

My apologies Christine......I assumed that we were talking about breeders who breed to keep and obviously have some puppies left for sale.  Of course I should have thought about those who breed for profit.  To me they are puppy farmers, whether they show or not and you are totally right, we should be aware of those poor dogs who are produced for questionable reasons.  Luckily for the IS in the UK we are in the happy position of having waiting lists for rescue dogs.  Of course we don't always realise how different it can be in other countries.  Do these breeders in Germany show as well?  It sounds very much like the people you are talking about are using their dogs as a business.

It does sound like this is a country specific problem. I'm astounded to hear that the number of German IS breeders has doubled in the last five years. I never thought that Setters were that popular back home, certainly not when I was living there (which admittedly goes back quite some time now). Then again I don't come from a rural area. Before Errol appeared on the scene I was briefly considering travelling back to Germany to buy a pup there. They certainly seemed to be cheaper than in the UK. However, I didn't get the impression that the area around Berlin was buzzing with IS breeders but again this maybe area specific. I recently trawled the net again and suddenly came across quite a number of German websites I hadn't seen previously. Nevertheless these breeders all seemed kosher. Sadly I don't think that it is in the power of the Kennel Clubs to regulate the number of registered breeders, people would just 'go underground' and produce unregistered litters which would be worse for the breed as a whole and the pups in particular. The only hope we have is that people will realise that the market is saturated and will stop breeding altogether. A lot of people get put off breeding when they realise that they have made a loss from their litter.

Btw. I am seriously wondering whether the number of litters in the UK has increased, too. There seem to be far more litters listed on http://www.irishsetter.org.uk/puppies.htm than 1-2 years ago.



If you check out the KC website you will see that IS registrations have not varied that much over the past 10 years.  On the whole we register under 1,200 puppies each year.  We peaked in 2008 with1,332 registrations then dropped down to 847 in 2009 and back up to 1,126 last year.  We fall below GSP's at 1.410, Flatcoats at 1,438, Hungarian Viszlas at 1,498, Wemeraners at 1,969, Goldens at 7,011, Springers at 13,988, Cockers at 23,744 and Labradors at a wacking 44,099!!!!!!  When you think that Lab registrations have also not altered much within the last 10 years you have to wonder how breeders find enough good homes every year.  It makes Irish Setter numbers look like a p... in the ocean!!!!
44000 Labs per annum... crikey! Thanks for the stats Eva. This is really interesting data. To be honest I wouldn't know where to look for this kind of info. I just felt that the list of available Setter puppies had got longer - may of course be just that time of year... Personally I'm quite happy they are not "yer typical run of the mill dog".  ;)

I sometimes run my best puppies on to four or five months or older, before I decide which one I want to keep. It doesnt mean they havent found good homes, just that I am slow to decide . No need to feel sorry for them

Occasionally somebody who has booked a puppy changes their mind, so an older puppy is left looking for a home


I do too Margaret.  I have had a mouth go wrong on a puppy I kept years ago so now I will very often run on two just to make sure. 

I do think though that Christine makes many valid points, particularly reference breeders who constantly have puppies for sale.  Do they breed to keep, I wonder................




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