Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

Hi all,

we read with sadness the news that the English setter is facing extinction (234 new puppies registered in the kennel club last year).. Does anybody knows what is the situation for IS and Gordon setters (i.e. how many puppies are typically registered in the KC in these years)?

I am just wondering for personal curiosity, since we dont see many of these wonderful dogs around.. :(

best, silvia

Views: 3457

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

In recent years, but probably since you stopped trialling?  we have had three IRWS who have not only run in field trials  in the mainland UK but also been in the awards, Rodoghvit Huath, Pepperstown Rascal and Dalriach Neige. Colin Organ also ran Int FTCh Pepperstown Polly  for a season  after she came back from Europe. Three  Scottish bred IRWS have also been field trial winners in Ireland, FTCH Rushfield Rascal , Rushfield Scot and Ir Sh Ch Dalriach Garryowen,

The HPRs are more versatile, they retrieve as well as locate birds. The way people shoot has changed, walked up shooting with setters and pointers has largely gone, driven shooting only requires spaniels and labs for picking up and beating, , syndicates usually shoot with the guns in a line for which the versatile HPRs are better suited. Its a pity most falconers dont consider having a setter, as they can work well with falcons, but falconers are more likely to have an HPR or a pointer. And I dont understand why more gamekeepers on estates with grouse moors  dont keep a setter for grouse counting, maybe because they would rather get one or two people with FT dogs in for a few days to do their counting for them.. The Game Conservancy still have one or two setters in their dog team.

The sad thing is that the few people who still want a working setter often cant find one .in the UK  nowadays When their old dog dies , they may spend a year or two years searching for one, or waiting for a litter to be bred, then give up and get something else. Unless they go over to Ireland, no problem finding a working setter there

The Vizsla, GSP & Weimaraner are very popular in the UK as pet dogs.

Perhaps the short easy maintenance coats are more appealing.

Although these dogs are very lively and boisterous, they do not have the 'scatty & untrainable'  label attached to them which puts many less knowledgable people off the idea of owning a setter.

Hello Ann
I used the word dog because had I used the word bitch you may think I was insulting you.I see you are back to the old game of half truths and nonsense.If you can could you please tell me are you writing on this subject on behalf of the GBIRWSC or any GBIRSC or is it as I suspect you are just speaking for yourself.Now to get back to the real world late last year I had a phone call from a man who was buying silver to melt down lucky this man was a dog man.He told me an old lady had come to sell some silver and he seen a wine goblet on it was written Annual National Dog Show 1878. Presentedby H Mac Dongall and Friends for best Red & White or White & Red Irish Setter. As much as I would have loved to have bought it for myself he did contact me President of the IRWSC so it was bought by the IRWSC.It was won by a dog named Noble.No doubt some of you will remember the discussion on whether the breed was named IR&WS or IW&RS as I have stated the cup was dated 1878 so I believe as do others such as Mrs Cuddy/Dermot Mooney the name of the breed was IW&RS not the IR&WS as stated by others. Now that we are in the new year I shall make time to contact the EKC to see if they would have any records in regards to this show. I will check out the hallmarks on the goblet as well.I hope to update the IRWSC website in the coming weeks and
to put up a photo of Goblet and some more imformation on it as well. Terry

Terry, I do think you are insulting - and your opening comment has no relavence to the rest of your post.


Hi Ann.

   You say "a) Fashion - people seem to want 'exotic' breeds these days not to mention 'designer dogs' (advertised as not having any diseases!!)"

Have you ever seen any dog advertised with diseases? If so who would buy it?

Every dog can have a disease. Diseases are not only caught or passed on to the dogs you mention. We have a so called designer dog (Labradoodle) and she is just as healthy as our Irish Setter.

Our Irish Setter has a very good pedigree and came from a responsible breeder.

It is impossible to breed any animal and be 100% sure it will never have a health problem.

Is the statement you made based on fact or opinion?


Andy, yes, it is a fact.

Designer dogs with "no diseases unlike pedigree dogs" are regularly advertised in our local papers. 

The implication is that pedigree dogs are riddled with disease and by crossing them with other breeds the puppies will have none of the diseases of their parents. I write ths as an example of current advertising by people with little actual knowledge and is not a statement I agree with.

Of course every dog can have a disease - but people will pay over the odds for the guarantee that the puppy will not have diseases like pedigree dogs.

One of the misconceptions - or one avoided, is that by crossing breeds you get the effect you desire - only good things.  You are just as likely to get undesirable things.

Hi Ann

First of all you say, "Designer dogs with "no diseases unlike pedigree dogs" are regularly advertised in our local papers". Please can you tell me what papers they are advertised in, as I have not seen an advert like that in papers that I read.

As with all advertising, it has to be taken with a pinch of salt. I think the Irish Setter is the best breed in the world, but I also have a so called designer dog (Labradoodle) and she is great.

We bought her because we like the look of them and we paid a small price for her, compared to a pedigree dog. We did some research before we got her by talking to owners of them and obviously looking on the internet. Some breeders are good and some are bad, pedigree or not. As you know, if you breed pedigree dogs you can also get undesirable traits in the litter.

It also depends what you want the dog for. If you want a show dog, buy a pedigree, but if you want a pet, buy whatever you like.

We are not taken in by advertising of any kind and our dog was advertised as a Standard Poodle cross Labrador and that is exactly what she is.

We don't care if she sheds hair or not. So far, every Labradoodle we have met (and we have met many) has been what we would call a good dog.

In most (but not all) cases, breeders of pedigree dogs have nothing good to say about cross breeds, mongrels or so called designer dogs. Lots of pedigree dogs have health problems. No matter how much research a breeder has done, it is still a bit of a gamble.

In my opinion, our Labradoodle is a nice size, looks good, is very healthy, easy to train, and is very good with children. What more could you want from a pet?

As for health issues in later life, who knows. How many pedigree breeds are being sold for high prices even though they have known serious health problems and will have a very short and sometimes painful life?

Pedigree owners and breeders may know a lot about the dogs they own or breed, but the people that own the so called designer dogs know more about them.

I love the look of Afghan Hounds and have always wanted one, but I know nothing much about them, so would not tell people how bad or good they are.

As an owner of one of the dogs you mention, I feel more qualified to give an honest opinion based on fact. It is far better to speak through experience rather than speaking through personal thoughts.

This is just my opinion based on fact.



Hi Andy

You don't take The Sentinel, then?

Please don't get into a strop!  I agree with you!  I wonder why these advertisers are not prosecuted for false representation.

I only point out that some designer dog buyers do not research as you have done but rely on the spiel of the breeder - who may, or may not, know much about dog breeding.

Your research has obviously paid off.

As a fact there is one Labradoodle and its owners who live 1/2 a mile from me and who stop to chat, who did just that - bought out of the paper... and because they thought 'Labradoodle' was a cute name.... they are disappointed that they can't show it.  I pointed them into the Companion Dog Show world, so they are happy.

Fortunately it is a nice-natured dog, it looks more like a creamy coloured Spinone actually - a very tall Poodle? a very thin Labrador? and with a thick, longish, harsh coat.. What does yours look like ?

One of the latest designer ads was for Malteeezer puppies - Maltese x Westies and among their selling points is "free from diseases".  Price £650. The local price for KC reg.pups today is between £350 and £500 although a KC reg Pug is £900.  The Huskasion puppies are £400, but without the claims... I just looked. 

So with all this variety to choose from, who would want a rolicking Setter that needs a good two hours exercising a day?  Only the besotted like us!!!

Hi Ann

I have never read the Sentinel.

It is quite obvious that you have never met me because I don't get into a strop and do not care what anyone says about me or to me. I am quite laid back, almost in a coma!

When we were ready to buy a Labradoodle, we searched all the adverts in papers and on the internet. Some breeders did want large sums of money for them. Not one of the adverts that I read said they were disease free, I have never seen an advert stating that.

I have no idea how much KC registered pups sell for, but I do know Irish Setter pups are a lot more than £500.

We wanted a playmate for our Setter and thought he would get on better with a bitch. As you know, if you get an IS bitch done (so to speak) the coat will very often suffer. We did not want to breed them, so got a Labradoodle bitch and she had micro surgery, so no future pups.

We have owned Irish Setters for about 30 years and hope to always own at least one of them.

Our Labradoodle is a bit smaller than our Setter, although she looks much fatter than him, due to her scruffy black coat.

If you look in my albums/pictures, you will see some poor quality pictures of her with our Setter. We are 100% happy with her, but Labradoodles may be an acquired taste.

Andy (Stropless Andy)

Look - lets call a spade a spade!

When I first had dogs over 50 years ago we had a lab and he nabbed the collie bitch on the next farm. 6 mongrel pups went to good homes.

In 1974 my husband came home from a Sunday afternoon in our local excitedly announcing that he had a "first cross" stuffed in his jacket. Her mum was a sweet lab and her dad a soft natured Alsation (we didnt have German Shepherds then) I have to say she was a stunner who went to test C in Obedience and her claim to fame was that she alone taught my son to walk.

But like sh*t becomes slurry someone will always find a better name for waste and make it a saleable commodity!

Hence "designer dogs" and I think we need to be cruel to be kind to these poor beleaguered folks who forked out a fortune for fashion or because some dupe celeb has one. You bought a mongrel!

Finn, the future of the IRWS is pretty safe in Ireland. There are currently more being bred in Ireland than in the UK, and they are predominantly working bred and traditional type, and valued as an historic native breed. The Irish Kennel Club , the breed club in Ireland and Irish breeders have some concerns about the longer term effects of the small gene pool, but they take a common sense view of the need to occasionally outcross to working red Irish Setters in order to maintain a healthy and functional breed. Thats how the revival of the breed was done in the 1970s, and how the breed was kept alive for decades before that. So  I cant see the breed becoming extinct in Ireland, which is what really matters.




© 2024   Created by Gene.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service