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Is it that there are to little owners off working Irish setters at shows

that the standard will not chance?

In my opinion things will chance when there are more off them at shows!!

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There is only one standard for Irish Red Setters and they should neither be wooly mammoths nor red pointer-mixes,-))) Be they from "pure" (whateverthatis) show line or working line. But I do agree that some people could need a broadening of the horizon, when looking at their own dogs or judging other peoples dogs. Still that has nothing to do with the standard.

" Irish Red Setters and they should neither be wooly mammoths nor red pointer-mixes"---I do agree!  I would love to see more moderation, rather than one extreme or the other!!

I agree with you Christiane.  Whether owners work their dogs or show their dogs there should be much more contact between them giving an opportunity to compare their dogs.  At the moment both activities live in their own little world and what looks like a 'perfect speciman' in one discpline is anathema to the other.  Instead of ignoring each other (at best) or sniping at each other (at worst) a little 'meeting of minds' would be an advantage to get the best of both worlds.

Personally - <g> I hear you starting to scream already <vbg>  I'd do away with the Show Champion title entirely and make an FT award and 3 CCs the qualification for the Champion title ... and make winning at least one CC an essential part of the FT Champion title.  This would require the ambitious owner to be present in both spheres and would broaden the mind somewhat.

Titles would be more difficult to win, I guess - whenever was it easy? - but they are the spur to produce  'better and better' dogs and just the simple mingling of owners/breeders could be beneficial in bringing the diverging 'types' together to comply with the Standard.

That's in the UK system - the FCI system?

Excellent idea, Ann! Now why not post your suggestion to the dog papers - though you may risk being quartered by all parties...:-))

My personal experience when participating in both spheres with Glen, a neither flashy nor extremely spectacular show bred Irish Red Setter is as follows: for the UK show scene my dog is considered a 'working dog' that lacks furnish & glamour and is not of the preferred 'show' type. In the working field he is looked upon as having an extreme coat and being heavy in bone... so either side, you can't win. Having said that, I am extremely happy that we have been able to prove that it is possible to do both - but only providing the dog has retained the basic pointing & hunting instinct. Sadly, in my experience too many Irish Red Setters lack pointing instinct.

I greatly enjoy working and showing my dog and consider the experience of both worlds as extremely beneficial.

Interesting topic!

A few of my favorite Irish setters are Ch Menaifron Pat O'Moy, Ch Hartsbourne Popsy and IntCh Shandon O'Cuchulain. Both first were the best Britain ever had, the last continental Europe. They combine everything of standards be it for working or showing. Neither of these dogs would have a chance to win nowadays in shows. 

The future for Irish setters is analysing the past and acknowleding we've lost a lot and "won" health problems. Maybe we should look at cultures where this did not happen and remake a traditional Irish setter. 

Nasty me, sorry Henk - can you tell me more about the working quality of Shandon O'Cuchulain ? Nevertheless his type of a well balanced, great angulated dog with typical head would win many shows today over here.

To me the "traditional" Irish setter is without any pointer or afghan traits...and I have seen enough setters worldwide to see aliens in our breed.

Why is it that trainers don't take you seriously??

I agree since I do both venues here in the US I was look on the same way the big hairy show dog in the field and the field dog in the show ring. But I continued to compete in both and find the judges that are looking for a movement dog not a hairy dog and we win every time. In the field it was a matter of just letting them do there thing, They always had nice run and found bird we just had to over come the high tail (which my dogs do not have) So that was a matter of finding a judge that like a hard working dog that was finding birds and pointing them hard.     

I agree Henk, an interesting topic.  I am with Sue in that most of my show setters have shown a basic instinct towards pointing though, as Sue says, they would be considered as playing at it by true working standards.  However my Concept has gone on point many times with Edward backing him.  Neither dog has ever been taught to do it so there must be an instinct there! 

Ann, I do think that if we are to expect our show dogs to have a FT title PLUS 3 cc's to become a champion then the same qualification should apply to working setters.  Let's have an equal playing field, after all we have but one Breed Standard.  It should be applicable to all.

Henk, I agree with you on Ch Hartsbourne Popsy though I, like you, had never seen her in the flesh, she epitomises the perfectly constructed setter with a wonderful forehand and powerful hindquarters.  Even though by modern standards she might lack coat her conformation could never be overlooked. 

Great to hear your setters still point, Sue and Eva.

I'm not saying 'all' have lost their pointing ability - I'm saying 'too many' lack pointing ability. In my own experience (which is quite limited I'll admit) quite a lot of the Irish Setters enjoy to hunt and chase. They will often point on sight as will most breeds, not just setters. But I find they point/set less on air scent. I have come to the conclusion that our Reds do not have the same inherent pointing instinct as for example the Gordon Setter, or (maybe more obviously) the Pointer. I am not speaking here of working bred dogs.

I suppose I should be more precise by saying that with point/set I a mean a completely rigid stance full of muscle tension and with great intensity, no tail wagging... a complete immobility of the dog from head to the tip of the tail.

I have worked most of my Irish, all show bred, even if only as an amateur. Apart from Glen who was a natural, it was hard work getting them to set/point firmly enough to gain an award at trials. If your dog is a natural then you should really have a go and him for a qualifier or even for the Working Gundog Certificate. There are various excellent and affordable opportunities in Britain for anyone really interested. May I just mention the Fowington Training weeks or the KC training weekends at Reeth, both ideal for beginners.

Susan, I also meant a completely rigid stance full of muscle tension and with great intensity.  I have seen Concept do this many times.  My joy was watching Edward as a puppy back him naturally.  I wish I had carried a camera with me!!!   For the purists show bred setters would never be fast enough but it is still lovely to see.

There is much more in field trials than the pure "obedience" training of "not chasing". I am a bit disappointed that you seem not to know that ? Sorry if this may sound rude ! English is not my native tongue. I could express myself better in german...




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