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Troy

Irish Setter

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Troy   

The Irish Setter

ANKC Standard

(from http://www.ankc.org.au/home/breeds_details.asp?bid=90 )

Group: Group 3 (Gundogs)

General Appearance: Must be racy, balanced and full of quality. In conformation, proportionate.

Characteristics: Most handsome and refined in looks, tremendously active with untiring readiness to range and hunt under any conditions.

Temperament: Demonstrably affectionate.

Head And Skull: Head long and lean, not narrow or snipy, not coarse at the ears. Skull oval (from ear to ear) having plenty of brain room and well-defined occipital protuberance. From occiput to stop and from stop to tip of nose to be parallel and of equal length, brows raised showing stop. Muzzle moderately deep, fairly square at end. Jaws of nearly equal length, flews not pendulous, nostrils wide. Colour of nose dark mahogany, dark walnut or black.

Eyes: Dark hazel to dark brown, not too large, preferably like an unshelled almond in shape, set level (not obliquely), under brows showing kind, intelligent expression.

Ears: Of moderate size, fine in texture, set on low, well back and hanging in a neat fold close to head.

Mouth: Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. Upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck: Moderately long, very muscular but not too thick, slightly arched and free from all tendency to throatiness, setting cleanly without a break of topline into shoulders.

Forequarters: Shoulders fine at points, deep and sloping well back. Forelegs straight and sinewy having plenty of bone, with elbows free, well let down and not inclined either in nor out.

Body: Chest as deep as possible, rather narrow in front. Ribs well sprung leaving plenty of lung room and carried well back to muscular loin, slightly arched. Firm straight topline gently sloping downwards from withers.

Hindquarters: Wide and powerful. Hindlegs from hip to hock long and muscular, from hock to heel short and strong. Stifle and hock joints well bent and not inclined either in nor out.

Feet: Small, very firm; toes strong, close together and arched.

Tail: Of moderate length proportionate to size of body, set on just below the level of the back, strong at root tapering to a fine point and carried as nearly as possible on a level with or below the back.

Gait/Movement: Free flowing, driving movement with true action when viewed from front or rear, and in profile, showing perfect co-ordination.

Coat: On head, front of legs and tips of ears, short and fine, on all other parts of body and legs of moderate length, flat and as free as possible from curl or wave. Feathers on upper portion of ears long and silky; on back of fore and hindlegs long and fine. Fair amount of hair on belly, forming a nice fringe which may extend on chest and throat. Feet well feathered between toes. Tail to have fringe of moderately long hair decreasing in length as it approaches point. All feathering to be as straight and flat as possible.

Colour: Rich chestnut with no trace of black. White on chest, throat, chin or toes, or small star on forehead or narrow streak or blaze on nose or face not to disqualify.

Sizes: Not Specified.

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, and on the dog�s ability to perform its traditional work.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

3. How common is it in Australia?

4. What is the average lifespan?

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

9. How much grooming is required?

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

If you wish to contribute to the knowledge about this breed, please answer the above questions. (Copy and paste them into a new post).

  • Please only answer if you breed or own a pedigree example of this breed.
  • You do not have to answer all questions
  • Please keep posts limited to answering questions or for asking further questions if you require more (or expanded) information.

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Dogsfevr   

QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc).

Started showing them in Jh in early 80.s.

Have since owned & campaigned the breed for 17 yrs but had consistent involvement since 83.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

http://iscv.org.au This gives the best reading of history .its hard to do a small summary.

3. How common is it in Australia?

common

4. What is the average lifespan?

14

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Should be very outgoing & enjoy life

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

Varying lines can require different needs BUT in general a good walk daily will happily keep them sane.Irish can be great lounge lizards

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Yes

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

yes if like any breed gets the full complement of family time

9. How much grooming is required?

Again can vary on lines & some are heavy coated & some little .For heavier coated it can be time consuming

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

They are big dogs & like any big dog it comes back to training.Trained correctly & they would adapt easily to both options

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

.DNA for CLAD & PRA,thyroid is often done aswell

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

dogs should be

hip scored

DNA for PRA/CLAD breeding should be from ideally a clear to clear but a clear to carrier can be done with progeny tested.

thyroid is done by some

These are the main ones

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Faolmor   

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

Owner, exibitor, soon-to-be-breeder :thumbsup:

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

Difficult to really pinpoint, since the breed has had several stages of development. Here's what I wrote on Wiki lol... One of the first references to the 'Setter,' or setting dog, in literature can be found in Caius's De Canibus Britannicus, which was published in 1570 (with a revised version published in 1576.) Translated from the original Latin, the text reads: The Dogge called the Setter, in Latine, Index: Another sort of Dogges be there, serviceable for fowling, making no noise either with foote or with tongue, whiles they follow the game. They attend diligently upon theyr Master and frame their condition to such beckes, motions and gestures, as it shall please him to exhibite and make, either going forward, drawing backeward, inclinding to the right hand, or yealding toward the left. When he hath founde the byrde, he keepeth sure and fast silence, he stayeth his steppes and wil proceede no further, and weth a close, covert watching eye, layeth his belly to the grounde and so creepth forward like a worme. When he approaches neere to the place where the byrde is, he layes him downe, and with a marcke of his pawes, betrayeth the place of the byrdes last abode, whereby it is supposed that this kind of dogge is calles in Index, Setter, being in deede a name most consonant and agreeable to his quality." [3]

It would be incorrect to assume the dog described above in any way resembles the Irish Setter (or any Setter) as we know the breed today. Caius was referring to a type of setting spaniel, most likely now extinct. The description of the work undertaken by this early pillar of the breed resembles the working behaviour of modern Irish Setters. Of this early dog, Caius went on to write: "The most part of theyre skinnes are white, and if they are marcked with any spottes, they are commonly red, and somewhat great therewithall." If this is the case, it is safe to assume the solid red colouring of today's Irish Setter came about by selective breeding practices.

Further reference to Setters in early literature can be found in The Country Farme, by Surflet and Markham, published in 1616. They wrote: "There is also another sort of land spannyels which are called Setters." [4]

It is clear that, by the early 18th Century, the type of dog known as the 'Setter' had come into its own right. It is also clear the Irish had begun actively breeding their own type. For example, the de Freyne family of French Park began keeping detailed stud records in 1793. Other prominent landed Irish gentry also known to have been breeding setter lines at the same time include Lord Clancarty, Lord Dillon, and the Marquis of Waterford.

It was noted as early as 1845 that Setters in Ireland were predominantly either red, or, according to Youatt [4], "...very red, or red and white, or lemon coloured, or white patched with deep chestnut." Clearly, the preference for a solidly-coloured dog was having an effect on the appearance of the typical Irish-bred setter.

Irish Setter circa 1915The Breed Standard for the modern Irish Setter was first drawn up by the Irish Red Setter Club in Dublin, and approved on the 29th of March 1886. It consisted of a 100-point scale, with a given number of points awarded for each of the dog's physical attributes. The points system was later dropped; however, aside from some minor changes, the Standard remains largely unchanged today in most countries where the breed is formally recognised.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Nowhere near as common as it was in the 70s. Over-breeding and ignorance regarding the training and care for Irish Setters caused a misconception that the breed is difficult to train, hyperactive and stupid. Popularity of the breed has waned because of this - which is a shame, because the breed is anything but stupid, and is especially good with children. They are a fabulous family dog.

4. What is the average lifespan?

Irish are typically healthy and long-lived - average lifespan 12-14 years.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Sweet-natured, friendly and trust-worthy. The breed runs the gamit of energy levels - from bright, outgoing and energetic, to gentle couch-potatoes who just love to be with the family. Some dogs have a tendency to bark, and love the sound of their own voice. Others are quiet. Males tend to be a bit less "clingy" than the females. But all need their special family time each day, and should never be kept apart from the family. They can also be sensitive and sulky and really hate to be told off!

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

30 mins at least. Mental stimulation is essential, as the Irish is a breed with strong working roots. They love a job to do. They are a breed who will happily settle for what they get, but they're always hoping for more :) A bored Irish is, however, a destructive Irish. Ignore your Irish at your peril! They will find themselves something to do if you don't. And it might not be something you agree with...

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Yes, if they are genuinely prepared to put effort into even the pet coat, and to provide their dog with the attention it needs.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Yes - if you don't mind your garden being destroyed beyond recognition... This is not a "leave in the backyard" breed - not that any breed is. But Irish in particular crave company. They are not a dog that can be ignored. They have to be involved with all aspects of family life. They love other dogs and will happily accept playmates. They are particularly good with puppies.

9. How much grooming is required?

The coat requires honest work, but it is fairly easy to maintain. Irish are a breed who like to get their paws dirty when the opportunity arises. A weekly bath (at least) is essential for show dogs, plus a nightly pee-feather rinse for males. The breed has a tendency to suffer from "spay coat" when desexed. Yellow fluff quickly grows through the red top coat and requires stripping to keep it in order. This is not a difficult job, but it is one that must be kept up. The breed also requires trimming of the feathering between the toes. If you begin the grooming routine when young, this breed is easy to groom and handle. Feathering could be trimmed for pets, especially in summer when the grass seeds will get twisted through the coat and cause the dog irritation. The coat will give back exactly what you put into it.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Yes and no. Irish are particularly good with children - and with people in general. They can easily be trained to behave nicely in the presence of young children and the elderly and infirm. However, they are energetic, and they could easily bowl over a small child or an elderly person without meaning to. They also have a very active (and strong!) tail wag which could whack a small child in the face! Irish can be surprisingly gentle, and have an excellent ability to "read" people.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

The main diseases for Irish are PRA and CLAD, both of which have a DNA test available in Australia, and both of which are tested for in most - if not all - breeding stock here. Hip Dysplasia is another problem, but again, breeders here tend to test their stock and Australia's average score is lower than some countries. Two other diseases that can occur in Irish Setters are epilepsy and entropion (where the lower eyelid sags outwards). Both are extremely uncommon in Australian-bred Irish Setters.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Always ask to see proof of clear PRA and CLAD certificates, as well as hip scores of both parents. I would also be very clear about what you want the dog for - ie pet, show, working etc. There are two distinct types of Irish for show and working - the working type is smaller and more active than the larger, more heavily coated show type of dog. Both have great temperaments and make good pets, but the working type should really be given bird work, or if this isn't possible, another job such as obedience, agility, tracking...something that makes use of the dog's excellent working drive. It would be extremely unfair and cruel to condemn any Irish Setter to a life alone in a backyard, so be honest with yourself before you make any decisions regarding this breed. If you're not willing to put the time and effort into this beautiful breed, leave them to those who are!!

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1. What is my relationship with the breed?

Owner

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

Faolmor did a great job at outlining this.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Everyone that sees my dog comments, 'Oh, I used to have one of these when I was a young child'. It seems that this was the dog to have in the 60's and 70's, in part due to the popular movie- Big Red. Unfortunately, this led to poor breeding and ignorant people owning this breed. Because of this the Irish Setter developed a bad rep for being dumb and untrainable. Nowadays the IS is not nearly as popular, which, in my opinion is probably a good thing.

4. What is the average lifespan?

12-14yrs

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

A well bred IS should be frolicking, outgoing and friendly. They are real clowns and you need to have a good sense of humour to enjoy living with one. They love their family and need to be inside and close to them. They learn willingly and add their own personality to dog training. If you want a robot this is not the dog for you. They are late to mature. If you love to play they are always ready for a game.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

At least a one hour walk daily. They love to run off lead.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Generally not, in my opinion they are too much of a handful. If you are set on one as a first time dog owner prepare before you bring your IS home. Enrol in a positive training dog club, set your home up with a confinement area and make sure you can walk your IS every day, rain, hail or shine. If you work full time your IS will need two walks per day and lots of environment enrichment.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

With adequate/appropriate exercise and lots of environment enrichment they can be fine. They should be with you inside though when you are home. Take some time off work before you bring your IS home and work up to leaving them for a full day and your IS should be fine.

9. How much grooming is required?

The IS coat is beautiful and in the sunlight it looks like spun gold. Daily, a quick 5-10minute brush will keep the coat free from burrs, knots, dirt and grass seeds. Every 6-8 weeks I have my IS clipped by his breeder. He gets clipped under the chin and around the neck, coat stripped, feathers on legs trimmed and feet fur clipped. I dont notice any shedding. Desexing usually makes the coat appear more wooly, less silky. I bath my IS every month or so.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Usually, yes. Our IS lives with a 5 year old child and he is sometimes too much for her. Confinement areas are important when you have such small children and such a large dog. IS are very strong dogs physically. You must have time to devote to exercising and training if you want an IS and a young child to happily coexist. Having said all of this, I always think that an IS would love nothing more than to go exploring with a 13 year old boy or sleeping with a child on their bed.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Bad hips, bloat and epilepsy are all things prospective IS owners should be aware of.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Here (link below) is how I found my IS breeder, it includes questions asked, process involved, and even a letter I sent out to all IS breeders in my State to narrow my choice.

finding-a-breeder/">Finding a Good Breeder

Edited by doglifetraining.com

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Tint   

Hi DLT, I tried the link for your letter as I thought it might help me narrow down my breeder choices, but the link didn't work...

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Dogsfevr   

Thank you so much xx

If its an Irish Setter your after you have a choice of a number of great breeders in Victoria .

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