Irish Setter Breed Magazine - Showsight

this is the IRISH SETTER


T he Irish Setter is an active, aristocratic bird dog, rich red in color and standing over two feet tall. With its flowing silky coat, long ears, soft expres- sion and regal presence, this dog turns heads wherever it goes. HISTORY The origin of the Irish Setter is not known, however, it is reasonable to believe that it evolved from a combination of land spaniels. These land spaniels were imported to Ireland from Spain when the Spaniards helped the Irish in their rebel- lion against the British. The breed, established as early as 1800 was not original- ly of solid color, but rather a combination of red and white. Through selective breeding, the color was derived and these “whole reds” became a breed unto themselves. Irish Setters were used to “set” game, hence the name “setters.” They were used to find upland game birds and crouched down close to their find so that the hunter could advance and throw a net over both dog and bird. When firearms were introduced, the setter took on a more upright stance, and the breed became proficient in retrieving their game. It is important to under- stand the original functions of this hunter as it relates to form and function. Today one may find this breed, with its rollicking person- ality and willingness to please, participating in many events including Field Trials, Hunting Tests, Obedience, Rally, Tracking, Agility, Conformation or just being that loving companion lying on the couch at home or fetching the ball. JUDGING THE BREED The Standard for any breed is its blueprint. For breed- ers, the standard is what they work towards in their breeding programs and for judges, the standard is the tool they use to evaluate each exhibit that comes into their ring. In the article, “Judging the Irish Setter” by breeder/judge Karolynne McA- teer, she writes, “NOTHING is more important than the


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