This is the Irish Setter
BY SAM HOUSTON MCDONALD continued
Balanced head and correct expression.
Correct balance of head and neck fitting into properly laid back shoulders with return of upper arm forming sufficient angle.
standard, and adhering to the fact that these are sporting dogs, they are athletes; and while they may not be asked to quarter a field for an after- noon of shooting, they should indeed be built to do the job!” If one is approved to judge the breed, it goes without saying that being knowledgeable about the standard is of utmost importance. As you examine the standard you will find several key words. Medium, moderate and balanced can be found throughout the written text. Though all three adjectives play an important role in describing the perfect dog, BALANCE is most important. It is not just about front and rear angulation but about each part and how these pieces all fit together. Each part of the head should be in balance with the other parts. The head should be in balance with the neck both in substance and length. The head and neck should be in balance with the body. The body being slightly longer than tall should end with a tail that is of correct shape and length. No single part should draw attention to itself. Each piece should fit smoothly into the adjoining part. This is a dog that should stand as it moves, with
Test, National Walking Field Trial and National Field Trial. There is nothing like the expe- rience of witnessing the Irish Setter at work to better under- stand the breed. Come and join us and watch form and function work together. IN REFERENCE TO THE IRISH SETTER As with any breed there are exhibits that are more cor- rect in structure than others. Breeders are always trying to maintain correctness or to cor- rect faults that have filtered into their breeding programs. When referencing the Irish Setter, one should make sure that they are using correct terminology for the breed and that it is in the standard. Therefore we ask that the use of comments like, “our breed is not straight in front like the Irish Setter,” or “our breed is not over angu- lated like the Irish Setter,” or “our breed does not have a ski slope topline like the Irish Set- ter,” be eliminated when refer- encing this breed in a dialogue or a comparison. Also the term “racy” does not appear in the standard and should not be used in reference to this breed. CONCLUSION This breed has inherent charms which attract people to the breed. With a rollicking personality and high energy, they enjoy exercise each day and you will find they are more than willing to entertain their own- ers and others. A willingness to please, Irish Setters are never too old to be playful both at home and in the ring.
a slightly sloping topline exhibiting ground cov- ering reach and drive with no wasted motion. And remember that when judging a class, “that one”, which is not like the others, could be the most correct specimen. NEW JUDGES For those planning to apply for this breed, all of the above applies to your learning the nuances of the breed. There are opportunities to become educated about the breed through seminars and workshops. This is a must in my book! There is a list of breeders/mentors on the AKC website under breed information or one can contact the Judges Education Coordinator to assist you in your endeavors. Whether it is ringside mentoring or making a kennel visit, the Parent Club coupled with local clubs, are here to help. To you “newbies” I wish to suggest you attend the National Specialty. We have a two day program which includes classroom experi- ence, hands on and ringside mentoring. There are local specialties throughout the country as well as field event including the National Hunt
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