Irish Setter Breed Magazine - Showsight

R&PR: Irish Setter handlers seem to think that the faster they move their strung up dogs, the less likely the judges are to see their dog’s faults. This is true in exhibiting other breeds too, of course, but it’s wrong. JZ: Professional handlers are a hard-working bunch. Credit needs to be given to these people. To succeed, they must first of all, have a good understanding of the breeds they show. This is important. The coat scissoring in our breed is really over-done, as stated previously. Cookie-cutter groom jobs just don’t cut it for me—pun intended! I do believe this started with handlers; let’s take it back to a bit more natural look. Not messy, scrag- gly or unclean—just a bit more identifiable with the breed as a whole. Our latest (24th) dual Champion in the breed, that fin- ished a few weeks ago in the field, runs in the field one weekend in trials and returns to the ring after a weekend in the field and takes a 5-pt. major to finish his confor- mation Championship! Was he scissored like a Cocker Spaniel? No, and he shouldn’t have been! (By the way, congratulations to the Sandersons.) 5. Anything else you’d like to add? MD: My only other comment is about bait! I’d like to see the dogs trained a little more and require less baiting. I don’t find the bait issue to be problematic in the whole Sporting group or Irish Setters, but in some breeds there is a trend for constant baiting. I’m not talking about the small pieces of hot dog, but I mean a big hunk of some kind of meat that the dog becomes very territorial about. More than ever dogs don’t stand for examination unless the exhibitor is holding some kind of bait and in some instances they move the dog with the bait. I feel more training and less baiting will result in a better overall appearance of the dog. I would add that I understand that some breeds need to be baited to get the alert ears or to show expression, but most of the baiting, in my opinion, is overdone. SM: I still think Irish Setters are one of the most beautiful of all breeds. I am proud of the breeders who have now pro- duced twenty-four dual Champion Irish. They are to be congratulated. Most of all, not every Irish Setter needs to be a “show dog.” The breed should primarily be part of a family and it is a breed that has enough love and faithful- ness to spread amongst a family. DM: I’m impressed with the temperaments of the Irish Set- ters in the ring. JZ: The Irish Setter today, is a handsome, aristocratic dog— as our standard states. Credit must be given to the people in the breed who address genetic issues, and those who do so much with Rescue. We all thank you. Though num- bers have declined in recent years, the breed has really advanced with addressing health issues and maintaining a place in the Sporting Group that is hard to ignore when that beautiful red dog goes flying by! 6. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? SM: The first time I took my wife to an Irish Setter national specialty, the first person I came across said to me, “Didn’t you used to be Sid Marx?” The second person

we came to said, “Wow, we thought you were dead.” My wife was really impressed. DM: Years ago, I had a young AKC champion who finished at 7 months, had won a specialty BISS, and was quite comfortable in the group ring by 9 months old. A bunch of us decided to go to Canada to take some young dogs for their Championships. She did a great job going BOB every show and finishing in (as I remember) three or four shows. The groups were large and she loved chasing the tail of the dog in front of her! The last day, I think it was day five, I had her in the group. We did our individual exam, did the down and back, nailed the stack for the judge and I was messing with the lead, getting it col- lected for the go around. The judge lifted his hand to signal for us to go and off she went—leaving me stand- ing in front of the judge as she gaited beautifully around the ring and came to a stop in a perfect stack at the end of the line. I was still standing by the judge. Good girl, Flirt! The judge said, “You need to go get your dog, and perhaps think about a handler.” But he gave us Group 4 on the day and told me, “How could I not? The whole room was behind her!” KM: I had “Stone Cutter” in the Best in Show line up at Terre Haute KC and Steve Shaw was the judge. The dog got away from me and was running all over the Best in Show ring and the judge said, “The Irish Setter will be Best in Show if you can catch him!” What was even funnier is about 15 years later the same thing happened with the same Best in Show Judge Mr. Shaw, but I was showing the Gordon Setter, Ch. Bit O Gold Titan Treasure, and he got loose—but went BIS! JZ: Two funny things that have happened to me while judg- ing come to mind. The first was a large German Shorthair entry. An older man with a nice young dog stacked his dog for me while I was getting ready to examine it. When he bent over, he had his hair combed in a comb-over, which became “unglued” and fell into his face! It was about 12" long and reminded me of a rodent being let loose off his head! I gave him a moment to re-construct his hair-do and proceeded with the exam. Ringside was hysterical! It was all I could do to keep from laughing; I just smiled and went on! The second thing was a pair of untrained panty hose that I was wearing while judging. By the time I got to judge the breed in Irish Setters, the panty hose were misbe- having badly—almost down to my knees, in fact. They continued to restrain my movement to the point that I was shuffling in the ring to gain my balance—and my composure—all at the same time! The judge said, “You would like a picture?” I answered him with a smile and said, “Okay, can I go to the restroom first?” Ringside was laughing, as the steward knew what was happening and she told everyone within earshot what I was facing, as a provisional judge, with an AKC Rep following my every move in the ring. Oh my, what a day! I got a good review on the judging part, but decided panty hose aren’t for me in the ring. I’m glad judges are wearing nice slacks and pantsuits now!

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