Irish Setter Breed Magazine - Showsight

Irish Setter Q & A


ANITA GAGE I live in Fortuna, California, a small town in northern Califor- nia, four hours away from the closest dog show. After 30 years, I retired as a high school English teacher. Since then I have been a member of the District’s Board of Trustees. My husband and I travel abroad extensively when we aren’t traveling to dog shows in country. I’m also an avid reader. Does the average person in the street recognize the breed? Many folks seeing them on the street will say that they haven’t seen an Irish Setter for years, or that they grew up with one, and “it was the best dog they ever had.” In the 70s the Irish setter was so popular. How has the breed adapted to civilian life? Many, many “confor- mation” Irish Setters are used successfully in the field. My husband and I don’t hunt, but our Irish Setters keep us active and in good health. They are all walked, biked and trained every day. Keeping the dogs active also makes them good house dogs. What special challenges do us breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? I don’t think an Irish setter provides any special economic or social challenges from any other large purebred dog. They eat more than a small dog, need to be groomed and exer- cised. They are so beautiful, I haven’t heard any negative comments about them being purebred, which I think can be an issue in this “rescue dog” era. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Certainly puppies at eight to ten weeks old can be initially evalu- ated for show worthiness. At six months old I usually revaluate their attitudes as well as their physicality. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? The Irish setter is more than a beautiful dog with NOW lots of coat. Many new judges don’t keep in mind that the Irish setter is a field dog meant to hunt all day away from its han- dler. Their movement needs to abe extended and efficient in order for that to happen. Correct confirmation in the front, which is often lacking, needs to be there for correct movement. I would suggest new judges try to view a field event. Grooming, which is often way overdone should not be the first thing the judges notice or reward. What is my ultimate goal for the breed? My goal is to preserve the Irish setter and promote and support the health of the breed. My favorite dog show memory? Our breed unfortunately has become a handlers breed. But two years ago at the Southern Oregon Kennel Club, my special GCHG Firle Oak More Than Ready took BISOH and BIS with the most respected, successful handlers in the country also in the ring. Will it happen again, maybe not, but it happened once! ANNE MARIE KUBACZ Ramblin’ Red Irish Setters began when Randy and Anne Marie met at the Irish Setter Club of Long Island and married in 1975. The founder of Ramblin’ Acres Kennel, Randy retired from a successful career at United Airlines to create a place where pets could be boarded and get top notch care and personal attention. Anne Marie is a licensed veterinary technician and worked at The

Animal Medical Center in New York City from 1974 until she retired in June 2019 Peter graduated with double major at Monmouth University, and now runs Ramblin’ Acres Kennel, handles show dogs profes- sionally, is a member of PHA and the AKC Registered Handlers program, is an AKC Junior Showmanship judge and a board mem- ber of Take the Lead. Anne Marie, Randy and Peter recognize how important the Human Animal Bond is, and that every pet is a member of the family first and foremost. That is why the emphasis of our breeding program is based on sound temperaments and good health. Ramblin’ Red is the only Irish setter breeding program to pro- duce both a National Field Trial Winner and several National Spe- cialty winners. Form and function dictate what dogs are chosen to play a role in the Ramblin’ Red breeding program. Part of being a breeder is giving back to the sport. Being avail- able to help newcomers to Irish setters in particular, and to the sport of dogs in general, no matter where the owners got their dog, is important to each of us. Our favorite charities are the Irish Setter Club of America Foun- dation, Take the Lead and the AKC Canine Health Foundation. I live in Jackson, New Jersey. I recently retired after working at The Animal Medical Center in New York City for 45 years as a vet tech. Does the average person in the street recognize the breed? The most common comment we get is “oh an Irish Setter...I had one growing up.” How has the breed adapted to civilian life? Irish setters are great family dogs with an active family who really wants their dog to be a part of their life. They love to do anything the family wants to do, same quality that makes them a biddable hunter in the field. What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? This is not a breed who does well isolated from the family. Having a big yard is great but don’t expect an Irish Setter to go out in the yard and entertain itself. It will be pawing at the door to come back inside with you. I do think a doggie door is a great option as it lets your dog go outside knowing they can always get back in to you. Some of my best homes have been apartment dwellers in NYC who are active and love having their dog with them outside. What special challenges do breeders face in our current econom- ic and social climate? I don’t feel our challenges are any different than any dog breeder: finding a home who wants a dog forever and has the dedication to provide them with exercise and social stimula- tion as well as the means to provide excellent veterinary care. Once the initial purchase price (or adoption fee) is paid, every dog has the same basic requirements. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I usually take a first look at about seven weeks, with a better idea at nine weeks and final decisions made at 12-14 weeks. The most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? This is a sporting breed and the Irish Setters side pro- file standing and moving defines it as an Irish Setter. After assessing the dog for soundness down and back, there’s no need for more down and back assessment!


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