Irish Setter Breed Magazine - Showsight

with no one piece overpowering the other. A judge always checks the down and back for basic soundness, (please note a good dog can move widely in the rear to start, but converge to center after a few paces) but it is on the silhouette that you see the true components of this breed. Proud head carriage re fl ecting correct head planes, with heads that move slightly forward as speed increases and would de fi nitely move forward when carrying the weight of a bird, neck fi tting smoothly into well laid back shoulders, a fi rm slightly sloping top line ending in a level tail set. Th e reach and drive should re fl ect good ground cover, with the feet “clipping the grass” exhibit- ing no wasted motion or excess picking up of feet. Remember, a full day of hunt- ing would require e ffi cient movement to reduce fatigue. Over this dog lies a coat, rich red in color, with a silky quality and with a pleas- ingly long fringe on ears, belly, brisket and chest. All coat should be as free from curl or wave as possible. You will see small acceptable patches of white, most com- monly on the chest, throat or toes, and even on occasion a slight “snip of white” on the head… these are not to be penal- ized. Th e standard states that all trimming is done to preserve the natural appearance of the dog. We are currently seeing what could only be considered extreme groom- ing and sculpting but I am sure there are none among us who think that a moder- ate dog in tons of coat outweighs a good dog in modest coat! Coat can be grown by anyone; good headpieces and correct body type come from good breeding. Judging puppies: Our breed is not fast to develop, looseness on the move is to be expected (not to be confused with unsoundness), our heads will develop long past 2 years of age, with the chiseling that makes a setter head so special, not evident until maturity. You should expect to see decent planes, good eye shape and correct body proportions. Frequently the occiput can appear pronounced in a puppy head, but this disappears as the top skull fi lls in. Remember when examining an Irish pup, the best is yet to come. Breeders ask that as you approach a pup you not speak to it, just scratch its head to announce you are


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