ENGLISH SETTER Q&A
THE ENGLISH SETTER IS ALWAYS THE ELEGANT AND SYMMETRICAL HUNTING DOG, THE PERFECT BLED OF STAMINA, GRACE, STYLE AND STRENGTH, THEREFORE THE MOST ELEGANT SETTER. ” “
How does my breed’s head di ff er from those of its Setter cousins? I always look at them as three di ff erent types of cars: the Gordon Setter is the truck, all-terrain and heavy bone; the English is the family sedan, stylish, but not extreme, always elegant; and the Irish is the sporting car, fast and lean. How does my breed’s silhouette di ff er from that of its Setter cousins? Th ey are very di ff erent. Th e Gordon is heavy bone and sub- stantial, built for stamina and strength. Th e Irish Setter is fast, racy, outgoing and always ready to play. Th e English Setter is always the elegant and symmetrical hunting dog, the perfect bled of stamina, grace, style and strength, therefore the most elegant Setter. Is there such a thing as too much feathering on an English Set- ter? Yes, the breed standard calls for feathering and not excessive, the breed should not be skirted, but feathered appropriate for a dog that can go in the fi eld and still look elegant and natural. Th e coat should be smooth and not woolly or curly. Do I see any preferences for color or markings in the show ring? No, I like any color, but not too white. I believe the ticking is char- acteristic of the breed, so I like to see color, don’t like big head and neck color patches on an open dog, but on a roan dog it can be beautiful, the dog that we fell in love with Foxchaple Black Gold was a beautiful dark roan tri. What is my breed like at home and in the fi eld? Th e English is a great family dog, at home they think they a big lap dogs happy to play with you or just watch TV, but press the “let’s go outside” but- ton and they come to full energy. Th ey are smart and determined, but always want to please you, thru at times it’s hard to focus on intensity to hunt vs being with their humans. Th ey are happiest when they get to work in the fi eld and fi nd birds, whether for fun or work. Does the future look bright for the English Setter? Yes, it’s a great family dog that is elegant and easy to live and take care of, they are gentle about life. Th at is why I like to standard referring to feathering, this helps with the maintenance of the breed the average owner should be able to care and groom them without them looking like a di ff erent breed. DONNA JORDAN My husband, Shaun,
months I could not live without the pitter patter. So we decided to look for a new family breed: Two votes for the Dalmatian; two votes for the Afghan; and one vote each for the Dachshund and the English Setter (spots with long hair). Well, it took a little more studying, but the English Setter was just the perfect family dog; smart, elegant, active, lovable, gentle and always funny. We started learning about the English Setter breed and at the time a beautiful tri English Setter caught our eye; Foxchaple Black Gold, from the Hemlock Lane Kennels. We put our name in for a male dog from all the litters we could fi nd that he sired that winter (1998). By sum- mertime we had our fi rst English Setter, Stardom’s Magic Tri Sum- mer Hill, a beautiful tri-male called Clue. From that day on the love a ff air with English Setters started. Our family has raised, trained, and shown eight English Setters and our males have produced 29 o ff spring and our bitches also 22 o ff spring in 21 years with English Setters. Th e Dachshund, with one vote strong, did not come into the picture until 2004 as my youngest daughter’s Junior dog, Penny. Penny went on to produce 13 o ff spring, with one achieving a Best in Show. Is “style” an important aspect of type in my breed? Style and type are the heart of any breed. We need to always think of the breed’s purpose and how we are making each generation better for what they were meant to be. If we lose focus on this, we lose type and without type we should be asking ourselves, “Why are we breeding?” I believe purebred breeders have an important job just like zoos around the world; we are the protectors of the breeds so future generations can see and understand why we have 193 pure- bred breeds, each with a distinct purpose. Th eir structure, tempera- ment and style are all grounded back to their jobs as dogs. Future generations should be able to see why this dog is built the way it is and it should give clues to its purpose and terrain origins. Both the breeds that we have are all about movement, and in order to move they must be built correctly. Structure, angles and balance are essential to sound movement. Just like in my profession as an architect, I say three essential design rules must be accomplished (I use the same rule in breeding dogs): A building must belong to its site (a dog must be able to live in its intended environment); a building must be able to accomplish its purpose and function better than any of the past generations (a dog must be capable of hunting if that is its purpose and they must be built accordingly). If not why have we built a new building? Just move into an existing one; and last, but most importantly, a building must add some value to the world’s built environment and tell my story as an architect and our current world ( a dog must tell the breeder’s story about this breed’s type). Th e English Setter’s elegance is critical. Th eir general appear- ance is elegant; a substantial and symmetrical gun dog suggesting the ideal blend of strength, stamina, grace, and style, moving freely and smoothly with long forward reach, strong rear drive and fi rm topline. As a breeder, I have to interpret how to achieve this and tell this story with each breeding.
and I have shown and bred English Setters since 1981 under our kennel name, “Country Squire.” We have had great success as breed- er/owner-handlers and had the #1 English Setter (all-breed system) in 1997. We have nine consecutive generations of either Best In Show or Group winners
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2020 | 205
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