JUDGING THE ENGLISH SETTER
tricolor (black, tan and white). These degrees can range from very white to very dark (roan). There is NO preference in colors when judging although dark patches are not preferred anywhere other than the head. I personally caution you to remember that color is only a part of your evaluation of the dog and one of the most wonderful things about this breed is the variety of those permitted colors. There has been discus- sion about body patches and my personal recommendation is that patching has always been inherent in the breed, espe- cially in the field variety, so please fault accordingly. I feel personally involved in the color issue as I did have a dark, tri male with some patching who had a head and wonder- ful body to die for. I was reluctant to use him because he was so very dark and would have preferred to use his open tri brother. Alas, the open tri dog never could sire a litter. When we then used the dark tri he produced the most won- derful heads and bodies—yes—that darkness and patching did occasionally show up, but I wouldn’t trade anything for what he gave the breed. Personally I can’t think of a breeder who has deliberately bred for patching. I also hope that no one would eliminate a patched dog with wonderful attributes from their breeding program. Though the breed has been around for a long time, you may have trouble finding English Setters to view. (We share a low number on the list of popularity; usually around 65.) We don’t mind this, but as you can imagine it can present a challenge for new judges. It is important to attend special- ties to see good examples in numbers. We do have dedicated breeders, but our litters tend to be small and puppies are usu- ally pretty fragile in the beginning which is odd from a large dog. The reproduction rate is not always a given and I find that A-I’s either frozen or extended do not work very well. Our health issues include deafness, hip and elbow issues and thyroid, but basically our dogs live a long life to 13 or 15. We have an active health committee and work hard at addressing the above issues. In summation, the English Setter should greet you with a soft wag of his tail and extend his head into your hand. He is a sweet, loving companion who will curl upon the sofa after a hard day of hunting. He should never be aggressive, shy or exhibit any temperament other than that of a wonderful, friendly dog. He is loving of children and makes a wonderful family dog. He is most often exhibited by his inexperienced owner-handler so please be forgiving and encouraging of those as we want their experiences to be positive. I hope this helps you in your evaluations of our wonderful breed and that you enjoy your time in the ring with him!
CH Ike of Blue Bar
CH Rock Falls Cavalier
CH Sturdy Max 2nd There are other important English Setters, but these representatives share the same dog, Rummey Stagboro, as a grandfather and, in one case, he is the great-grandfather. He was the greatest sire of his time and traces back to the Mallwyd Strain (Welsh) on the sire side with Swedish bloodline on the dam.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ann Yuhasz is a second generation breeder-judge of English Setters. Her mother, Nancy Frey, raised the breed in the 50s and 60s and was a judge of Sporting and Herding dogs. Ann has been raising ES since the early 60s though she has finally given up and left her breeding program in the hands of her daughter, Rebecca Smith. Ann also raised Flat-Coated Retrievers and was involved in English Cocker Spaniels. She is approved to judge the Sporting, Herding and Terrier Groups as well as Poodles. She has judged worldwide and at many National Specialties and most major shows in the US, including twice at the prestigious Westminster KC. She feels that dogs have been a thrilling ride and the most wonderful of sports! Ann and her husband now split their time between Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and Key Largo, Florida, with one very spoiled Norfolk Terrier.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2020 | 211
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