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Author: Robert Leighton
Though this variety has not attained such popularity as its English cousin, it is not because it is regarded as being less pleasing to the eye, for in general appearance of style and outline there is very little difference; in fact, none, if the chiselling of the head and colour of the coat be excepted.
The beautiful rich golden, chestnut colour which predominates in all well-bred specimens is in itself sufficient to account for the great favour in which they are regarded generally, while their disposition is sufficiently engaging to attract the attention of those who desire to have a moderate-sized dog as a companion, rather than either a very large or very small one. Probably this accounts for so many lady exhibitors in England preferring them to the other varieties of Setters.
We have to go over to its native country, however, to find the breed most highly esteemed as a sporting dog for actual work, and there it is naturally first favourite; in fact, very few of either of the other varieties are to be met with from one end of the Green Isle to the other. It has been suggested that all Irish Setters are too headstrong to make really high-class field trial dogs. Some of them, on the contrary, are quite as great in speed and not only as clever at their business, but quite as keen-nosed as other Setters.
Some which have competed within the past few years at the Irish Red Setter Club's trials have had as rivals some of the best Pointers from England and Scotland, and have successfully held their own.
Back to Irish Setter
The Secretary of the Irish Setter Club is Mr. S. Brown, 27, Eustace
Street, Dublin, and the standard of points as laid down by that
authority is as follows:--
HEAD--The head should be long and lean. The skull oval (from ear to ear), having plenty of brain room, and with well-defined occipital protuberance.
Brows raised, showing stop. The muzzle moderately deep and fairly square at the end. From the stop to the point of the nose should be fairly long, the nostrils wide, and the jaws of nearly equal length; flews not to be pendulous. The colour of the nose dark mahogany or dark walnut, and that of the eyes (which ought not to be too large) rich hazel or brown. The ears to be of moderate size, fine in texture, set on low, well back, and hanging in a neat fold close to the head.
NECK--The neck should be moderately long, very muscular, but not too thick; slightly arched, free from all tendency to throatiness.
BODY--The body should be long. Shoulders fine at the points, deep and sloping well back. The chest as deep as possible, rather narrow in front. The ribs well sprung, leaving plenty of lung room. Loins muscular and slightly arched. The hind-quarters wide and powerful.
LEGS AND FEET--The hind-legs from hip to hock should be long and muscular; from hock to heel short and strong. The stifle and hock joints well bent, and not inclined either in or out. The fore-legs should be straight and sinewy, having plenty of bone, with elbows free, well let down, and, like the hocks, not inclined either in or out. The feet small, very firm; toes strong, close together, and arched.
TAIL--The tail should be of moderate length, set on rather low, strong at root, and tapering to a fine point, to be carried as nearly as possible on a level or below the back.
COAT--On the head, front of legs, and tips of ears the coat should be short and fine; but on all other parts of the body and legs it ought to be of moderate length, flat, and as free as possible from curl or wave.
FEATHERING--The feather on the upper portion of the ears should be long and silky; on the back of fore and hind-legs long and fine; a fair amount of hair on the belly, forming a nice fringe, which may extend on chest and throat. Feet to be well feathered between the toes. Tail to have a nice fringe of moderately long hair, decreasing in length as it approaches the point. All feathering to be as straight and as flat as possible.
COLOUR AND MARKINGS--The colour should be a rich golden chestnut, with no trace whatever of black; white on chest, throat, or toes, or a small star on the forehead, or a narrow streak or blaze on the nose or face not to disqualify. Back to Irish Setter top