Red, white and few
THe irish red and white setter, said to be as rare as the giant panda, is in dire risk of dying out in this country. only two puppies were registered with the Kennel Club (KC) in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 20 for the same period last year. A mere 63 puppies were registered in 2016 as a whole, the lowest for more than 30 years and a decrease of 70% since the breed’s peak in 1995, 40% of which has happened in the past three years alone. if the trend continues, there are fears that the breed will disappear in the UK.
‘people take for granted the wide range of pedigree dog breeds we have in the UK and overlook the lesser-known ones in favour of some of the more popular or exotic, simply because of how they look or because a celebrity owns one,’ says Caroline Kisko, KC secretary. ‘the irish red and white setter is a wonderful breed and would make a great family pet, but there is simply no demand for them because people don’t know they exist.’
Shelagh Walton, chairman of the irish Red and White Setter Club of Great Britain, adds: ‘it’s a friendly, affectionate and intelligent breed and we implore people to consider it when choosing a dog to help give it the future it deserves.’
An ancient breed traditionally used by falconers, it pre-dates the better-known irish setter, with its all-red coat, but became less fashionable towards the end of the 19th century. Affectionate, loyal, fun-loving, enthusiastic, intelligent and easily trained, it has faced extinction before, but has always somehow managed to bounce back—let’s hope for a similar outcome now.
visit www.irishredandwhitesetterclub.com for further information; Kc-assured breeders can be found via www.thekennelclub.org.uk/breeding/assured-breeder-scheme.
in total, there are 31 breeds on the KC’S vulnerable list, including the english setter
(Country Life, August 29, 2012), Gordon setter, Dandie Dinmont terrier and deerhound, and seven ‘at-watch’ breeds, including the pembroke Welsh corgi and old english sheepdog. More information can be found at www.thekennel club.org.uk/getting-a-dog-or-puppy/findingthe-right-dog/vulnerable-native-breeds
Pick me! There are fears that the Irish red and white setter may be dying out in the UK