Red, white and few

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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.irishredand­white­set­ter­ for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion; Kc-as­sured breed­ers can be found via www.theken­nel­­ing/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.theken­nel­ting-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

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