Grooming an Irish Setter for Dog Shows

Take a look at how Irish Setters were groomed before to dog shows back in 1949.

Dog World Dec 1916From the Archives of Dog World: Enjoy this all-access pass to dog history from the pages of the longest published dog magazine. This content remains in its original form and reflects the language and views of its time. Health and behavior information evolves and only the most current advice should be followed.

To properly groom an Irish Setter properly for the show ring, trim the dog about one month to six weeks prior to the dog show.

The hair around your Irish Setter’s throat and under the ears of the dog should be clipped within a quarter of an inch.

Use a pair of thinning shears over the top of the ears and along the edges of the neck line that you have clipped.

An Irish Setter should not be trimmed too close or too far down the neck line.

Trim off all loose hair around the paws.

Cut off any excess hair at the tip of the tail, leaving the length of the tail so as to reach the hind hock.

About ten days after first trimming your Irish Setter, even up the hair with your thinning shears. This will permit the surface that has been trimmed to darken up to match the rest of the coat by the time of the dog show date.

Your Irish Setter should be combed, brushed and rubbed with a Turkish towel each day, as this will bring out the natural oil and give the coat a lustrous sheen.

Few Irish Setters need to be bathed before a show. If the dog appears to be dirty, dampen a towel and rub the dirt out of the coat. Some Irish Setters have a tight body coat. This needs to be loosened up for dogs with a coat of this type. A bath is necessary the day of the show.

To keep an Irish Setter in good condition at least an hour of exercise is needed each day.

It is advisable not to feed an Irish Setter a large meal before showing as this tends to slow up their gait, causing them to appear sluggish.

Finish grooming your dog about 45 minutes before taking him into the show ring. Go over his coat lightly with a Turkish towel in order to have his coat smooth.

Gait your Irish Setter while waiting to be shown as this will get him into the spirit of showmanship.

Prior to going to the show, the dog’s nails should be clipped, the teeth gone over and cleaned as this tends to make a neater appearance.

Use a light-weight show lead on the dog in the show ring.

Above all else—have confidence in your Irish Setter, as he will soon realize that you know what you are doing and give forth every effort to win.

Excerpted from Dog World magazine, December 1916, Vol. 1, No. 12. For back issues of Dog World, click here.

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Dogs · Grooming