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Too Small To Breed ?


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I have a English Setter female and would like to raise a litter of pups out of her but she is on the small side, she only weighs about 35 lbs. I know that some kennels disqualify a dog for breeding no matter how good a dog they are because of size. My question is how small is too small ? Here is a picture of her. 

Glenn

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I am not a breeder, however I like small setters. Have a friend that twice bred a setter your size, in fact I have a pup from her.

May not be the ideal for trials but still good hunters.

Friend had several Old Hemlocks, he had a female that was an exceptional grouse hunting machine. About 45 lbs or so.

Havent seen one as good since, she knew what good cover looked like and did not waste time in that was not “grouse”

Pointed staunchly and retrieved. Woodcock were JV birds for her.

George did not allow her to be bred, too small. Go figure.

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Ray Gubernat

I can't speak to setters, but I have bred two litters in my lifetime and both females were on the small side, in the 35# range.  I am pretty sure that both females were the runts of their respective litters, which is why they were available for sale.  Both gyps whelped normal sized litters(6-7 pups) and things went fine.  

 

FWIW, both litters contained pups that grew into quite large dogs, which convinces me that I got runts.  No big deal.  They were both excellent hunters, which is what counts and I was able to put an FC onthe second one.

 

 I kinda prefer a larger dog, as they are easier to see in the weeds, but I have seen some dandy small setters, very athletic and nimble which is pretty important in cover.

 

I wouldn't worry about it, unless you are concerned about producing a large litter for sale. 

 

RayG

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, grouse28 said:

George did not allow her to be bred, too small. Go figure.

I don't get that, the best dog you ever hunted with and he don't breed her because she was too small ?

Glenn

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8 minutes ago, GlennW said:

I don't get that, the best dog you ever hunted with and he don't breed her because she was too small ?

Glenn

George Evans retained breeding rights to any of his dogs. George even hunted with this dog several times.

One did not change his mind or dare argue with him.

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Thirty five pounds for a female setter is not so small to not breed if she is a good dog in other respects. In my time with setters, I've only had one that weighed >40#. 

 

Most of them were somewhere between 34-37#s when in shape.

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Ray Gubernat
15 hours ago, grouse28 said:

George Evans retained breeding rights to any of his dogs. George even hunted with this dog several times.

One did not change his mind or dare argue with him.

 

I recognize that folks like Mr. Evans have(or had) a vision of the dog they were trying to produce and I do respect that.  I also understand very well  that there are  folks who are looking to capitalize on the name and years of work of a successful breeder, without the same diligence and attention to the details of the breeding and development process.  

 

However, there is absolutely no way I would buy a dog without full and unencumbered ownership.  Many years ago, I wanted to purchase an Elhew pointer.  When I found out that I had no say in the selection process, but would be given the dog that Mr. Whele or more likely, his kennel manager, thought was what  needed, that was a deal breaker for me.  I was actually willing to pay four times the going price for a well bred pointer, but the fact that I had no say at all  in which sire or dam or even which pup... just turned me off.

 

RayG

 

 

 

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On 1/17/2021 at 11:05 AM, Ray Gubernat said:

I wouldn't worry about it, unless you are concerned about producing a large litter for sale. 

No,not worried about producing alot of pups, or the dog being able to have a litter of pups, but what the thought process was on disqualifying a dog for breeding even if it is a very good hunting dog just because it is on the small side ? There must be a standard that some kennels go by and I just wondered what it was. Don't breed if they are less than 45lbs ?, 35 lbs ?, 30 lbs? Have to be at least a certain height ? It is interesting to me.

Glenn

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5 hours ago, Ray Gubernat said:

  I also understand very well  that there are  folks who are looking to capitalize on the name and years of work of a successful breeder, without the same diligence and attention to the details of the breeding and development process.  


 

This is quite rampant in the dog breeding world. From Llewellin to Old Hemlock to Ryman.

Once the original breeder is gone things unwind and it becomes all about $. Designer breed mentality. One can always at least double the price of a pup if you attach one of these names to it.
If you are happy with your dog and can find a good stud go for it.

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salmontogue

It's a large tent with many opinions, some set in concrete after being fully mixed (up).

 

Thirty plus years ago, I decided I needed a Dalmatian to ride on my antique Ahrens-Fox fire engine.  I visited a breeder near Sebago Lake and was interacting with a pen of pups when one escaped, ran across the yard and jumped into my truck.  Easy selection that turned into an exceptional dog that rode everywhere in motor vehicles, boats and even ran with me on horseback.

 

One morning, after typical canine insurrection, I decided to take him hunting and was not expecting much, after all the other dogs were pointers and he was, well, a Dalmatian.  I was shocked that he immediately found and pointed birds AND retrieved them at less than a year old.  He lived to nearly fourteen and was a fabulous bird dog despite no training, no expectations and no breed history.  He was one of the best. Dalmatian, go figure.

 

Perk

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Berg brothers has two females on their site that they breed listed at 37 lbs. One of whom is Bonnie who my dog Birch came out of, they describe her as medium size. Birch is a 45-47 lb male from here which is just about right IMO. 

 

So if everything else is good to breed I would not be worried about size. 

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Ray Gubernat
4 hours ago, GlennW said:

No,not worried about producing alot of pups, or the dog being able to have a litter of pups, but what the thought process was on disqualifying a dog for breeding even if it is a very good hunting dog just because it is on the small side ? There must be a standard that some kennels go by and I just wondered what it was. Don't breed if they are less than 45lbs ?, 35 lbs ?, 30 lbs? Have to be at least a certain height ? It is interesting to me.

Glenn

Glenn - 

 

I cannot say for certain because I did not know Mr. Evans... BUT...it is pretty obvious that he spent his lifetime pursuing HIS vision of what the ideal English setter should be, and apparently, his vision was of a somewhat more substantial dog. 

 

One thing I have seen myself is that if you breed back into the same gene pool repeatedly,  one of the things that happens is that the dogs tend to get smaller.   I saw it happening with the relatively tight Calico breeding(pointers), and then there were some outcrosses which put some size back in.   

 

So while you or I might say it does not matter to us... to someone who has spent their life pursuing the development of their vision of the ultimate setter dog... EVERYTHING matters, especially because setters do not have the same wide availability of different lines to outcross to compared to, say, pointers.  His line, his dogs...his call.

 

RayG

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2 hours ago, salmontogue said:

He was one of the best. Dalmatian, go figure.

When I picked my Setter up at the airport I had three different people comment on what a beautiful Dalmatian pup I had, Mayyybeee you had a Setter and just thought it was a Dalmatian Perk 😂🤣

Glenn

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2 hours ago, Speaks said:

Berg brothers has two females on their site that they breed listed at 37 lbs. One of whom is Bonnie who my dog Birch came out of, they describe her as medium size. Birch is a 45-47 lb male from here which is just about right IMO. 

 

So if everything else is good to breed I would not be worried about size. 

My dog has heavy Berg Bros. breeding in her sires pedigree. Good to know that they would consider her medium size.

Glenn

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salmontogue
9 hours ago, GlennW said:

When I picked my Setter up at the airport I had three different people comment on what a beautiful Dalmatian pup I had, Mayyybeee you had a Setter and just thought it was a Dalmatian Perk 😂🤣

Glenn

 

Perhaps just a different color and style hair job from the salon.

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