Setanta Setters was established with the idea of producing the best quality Gordon Setters that can still do what they were originally bred to do.
Much thought and planning goes into each breeding. Every effort has been made to produce well balanced, healthy, multi-purpose dogs that can do whatever is asked of them, and look good doing it.
Producing a litter of puppies for the sake of producing puppies is NOT what I breed for. I have been very careful in selecting the dogs at Setanta Setters. I look at several different aspects of the puppy. Temperament, confirmation, structure, markings, the way the puppy reacts to it's litter mates, strange sounds and situations and of course natural ability, desire, drive etc. Always I keep in mind; am I improving on what I have. My goal is to strive for a High Class Bird Dog. If everything measures up I keep the puppy.
In selecting two dogs to breed I review the following
(1) Pedigree - I look at the dogs in the background. In the Gordon Setter Breed I know most of the dogs that compete over the past ten - fifteen years. I research the dogs I don't know by talking to their owners and when possible meeting the dog or their offspring.
(2) Ability - This is very important. "You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear". A dog may look good on paper but if the ability is not there there's little to work with. In this case the stud dog or brood bitch must cover the areas the other is weak in. There are no guarantees but building on a good foundation is half the battle.
(3)Picture - Forming a clear picture of what you're looking for....., what you're trying to improve...., and how this breeding will meet your goals is a major factor in deciding on a particular stud dog or brood bitch.
(4)Question - Always ask if there's a better breeding - then why do this one - if not then you're doing the best that you can. Remember there's usually more than one puppy, what's going to happen to the puppies you don't want. Are you passing a lot of baggage along for someone else to deal with or a good foundation on which to build. It's like dropping a stone in the middle of a still pond; the ripples have a far reaching effect.
Pedigree, Ability, Picture and Question - A few of the areas I ponder before doing a breeding. I breed for myself and usually keep one or two dogs to grow to maturity to see what I have. Dogs I elect not to keep in my breeding program or in my kennel are sold as started dogs.