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About Anamacara

Anam Cara means “soul friend” in gaelic and is the meaning behind Anamacara’s kennel name.

The foundation of Anamacara

Gail and John’s involvement with Irish Setters began in 1969. At the time they picked up their first puppy—a large male named Sean with field and bench heritage—they could not have predicted how their involvement with dogs would continue and evolve into what it is today. 

Gail and John’s early dogs were companions. In 1976 John ventured into the obedience ring for the first time, and earned our first Companion Dog (CD) title. We tried the show ring with different dogs in the late 1970s and 1980s. Although the wins with these dogs were fewer than we would have liked, we learned to groom, train, and handle for the ring. More importantly, we learned to objectively evaluate our dog’s qualities—structure, temperament, health, breed type. We studied the breed, it’s history, pedigrees, and the bloodlines that produced attributes we admired. 

We started over five times before finally obtaining a bitch that had the conformational quality, health clearances, and temperament that we wanted. Dana (Ch Shangrila’s Wall St. Darling) became the foundation of Anamacara, producing multiple AKC and UKC Champions, obedience titled offspring, and trainable field dogs. All Anamacara dogs are descended from this wonderful bitch.

Anamacara now

Today’s Anamacara dogs represent our vision of the breed standard, correctly structured, powerful moving dogs that could work efficiently in the field all day and then come in to be wonderful house dogs and family pets.

Through careful selection, we have maintained the movement and structure we prize while improving other qualities in each generation. We are proud of the extensive health history behind our lines and the consistency of our litters. We selectively breed our best.