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Hi fellow setter owners 

Our Irish setter Harley have started this thing now where she will start barking out of nowhere to get attention. Sometime also jump on us. We had a smilier problem a little while back when she was younger, but she grew out of that "biting" phase.  she's now 8 months old and I've read other places that they go through phases where they "try" you out because they are natural "pack leaders" and we are trying our very best to let her know that she is not the one in charge, we are. However as of right now nothing seems to really stop her or make it better in any way. It's only been about a week of this, but it is tiring and I'd like to see if someone has gone through the same/ have any advice. 

If we keep busy and do stuff most of the day she's fine. It is, especially, at night when we want to sit down and relax she does this. It is for attention, but no matter how much we love her and to play with her we cannot play with her constantly all the time or do something that has to do with her. Both me and my partner works form home at times and sitting down in the front room for longer periods of time have been impossible the last week. Most people I've seen talk about this, talk about the dogs not getting enough exercise, but I don't think that is the problem here, as we take her for at least 3/4 walks a day. On a normal day 1 long walk in the morning, a shorter one mid day and in the afternoon another long and one shorter at night. She has lots of toys, a big back yard we let her run around in and we play with her as much as we can.  We are hoping it is just her "I'm going to test you" phase she is going through right now, however any advice or ideas on how to make this a little more enjoyable is greatly appreciated, we would like to be able to have company over without having to worry about her having one of her "tantrums" as we like to call it and have to put her in the kitchen (Which we use as a crate. with a baby gate in front of the door) 

Thank you! 

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Don't know if anyone would agree with me but get a water pistol. Let her bark a few times and when you stay stop or enough or no and she carries on squirt her. Worked for Jamie.

Sounds like some people agree with you, and we don't have a problem with doing it haha. So off we go to get a squirt gun/bottle! Thank you :)

the best water pistol and I have had a few, not just for Jamie but for my hubby and son, are the nerf zipfire super soaker, absolutely brill! x

They do keep trying things out. Ours didn't bark at us....our Irish lads were thieves! Not getting enough attention? Oh well, I'll steal this book, doll,pillow, her sandwich,shoe,...the possibilities were endless but resulted in chases by our daughters which delighted our Irish lads. Moms watching tv....empty the toy box one by one and toss it on her lap....eventually Mom will give up and play fetch with us (we knew if we touched a toy the gig was up as then it was playtime so we'd stand up letting the toys just fall). 

Allison's idea of a water bottle to squirt her once with might work but be careful that it doesn't turn into a fun game....Irish Setters see life as one big,happy game and they're very adept at making sure their life is full of fun.

Perhaps try a short training session when she barks....rewards for doing the proper sit etc and end with a down or place command if she has a special bed or spot she likes to lounge at.

Good luck....:) let us know what works. 

Yeah that's the thing everything is a game for her. A friend suggested grabbing her collar and put her in another room but trying to catch her just turns it into a game and then she enjoys it..

that's a great idea we've actually started doing the last few days - If she sits nicely (she's been sitting since day two of having her) she gets a treat and we also do stay (which still needs a lot of practice) And she gets focuses again :) we'd love to have a bed out for her in the living room but unfortunately she is eating all her soft beds so we only have a plastic one with soft mattress in the kitchen which is her main bed. But once she's grown out of eating everything we will get her a nice bed for the living room but for now she sleeps on the couch if she wants too. Thank you for your ideas, really appreciate it!!
Water pistol. Or put her outside when she barks and totally ignore her till she behaves.

Wow, you deserve a medal for 3 to 4 walks a day!
Water pistol it is then - seems to have worked for many! We use time outs as well and ignoring but it's a time thing I guess, will have to continue for a while before it actually works. But we will try the water thing!

Ha! Thank you, Bering a freelance worker makes it possible. And hey it keeps me active too. One of the reasons I wanted a dog that needed a lot of excercise :)

One thing....the more exercise you give the wonderful Irish the more they want and if they don't get it....stand by to be told off.  I work for myself and find I must not go over board with walks when we are quiet or I get well and truly told off and then some :-) My two boys love their walks ....the more the better.

Yes no, I know.. She is probably worse the days I/we don't get to do things like "normal" with fewer or shorter walks for various reasons. So yes, that will be taken into consideration ;) It's all about balancing etc But I will for sure keep that in mind, thank you!

Please remember if they're anything like our Molly...if you do something with them once and they like it ...it's now part of their routine that they will beg you to do again. (We had one that thought being squirted with water was jolly fun)

Harley sounds remarkably like our 9 month old Misty. She too loves our total attention, which is not possible all the time as we have 3 boys too. As she is number 17 we are completely gobsmacked that she has become numero uno in the household. She is without doubt the most intelligent setter we have had and runs rings round us!! 

We withdraw attention from her and generally speaking she gets the message. We also use simple obedience stuff to occupy her mind and get her into focus mode. If all else fails then she is put in her crate to calm down, and then the crazy creature won't come out again! Oh yes! She knows who is boss! However, we will get there in the end ...probably in about 3 years time. Just play the long game ha ha:)

On a serious note, she really needs to learn to be happy by herself. Have you tried leaving her with a stuffed kong? If its frozen it can take ages to get through.

You dog is naturally active early morning and night time they are the opposite of us., that genetics.
She's also just hitting adolescent. To much walking can be too much for a young pup.
She may be overtired and gets stroppy.
Dogs do not try to be leaders or dominant. I suggest you get hold of
Turid Ruggas .. The puppy and the young dog. It's brilliant article . Squirting water does not train a dog what you want her to do,
I suggest you find a gentle trainer to help you. Force Free is a must.
I feel you are confusing humane thinking on a dog. They do not decide to be naughty I think she's confused as you are not showing her the behaviour you want. Does she have Kongs that you stuff and she can chop on them? Great for evenings.
I'm afraid just because you want to pop your feet up doesn't always work wen she wanting to play. Do some training retrieve etc a little fun she will soon get sleepy. It does gets easier.
If she jumps on you ask for a sit give her an exercise she can do tell her she's good. Barking ..piece of food under her nose
She cannot sniff and bark count quite one two and so on gradually extending the time she doesn't bark. It's kindness and training that will help. How many times do you praise her for just being good or is it only negative when she naughty. We as people are very negative. Good luck you will end up with a pup that's a joy. Pop onto the Dog Star Daily site they have two great books free down loads lots of advice as well.




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