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Just a bit of a light hearted thread.  Bess showed me her intelligence today, and I was interested in what your setters do which have your jaw dropping open?

She had two hare shoulders for tea - horrible bloody things, but they are her favourite (along with rabbit).  She gets them for a treat, and I have an old blanket that I put down on the kitchen floor and she's learned that she has to lie on that and eat them, rather than getting the carpet dirty.

Well, tonight she decided she'd take the first one into the lounge to eat - I could just seem my cream rug getting ruined so yelled at her to take it back to the kitchen.  She obviously wanted our company (and who doesn't prefer eating in front of the TV? :0) ) and didn't move - so I yelled at her again to 'wait' whilst I got an old fleece out and put that down instead.

She only stood there holding it in her mouth until I put the fleece down under it.  She then put it on the fleece and proceeded to eat it.  Five minutes later she got up, went out to the kitchen, got the second one and brought that back in and put that on the fleece to eat that one.

Now I couldn't have taught her that trick, but somehow she's cottoned on that mum goes a bit silly unless there's a blanked or something under certain foods. 

No other breed I've had would ever have had a clue what to do in this situation! 


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our 2 yr old Irws has on 2 occasions opened our front door on one occasion making it into the front garden.we now have to deadlock the porch. she stands on a cupboard next to the front door and bats the yale latch down and back with a paw

Scary.  I replaced my front door hinges with ones with internal springs, so it swings shut by itself.

That is worrying! Why do dogs have to be too intelligent for their (our) own good?

Oh yes, they are smart!  My Setter is very fussy about his water.  He won't drink out of a plastic container, he won't drink water that's more than 20 minutes old in the water dish, and he won't drink it if it's already been drunk out of.  So the easiest way for him to get "freshly drawn" water is to drink it out of the toilet.  Of course he's not allowed to drink out of the toilet.  So he taught me to change his water by barking at the toilet!!!  It took a couple of weeks for me to catch on, but he believed in me and persisted.

Oh I love that!!

Finlay doesn't bark at the toilet but he's the same as your setter Cynthia has to have the water changed if he's already drunk out of it or if he thinks it's been down to long, he will go into the kitchen stand looking at the bowl but if i dont notice the he barks till i do (",) 

Bess is the same in that her water has to be fresh in her drinking bowl. If its not fresh she'll go find some stagnant water in the garden to drink instead.

Isn't that weird how they'll drink out of a muddy roadside puddle with motor oil floating on the top but they won't drink tap water that's been in a clean bowl for 20 minutes?  I have a bird bath in the garden hooked up to the sprinkler system so the water changes completely twice a day.  That works.

Ha ha  Cynthia, I love this :))

When Keegan was a puppy, he loved to chase a ball.  Being as IS puppies are SO energetic, I went up the 50' high hill behind my house to throw the ball, so it would go farther.  After about 4 trips down the hill after the ball, he realized that it would "go" all by itself if you took it up the hill and just dropped it.  Mom dismissed.

One of the reasons I think Bess is so clever is how she has trained us!  I'm a great believe in positive reinforcement - the idea, I've read, is to first use treats as a reward, and then just praise until the action becomes habit.  Oh yes - well not with my IS!!  As soon as we stop rewarding with a treat, she stops doing what she's asked.

For example, coming in from the garden, or jumping into the car.  Or just about anything else!  Ask her to do something and she checks whether you've got a treat.  If not she stands there until you go and get one! 

I think you have my dog. Try calling her Bella and see if she then runs out of arm's reach.




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