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Hello everyone

This is our first post as new members on this great site.

We will be bringing home our first family pet as an 8 wk old I.S. Puppy boy called Ronnie in less than 5 weeks time.

What do we need ? 

What size crate for the house should we be getting?

Every book we read gives different advise for the first few nights?

It will be a long journey home any advise?

Raised food bowls?

Any tips or advise would be great 


Paul & Family

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Agree with the crate.  Bess was the first dog I crated properly (if you can ignore the cocker Spaniel pup who was crated at night solely so the Great Dane wouldn't stand on him!

I'd noticed that the pups at the breeders all crawled into upturned cardboard boxes to sleep, so before I brought Bess home I dragged the old crate out (which was quite a big one) and covered it with a blanket.  Bess whimpered for about 5 minutes on her first night, but with a wrapped up hot water bottle and radio on, and tucked into her crate she settled faster than any other pup I've had.

After a couple of months we left the crate door open (she had the utility room and hall to move around in).  We found she went to bed when we did - and we had to wake her up in the mornings!  (hope you get one like this - it's bliss to have a lie in without worrying about her!).  When she was house trained she slept under the stairs on a dog bed, but one day I bought a travel crate as I thought we'd be stopping overnight somewhere.  I put it under the stairs where she's now used to sleeping to get her used to it. 

Well, we never did spend the night away, and the travel crate is still up!  She loves being safe inside with a roof and sides.  It's her refuge from the hoover - apparently it can't get her inside there.  So I would recommend a crate.

One thing I've found with my setter is that she is an extremely fussy eater, and I tried almost every commercial food there was until I eventually put her on a raw diet as I was so worried about her not eating.  Having had other breeds that have eaten first and asked questions afterwards this was a big surprise to me.  Her mum is a fussy eater too, so that might be another question to ask the breeder. 

I admire you for having an IS as your first dog - in my opinion they are not easy, but if you make sure you start as you mean to go on with basic training you should be okay.  Recall should be taught as early as possible!! 

Thanks Trish, Yes please we would love a dog like Bess...at what age did you put Bess on raw diet.Booked on a good citizen puppy class he will be 12 wks. So much to take in should we be looking to clicker or whistle train for recall before we start class

Be careful what you wish for! :0). Bess won an award at traing for being the most difficult dog to train LOL!

I put Bess on raw at about six months old. Should have done it sooner but I didn't really understand the diet then. I was trying to feed a high quality kibble, but she'd go days without eating anything. I then tried her with a chicken wing and she wolved that down. She still is very fussy. One day a certain food is the best thing ever - the next it's poison. She does love whole rabbit (skinned) so has one ot those a week. You can put pups on raw as early as you want. Some are weaned onto raw. But just remember to keep feeding what the breeder has been feeding while your puppy is settling in and make any change to a new diet slowly.

Yes - I would train to a whistle for recall as soon as you get your pup home. Clicker training not so good as setters run fast, and you've got to think of something it can hear from a distance away. If your breeder hasn't already done this, give a whistle signal (3 short blasts is the norm) when you put your puppy's food bowl down. Then build up to whistling in another room, and treating it when it comes to you.

I wish I started my recall traing earlier, as Bess can't be trusted off lead at the moment. Don't know whether it would have helped, but it really can't hurt.

I totally agree about not changing the food at first but of course you always get the pupy (mine!) who has been weaned on raw, much to my delight as the others have it, only to find that apparently it is the worst thing EVER when you get them home!!! Had lots of problems feeding George, now 8 months, and it's exactly as you say Trish, one day it's the best thing ever and the next day it's rubbish!! Feeding can be a challenge with some irish!

I would try ditching a retractable lead (if you use one), and try long line training.  I've got a 10m and 15m lead.  Put it on the collar and let it trail so you have control but she has freedom.  I found it really worked for Rigsby and his recall is very good.   

Doesn't work for me - I'd need a line 1/2 mile long!  :0)

What I do is if he gets too far ahead is pick up the lead when he's not looking, use the command "Come" and walk in the opposite direction.  If he doesn't respond, shorten the lead, change direction.  Keep doing this until he is close and then make him come and sit in front of you.  The exercise is over when he's looking at you and ready for the next command.  It does work.  Try it in a small enclosed space like a tennis court.  She'll soon get the idea.

Wow!  We're all loving this "new puppy" question, aren't we?

Mine have all recalled on the spot, even when they've sneaked out the front door.

Keys:  Be absolutely over the moon with delight when they come back to your call, no matter how mad you are.  Be hopping from one foot to the other with pride and pleasure.  (You can mutter insults under your breath in a sweet tone of voice.)

NEVER call them unless you intend to enforce it.  If you have to climb a fence in your Sunday clothes and run through somebody's flower beds, do so.  If you blow your credibility with a Setter by giving a command and then caving, you're done.

I don't treat train.  I once parked beside a busy 4-lane highway and crossed it on foot to visit an antique store.  My setter tore the screen out of the truck canopy window and jumped out (who would ever have thought???), wanting to join me.  I gave the "down" signal (it was too noisy for him to hear me), and after some wavering, he lay down.  I was able to cross the highway and grab him.  HE KNEW I DIDN'T HAVE ANY TREATS.  My trainer taught me this--for this very reason--and I will ever be grateful.  

I totally agree.  He has to know you mean it and you'll have no problems.  You shouldn't need to shout at him if he knows your the boss.  I read somewhere that it all starts in the home.  If there are no ground rules or boundaries on home soil then you can't expect him to behave when he's out and about.

I stopped using treats about six months ago and he listens now and responds to verbal praise.  I carry a small toy in my pocket for a quick game as a reward.  Clicker training did work for me though.  

Paul, I can recommend 'Total Recall', a book by Pippa Mattinson (in gundogs). Its quite commonsense, I guess, but its set out really easily to follow from day one of bringing pup home (with chapters for those who left it rather late!). Wish I'd followed it with our latest youngster, instead of rushing things. I'm about to embark on back to basics for the dog who has developed bad habits!!!!

Hi Paul

You have lots of great tips here,Looking forward to seeing the photos of little red Ronnie  

Clicker training didn't work for me,I found it easier to use a command and it didn't help that the dog ate the clicker!




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