Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

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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Thanks Dianne and Irish.

Hi Paul,

You had lots of advice already, so will only give my few tips;o)) I would not allow a dog to eat ad lib ever, as it can cause a greedy Irish(They do exist) to over eat and do serious damage(there is one example on this site!!) And I own one or two here who would eat for Ireland, if allowed;o))) Measure out what pup needs(according to his breeder's advice) and lift the dish when the pup is done!! I am sure your pup's breeder will continue to help you along this wonderful journey!!

As for letting your pup on the couch, well that is up to you really!! You will notice MANY setters on ES who do sleep on our couches and as long as he gets off when told there is no problem, but your choice;o)

But most of all enjoy;o))

A dog that can't eat ad lib will get fat if allowed to.  A dog that needs free choice will have ribs & backbone sticking out if it's not allowed to.  "Ad lib" youngster may need to be restricted when old.  Not rocket science.

Welcome Paul and family.

Many years ago my wife and I had our first Irish and we had good intentions of 'not on furniture' ,'not on beds'.We failed miserably! However our present  dogs are not allowed upstairs and I don't think Arthur has ever tried.The old ones ,that have sadly gone, were allowed and it does not make for a good sleep with four setters on your bed!

We used a fairly large crate with Arthur (about 4' x 2') and he loved it,he looked upon it as his and as a safe place.It is a great way to ensure that you don't get up to mayhem in the morning or when you are out.That is the only time we used ours.We stopped using the crate when he was about five months old but the crate stayed for a while as he liked sleeping in it.

Enjoy your new puppy,I just know you will.

Thanks Howard,Did you use a stair gate to start with?

Mine is "not allowed on the bed," which means he goes into his (doorless) kennel until I am settled and then he gets on the bed.  We have established a truce where if he has pulled all of the blankets off me, he will, when asked and without complaint, get off the bed for about 10 seconds (that's all I get) so I can cover myself again.

He's also "not allowed on the furniture," which means I get the left-hand end of the couch unless he wants it.

I never met such a determined breed.

haha Cynthia, you sound as strict as the rest of us! Good intentions though, aren't they... :-)

Thanks Carmel

You are Welcome Paul;o) Look forward to seeing photos of Ronnie in the future;o) Best of luck!!

Hi Paul, how exciting for you, a new baby!!! Lots of good advice from everyone...I have a 7month old at the moment, plus a 7yr old and a 4 year old....the eldest one was very sick in thecar coming home, the middle one wasn't and the baby is still dribbling and rooling over longer journeys..they are all different!!! We used a crate for the eldest one and he tolerated it, cried a bit at night...the nest one, now sadly passed on, LOVED the crate and when we got it out for subsequent pups, would go and try to sit in the small bed we ahd in there..I think he felt very safe as he had a nervous disposition! the next one loathed it, and yelled til we let him be with the "big" boys and the current baby..well we put it up but he preferred to cuddle up to the older ones too!! As for furniture....we made the mistake of allowing them to get on the conservatory couch and chairs...they now "belong" to the dogs and we are reduced to perching on the windowsills etc if we ever want to sit out there lol!! Good luck, there will be lots of teething problems, am sure your breeder will be a great help and friend, don't be dismayed if you end up hand feeding for a while til pup gets the idea and settles down..I've even been known to throw it on the floor as a game to get mine eating!!! Not the best idea I know....let us know how you get on and pictures please!!

persevere our red irish was the worst dog we have had ;jumped the kitchen stairgate dragged items off the kitchen worktop. continually chewed me.reversed out of her collar a couple of times in the high street.We found a half choke was the only thing we found worked. A full harness was no better. They play fight with you our breeder described the antidote to this as "you and whose army?" Our 2 yr old IRWS still uses her large puppy crate and treats it as her special place we never shut her in. Recall can be a bit of a trial but by the age of about 2 you should have a very lovely dog with a great personality

Hi Paul,

Congratulations on the new pup!

My "puppy" is now almost 2. I had an Irish in High School, way back when, but I discovered things have changed a lot in the dog world since then. My new IS has a totally different personality... I think they all have big personalities, but this one is much more physical than I remember.

I feel qualified to give a new owner some basic advice, since I remember what it was like! I'm glad I can finally and contribute to the site as thanks for all the wonderful advice I got 2 years ago. I lurked and didn't post much, but I enjoyed the conversations that I read and learned a lot on this site before I actually brought Seamus home. And the few questions I've asked have brought me wise advice that worked.

I really encourage you to lean on your breeder. Seamus' breeder and his mother's owner have been wonderful. They give great advice and talk me down when I get worried. My first piece of advice would be listen to the breeder. My biggest regrets came from not listening to their advice right away.

The one thing I was really stubborn about was feeding, I didn't want to go raw. The breeder had him on a good kibble, but strongly encouraged raw. Things were fine for awhile, but he got Giardia and after we cleared that out I couldn't get his stools to firm up. I went through tons of kibble brands, including the special prescription brands the vet recommended. We were about to look for allergies and try "novel" proteins... which would have to be emu or kangaroo since he had everything else ;-) When the breeder again suggested I try raw, I decided to try. I'd done a lot of reading about kibble and there had been recent recalls in the US... so I was more receptive by that point.

Within a week he was fine and we haven't looked back. vet bills dropped off drastically.

I'm not saying you have to go raw, but rather that the breeder knows their dogs and what works well for them. If I had it to do over I would just start with raw, the savings in vet probably make up for extra cost since I was already feeding a top of the line kibble.

The other thing I've learned the hard way is to watch the antibiotics. I don't give until after the vet cultures to make sure there is a reason, like giardia or other parasites. Antibiotics upset the flora in the digestive tract, and the digeststive tract is a huge part of their immune system.

Crates were a mystery to me too... I had never used one and couldn't figure out what size, but I am so in favor of them now. My breeder lent me a small varia crate to start with and that was perfect. Yes he tossed his cookies on the way home... it was a bit of a drive.

I have a 2 door car, so I was very restricted in options for a crate in the car. Ended up with a precision pet suitcase style. It pops up so you can open in a small space. I leave it in the back seat and that is where he rides.(the 36" was all that fit, but it is ok in the car.  precisionpet.com)

For home my breeder recommended a plastic crate, less noise when he shifts around at night. I went with an extra large Remington. You can see it on gundogsonline.com, although that wasn't where I ordered it.

It has worked out well, although a couple of times I didn't quite get the door closed and he surprised me..now I always doublecheck and haven't had a problem. It is 40" long and looks like it should have its own room when you first get it, but you'll get used to it. He still sleeps in the bedroom.

I got a puppy exercise pen for him, it was only 36" high...so all too soon he climbed on the top of the crate and I coud see the next move would be to jump out. Luckily my breeder was able to lend me a top for it ;-) I would recommend getting the taller pens, I didn't see them locally but later saw 42" ones online.

I did get 42" gates and I still use them. He could probably get out of the kitchen if he wanted to, but he doesn't try now.

The other purchase I highly recommend was a stand alone kennel. Mine is in the garage. 4'by 8' I couldn't leave him in the crate for long periods... I know it is fine to leave him for 4 hours once he is old enough, but I like knowing he has room to move around in case the car breaks down and I'm gone longer than I think, or whatever. I know he is safe and secure. The garage stays a pretty constant temp, so not in the hot sun in the summer and not getting rained on in the winter. I found one for about $250 delivered. The only thing I don't like about it is that the door is only 5' tall and I have banged my head if I don't remember to duck! But worth every penny for piece of mind. I have a fenced backyard, but don't leave him out alone.

I used stuffed kongs (hard rubber with a hollow center you can fill with food and freeze. It kept him very busy when he was alone.

Get him in puppy training class early, it really helps with socialization. They are very smart and learn quickly, he learned all his commands quickly, but it was tough because he just wanted to play with the other puppies ;-).

Puppy proof. everywhere. they are worse than toddlers about putting everything in their mouth and eating it.

Hope that helps you get started. You'll have a great time with him. Enjoy!

Leslie and Seamus




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