Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World
Matilda and I have failed puppy pre school. I'm really disappointed as in my opinion we were doing so well. At home she knows, all of the commands. Sit Matilda and she sits. Down Matilda and she lays down. She waits and catches the polony in her mouth. I promise she does. She even spins to the left and spins to the right. But come Monday night 06:30pm, the start of puppy school and all she manages to do, is run in a circle, bites a German shepherds ear and puts her paw on a jack Russells head. When the instructor takes her from me to show me how to handle her, she jumps up, kicks the instructor in the tummy, jumps through her legs, does a spin to the left and buries her face in the instructors reward bag. What hurt the most was when we got to the end of the 6 week puppy preschool, all of the puppys graduated to big school, but Matilda and I will have to repeat. I'm so embarrassed and feel like I have let my puppy down. I do hope I'm not the only one repeating and feeling so bad
Kevin thankyou for my morning giggle! Sounds like Matilda is still in her let's play mode during class.How old is she?I found with my Irish Setters it was best to wear them out before class so they were too tired to play. My Shilo flew thru classes like a champ until it came to the long off lead leave your dog. I would leave Shilo in the down position and after six feet away hear laughter.......turn around to find him right behind me in the down position giving me the "Who me?" Innocent look.Class laughing as Shilo would crawl after me every time we tried it. Instructer worked with me for weeks to get him to stay and not crawl. Finally managed to get him to stay but then came the final test of long down and leave the room for two minutes! He stayed until I left the room.....crawled across that big gym floor and opened the door using the doorstop......greeted me as if I had been lost forever as only an Irish Setter can....all to laughter from the class. I tried so hard not to laugh or reward him by returning his hugs and kisses but fear I failed. Instructor finally had me do the long stay leave your dog in the hallway with me going thru a glass office door so Shilo could see I wasn't gone forever and that finally worked.
When you practice at home do you have distractions going on? I found that having dogs walked by, bouncing balls or someone playing with a favorite toy worked well....increase the distractions and praise to the skies when mine did not take the bait worked well for me.
Don't be embarrassed.....just enjoy the exuberant Irish Setter spirit and figure out how to go around it' Good luck!
So funny, sorry for you but I love the antics of our Irish. Thank you for making me laugh.
Thanks Sherry and Angela for the advice. Matilda is 20 weeks old. I think you are right sherry. She only behaves without any distractions. When ever something else happens around her, off she goes like a shot. It wouldn't even matter if you had a free range turkey basted with cranberry sauce as one big treat. I will try and increase the distractions and see if that works. It still hurts though, I can't believe that silly Jack Russell that had its face pinned to the ground is going to big school. These words will haunt me forever," and Turbo graduates to big school next week" . Who even calls a silly dog turbo. I can't wait to see Matildas reaction when we look across the field to see Turbo in the big school group. I hope turbo has a Helmut.
How lovely, don't be embarrassed, Matilda is being a typical Irish, showing that she loves life and is a true character. She isn't a little robot and shouldn't behave like one either. it is only to be expected that she would find it so much more difficult when distracted by all the other dogs etc. No way have you let Matilda down, don't feel as if you have. Matilda sounds truly delightful. My puppy was also a nightmare at training class even though at home he did what I asked....eventually he settled down and behaved himself, so will Matilda. One school of thought is that the cleverer they are the more trouble they are, so it could be that Matilda is a very clever cookie. Give her a big cuddle from me and Mulligan.
Thanks Michelle and Ellen. Matilda is indeed a character, and we love her for it. She is definitely not a little robot. She has a mind of her own, and is oh so clever. Well I have made peace with resetting puppy school, and at least I know that, the two of us will have the most fun. This is 20 week old Matilda and 4 week old Oliver.
Thank goodness for the fun our reds display:)
I help train dogs (and their people) at ringcraft, and the thing I hate most is the dog who stands totally still but sort of limp, looks bored, and then moves x number of paces up the mat and turns and does x number of paces back all with no enthusiasm.
Give me a setter any time, who quivers with excitement and even moves his feet around whilst standing and then actually runs round the ring with sheer exuberance.
I remember Delta, our first show dog, going to puppy training. Within about three weeks he had it all worked out and then started to act the clown, as you describe. Luckily the trainer understood that he was a rather bright boyand knew the routine, so she mixed things up and put in a few new things just for him.
I reckon Michelle has a point. Matilda sounds like a clever girl.
NB I never think in terms of failure. I always say you have succeeded to a certain point...much better...I'm a positive thinker:)
heheheh Matiida sounds such fun....and brought back (many) memories...I remember the first time Finnegan was entered at a Rally show..made so many mistakes, knocking cones over, missing stations........and playing the fool......of course we got no where but on the result sheet the judge had written....Such.fun to watch!!!.
Enjoy your girl...they bring a smile to many
Sounds like you need to find another puppy school who understands high drive dogs. You will be surprised how many people who take dog training classes cannot handle anything apart from a robotic type border collie, a german shepherd or a labrador! lol
This is our Seamus too, thankfully our trainer reinforced that commands must be taught in 5 different locations with distractions before they are rock solid. We are now in training for him to be a therapy dog and he's a wonderful bird dog for his Daddy... things will improve. Just a slow to mature and fun-loving breed!! I would agree with someone else who said to make sure to find a trainer who understands the breed, otherwise you're in for frustration.