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Cooper is 15mths old. A great man in the house but off lead, anywhere, he's off looking for birds, running with no end in sight. Almost lost him in the Wicklow mountains a couple of weeks ago. He swam across a river and ran up a mountain. We had to wait for almost an hour, praying he wouldn't head into the Forrest, before he decided to come back. We could see him but he couldn't hear us. He will drop on command once he's in sight but I'm afraid to let him off the lead now and he hates walking on lead as I have to use head lead so he's not pulling me. I let him off in the dog park but he is not interested in running with other dogs and gets cross if they bother him on his mission to chase birds! I've gotten a smaller dog for company and they are great playing together but outside he cares for nothing but the chasing of birds. Any advice please?

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I'm sorry to read this Patricia as I can imagine the anxiety it causes you. There are other members with the similar issues. The only boy I had was really good with recall and so well behaved, so I was lucky, and as such am not in a position to advise, but I would have been beside myself also had I experienced it! Use the search box on the forum tab to check if there is any advice on there. I guess if it comes to the worst there is always the extendable lead! Welcome to ES by the way. My sincerest regards & best wishes.

Thank you James for your words of welcome and your reply to my query Cheers

Hi there, You could try to contact Fran Griffin, she gives great advice and I have turned to her on many occasions. You can get her details via the members page. I hope you regain your confidence and wish you well.

Thank you for that information Allison, very much appreciated. I'll look her up now. Cheers
Maybe you could try a satellite GPS unit, made for pets, on his collar so you can track him? I have never used one, but they sound really good.

Get a hot collar on that dog. Add a GPS if within your means. You want to save your dog or lose him.....He is worth the coin

and will be your pardner for many years.

Whats a hot collar?

Electronic collar.  Hit the button and he gets a jolt. You DO NOT have to cook the dog.  Got to Tri Tronics (I think they were taken over by Garmin.  Get a simple inexpensive one. I have been using the AL 70 for years. It has a one mile range and 5 levels of stimulation PLUS it has a buzzer feature. ALSO, teach the dog WHOA

It could save his life.............

Hi Patricia

I thought I'd give you another opinion to ponder. I do not believe in using any type of a shock collar. I live in Australia that has the most dangerous snakes in the world as well as ticks. I have owned English Setters for 26 years and I have owned dogs for almost double this time. None of my English Setters have been working English Setters but Cooper is an Irish Setter so I believe my opinion is relevant. 

I decided it was not worth the risk, whatever their recall, of letting my English Setters loose in woodland. It is hard enough dealing with their inherited health problems and incompetent vets. I walk my English Setters in all sorts of environments. My English Setters become familiar with walking on a leash in all sorts of environments. I am selective about where I allow my English Setters to run off-leash. I own a 5 acreage property with lots of bird life and I am always there to supervise my English Setters when they run inside my own property. Where I live, any areas of woodland soon lead to main roads so the risks are high.

When I take my English Setters into "the bush" they are on the end of a leash. Understandably they become excited with all the smells but this can also happen on any walk. "In the bush" I allow my English Setters to pull on the lead unless we walk down hills. Then they walk by my side because if I fall over, I could get hurt and then I might not be able to walk them every day. Even Misty who is deaf, knows instinctively that when we walk down hills, she needs to slow down. I am an old lady now! My English Setters love all their walks, whether in "the bush", in secure dog leash free parks, in a major city, in the local area, wherever, and they don't care if they are on the end of a leash. The different types of walks and the humans and the dogs they meet provide them with activity, socialisation and mental stimulation.

I do not like to apply chemical products to the skin of my dogs. I do not use chemical tick products and I rarely used chemical flea products. 

Your Cooper is still a very young dog. This is only my humble opinion, but I would not allow him to run off leash at the moment. You could find a trainer to help you but I would not use a shock collar or anything like this. 


Hi Susan - and Patricia,

Yes, you're absolutely right. Cooper is a young dog and a good trainer and lots of patience is the answer. A solid long line is a very good help as well and our girl Joy is perfectly happy at the other end of that line, while I'm sure, she does not run over the next street or railway line. I would never use a shock collar and where I live, these cruel things are forbidden anyway under the animal welfare act! I always heeded Fran Griffin's advice and her many tips though. She's been a real inspiration and help, when our girl was young. Good luck with Cooper, C & J

Hi Patricia, I hope you start having some success with Cooper? training takes soo much time.... but i agree with others: it pays off in the end ; )




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