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i have some issues with my 6 month old setter puppy one of them is the hairdryer

just last week after a drenching during his morning walk i attempted to dry him he was running around the kitchen to get away and when i caught him and started drying him he was squealing as if terrified poor little mite

another big issue is he will not let me comb or brush him and will not tolerate even the most gentle of grooming he even became aggressive and bit me through my jumper leaving a lovely bruise on my wrist

i have had some issues with him as from i got him at 10 weeks he has always been a big mouther and still  trys to nip my feet and ankles when playing and also bites down quite hard on my wrist very difficult to stop this bad habit although i do understand that he is teething at the mo

my last problem is he is frightened of travelling in the car he even has been sick and soiled in the car even after a short journey anxiety evident as he salivates

apart from these issues he is adorable and i would appreciate any advice

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Hi Rosey

I fear you may be asking too much of your puppy if he has never seen, heard or felt a hairdryer before in his short life. I get my pups used to the sound when they are a few weeks old, then gradually let them come close if they wish to whilst I'm drying my own hair. If they are happy I let them feel the air flow from a distance... and gradually move on from there.

Loads of help to be found on the site of the Association of Pet Behaviour Councellors

I can also strongly recommend the book 'Ain't Misbehavin - a good behaviour Guide for Family dogs' by David Appleby.
hi susan
thanks for your reply
my puppy has been used to the sound of the hairdryer from the beginning and is used to being around me when i am drying my own hair and does not respond in a fearful manner when i am drying my hair
i have let him feel the warm airflow from the distance with no fearful responce
last week was the 1st time i have actually attempted to dry him with bad responce to it
hope it is something i can conquer eventually as you know adult setters have a beautiful flowing coat and feathering on legs that can become matted if not groomed
my last setter herbie was prompted dried if he got wet and then groomed particularly when he became an elderly dog as i didnt like to think of him being cold and wet bad for athritis and all that

i had a very sickly setter, exactly like yours, being sick and salivating, my setter alfie was very fearful of getting in the car, the only thing that worked for him was using Dorwest Herbs tablets for aniexty, i think they are called Valerian??? They have a website. These were added to his food every day and i used them for about 2 months. i stopped giving them to alfie when he was about 12 months and even though he still didnt like the car he had stopped getting anxious. Now alfie is nearly 2, and he jumps into the car, which is something i thought he would never do!!!! but he actually enjoys the car journeys now, he knows that we are going somewhere really nice when we go in the car!!!. i did spend alot of time getting into the car with alfie also, i just used to sit with him in the boot, just to get him used to it.

Amanda, and alfie and Holly
hi amanda
thanks so much for your advice i will certainly look these tabs up on the web
i so want him to lose his fear of the car i think it is something he developed on his journey home when he 1st left the litter it was over an hours drive to his new home and he was sick three times and his next experience after that was going to vets for his jabs which he hated
i want him to have a great life with me as my last setter went everywhere with me day trips to the seaside and we have some brilliant country parks near where i stay i know bailley would love them if he can get over his fear
anyway thanks again
I have ordered Dorwest herbal tablets that you recommended for my anxious puppy and am expecting delivery of them tomorrow so i can get started right away in my puppys therapy to hopefully overcome his phobia of travelling in the car
Amanda... i was wondering how many tablets you gave your puppy Alfie in his food and when did you give them prior to travelling ie was it say an hour or so before...as i would be worried about him bringing up his food as that could be likely due to his extreme fear
any advice would be greatly appreciated
Because traveling with me in my car was important for my puppy as well, from the first day I gave him a special chew in the car. He loves cow ears, our breeder approved them as the safest for a young puppy. So he only can have it when in the car. His first two hour ride home from the breeder he cried and fell asleep from fear I suppose. The next day I took him in the car and he was shaking badly, I handed him the treat and he was half interested in it. Day two he stopped shaking and starting chewing. By day three he was jumping to get in the car to chew on his cow ear! I have a great set up for him with special car toys and chews and he loves to go in the car now. The car means we get to go to special places that he loves . Sometimes it is the vet but I always make sure it is positive as well. We visit the pet shop after the vet or something like that. Before long your puppy will enjoy the car rides. And the hair dryer thing, Cash sees me dry my hair 7 days a week and is curious about it. I do aim it at him and he barks at it, but always comes back for more warm air. He had his first bath last week and did freak out when I dried him with it. I held it far back, with him closed in the warm bathroom and gave him breaks. He was very stressed out from it, but has to learn that it has to be part of the cleaning process in the muddy season! Maybe if you let your pup see you drying your hair often he will get used to the noise of it.
Hawk hates to get into the car he was so ill every time we went somewhere until he was at least a year. All he has to hear is the car keys and he is either out the back door or hiding on the bed. You could try treating him when you are brushing hm so he will learn brushing means he will get a treat.
Most of my Irish have suffered from car sickness as babies and out grew it. In the meantime I used Sea Legs, one tablet the night before any journey.
Maybe I am mad but I have had Irish since 1975 and usually around 1/2 dozen at a time. I also showed regularly until probably 2003 and then for the 17 months we were in the UK. I have NEVER used a hairdryer on my dogs! After I bath the dogs and towel dry them as much as possible I brush them out and pin a large absorbent towel on them, one pin at each the chest, tummy and under the tail. I keep them indoors until they are dry if it is cold outdoors. I used the same method with puppies and just supervision to make sure they did not pull the nappy pins out. I suppose if I had needed to I could have sewn velcro on the towels but never needed to.
I use sealegs if my puppies are not good travellers until they can travel well and I too use towels, I stitch them so that they are slipped over the head and tied around the belly with ribbons, winter time I towel dry them and then put two coats on, one on top of the other and don't bother with hairdryers.
Hi Angela
Sealegs have been recommended by a few irish owners so i might give them a try
i'm assuming these can be bought in most chemist shops
the idea re using towels sound like a great idea
thanks to everyone who has replied to my queries all the advice has been taken on board and is greatly appreciated




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