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Baylee is 10 mos. old and since he is a pet with many behavioral problem I plan on having neutered next month. My concern is this, is there anyway supplements oor whatever to prevent his hair color or texture from changing, please any suggestion.

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I too would love to read and look at the dvd's too, thank you Fran, I'll take your advice too I hope you don't mind me taking your advice too.

Sorry to hear you are having such problems.   How old was Baylee when you bought him and is his breeder private or commercial?   Have you asked her if she has experienced this type of behaviour in her stock before?   Irish have a lot of medical problems and it maybe that Baylee has inherited something - rather like an unridable horse which is deemed to be "mean" but in actual fact it has a back injury, muscle spasms, or something else which once recognised and treated is perfectly amenable to being ridden.  It was never "mean" it was in pain and couldn't physically undertake the task being asked of it.   Likewise Baylee maybe the same.   If he were mine I certainly would not take him to a dog trainer.  The only dog I knew who was passed to such was nearly broken for life, when she went she was a gun shy flatcoated retriever when my friend had her returned she was inconsolable, shivered, dribbled, frightened of men etc.  It took me 2 years to recondition her and to get her to trust people again, she came to live with me in Cheshire and after this period of time she went on to become a show champion and a great dog but whenever she heard a gun, she was pitiful.   Please don't do that to Baylee. 

You will have to go right back to the beginning.  Something has happened to him earlier on that has to be undone.  When he bites, nips, jumps up or does anything unacceptable you must turn away from him and avoid eye contact.  Do not speak to him and when he persists keep turning away from him.  Don't raise your arms just stand very still.  When he stops give him a treat.   If he goes up a level use a clicker or a tin with a stone in it, anything that makes an unusual noise, not a whistle, make the noise with it by shaking or dropping it.   The minute he stops the unwanted behaviour, tell him he is good and treat him.   Walk away from him and when he starts again repeat the action.  It's called distraction therapy, he will stop very quickly and you have to be spot on with your reward to ensure he learns that he is being rewarded for conforming, delay it and he will think he is being rewarded for misbehaving.    It would be a good idea to let him run off some steam before you undertake reconditioning him.   Setters hate being ignored and when he realises that nipping etc make you avoid him he will learn to moderate it.  He his only a baby.   When you have visitors and he behaves badly tell them to drop their hands and turn away.  Don't tell him to "leave", "go away", "down" etc etc, body language says it all.  When was the last time you saw dogs having a discussion about what to do next?   And so it is when we train them - "the least said, the soonest mended".   Turning away, putting him back in his crate, shutting the door and thus excluding him from the pack is what would happen to him in the wild - if he misbehaves the pack leader (YOU) would shun them and to be out of the pack is dangerous.   He will want to ingratiate himself he isn't looking for exclusion he is looking for leadership and YOU are his leader.   Things like feeding time.   You can let him join in with the "kill" by putting down his bowl and when he goes to it, say (bark) "leave" and pick it up.  Go out of the room, go back in and put the food down and let him eat.   As you progress, put it down, let him eat, then "bark" (say leave) and remove it.   By doing this you are endorsing that you as pack leader have first pickings of the kill.  Sounds mental but dogs are simple and we have to uncomplicate whatever poor Baylee has experienced.   Same with the car, when you open the boot to let him out "bark" stay, put down the lid, when he is sitting again open it and let him out on your "bark" come.   When leaving the house change whichever exit you go from, if the front dooor usually and he charges to it in readiness, you go to the back door and call him, same with gates this endorses in his mind that you are leading the "hunt" walk and that you go first, he follows.  You can try all sorts of ways to do this and it will burn up his energy wondering what you are going to do next instead of getting upset.  Anything you do with him has to be calm, no talking, shouting flapping of arms etc, just stay calm and authoratative, you don't have to bully him just begin to understand him and he will begin to understand you.

I do hope you don't think I am totally nuts but the suggestions are to ensure that your life with Baylee and his with you become happy and contented.  There are so many dogs across the world that are misunderstood because people don't make the time for them and these poor dogs end up in pounds, or worse, through no fault other than their people have let them down.


   This might help you understand Baylee a little.

please remember as a young male his testosterone levels can be up to 5 time higher till he reached 18 months and it levels out to a normal Adult dog. This often spikes and settles and re spikes. I also feel he is responding to your emotions. Can I  recomend you go onto the Dog Star Daily Site  for qualified advice.

The Puppy and the Young Dog - About Growing Up by Turid Rugaas


Dogs   who raise puppies, raise their offspring into perfect dogs. Wolves who raise   wolf puppies, raise them into perfect wolves who are prepared for a life as   ´survivors´. When humans raise puppies into dogs, they run into trouble. Why?  

First   of all, we don´t allow the puppies to get the natural upbringing that they   would and ought to receive had they been brought up by other dogs. Secondly,   we expect the dog to respect our human rules, which are often meaningless to   the dog, and we fail to take into consideration the dog´s age, developmental   stages and its capacity. The result is that the dog fails to meet our too   high demands.

Puppies   who grow up surrounded by their own kind, gradually learn to obtain the   self-control they will need as adults. And they learn so well! As adults they   have obtained all the self-control necessary to survive. We need to learn to   raise puppies in a similar way that they would be if they were raised   naturally by other dogs from birth to adulthood.

Puppy license

The   first and major mistake we do as puppy owners, is to set our expectations and   demands to the puppy so high that there is no way the puppy will be able to   meet them. In nature and where the dogs are allowed to grow up naturally in a   pack, they learn self-control very gradually. Until they are about 16-20   weeks old, they have a so-called ´puppy license´. They get to flutter their   license about and say ´Na-na-na, you can´t get to me - ´d4cos I have a puppy   license!´ We often see how the puppies are taking advantage of this license.   They bully the adult dogs around, and we can almost see that mischievous   sparkle in their eyes.The adult dogs let the puppies carry on with   unbelievable patience during this period of time.

By   16-20 weeks of age, the puppy license is about to expire. Now, the puppies   gradually need to learn to control themselves better and behave more   politely. They will still be forgiven for their many mistakes and errors -   after all, they are not yet adults. Adulthood will come naturally with time   and experience.

It may   seem confusing that a puppy move from one developmental stage to another   within only a few days, but we need to keep in mind that they go from   puppyhood to adulthood in less than two years. In comparison, humans use 20   years before we can call ourselves adults - many need even more time than   that.

The young dog

Once   the puppy period passes at around 4 to 4.5 months of age, the adolescence   begins. It consists of several stages and lasts up to around two years of   age. Sometimes it takes more time, other time less. Young dogs are like young   humans:

  • They like action and speed.       
  • They get easily bored when        nothing is happening.
  • They have no self-control        at all.
  • They cannot control        themselves when something exciting happens. Like kids who see a        firetruck or dogs who smell a rabbit.
  • Their ability to        concentrate over any longer period of time is poor. While kids ´forget´        to come right home after school, the dog forgets what you asked him to        do ten seconds earlier. They prefer to be with others the same age or        with similar interests.
  • They will rather play that        do other things.
  • They find cramming boring        and it takes the fun out of learning. Young dogs need training, but in        short and fun sessions so that they are able to stay focused and not get        tired of it. Their needs of activities can be met with short and easy        training sessions on an simple agility course, recall training, taking        walks in the woods, being with other dogs and play off leash, and so on.       
  • They gradually need to        learn self-control, but only little at a time. That´s why we do things        stepwise, like expecting the dog to remain gradually longer in exercises        like ´sit-stay´ - 2 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, etc.
  • Be considerate when the        dog is losing his concentration - allow the dog to get a break in order        to get his focus back, help him to continue the training.
  • Let the adolescent dog        meet with other dogs - Important!
  • Avoid long training        sessions, repeating the same exercise over and over, punishment, and so        on, so that the dog doesn´t get tired and fed up with training.
  • Socialization - Social        training with people and animals is important. Teach the dog to deal        with all kinds of situations in all kinds of environments.
  • Practice fun activities        like tricks, retrieving, searching, tracking, etc.

We must   keep in mind that dogs are social beings who need to learn about communication,   polite behavior and self-control. Otherwise a life as a member of a pack will   become completely unbearable. And they learn, little by little, just like   human beings during childhood and adolescence. Who have ever seen a 4 or 6   year old child with self-control? When the four year old gets hysterical,   there´s no point in even trying to reason with him or her. The same goes for   the six year old child. To try and teach them something during a hysterical   fit, is hopeless. We actually need to let them calm down first - before   trying to teach them something.

When   dog owners come to class with a young dog, a ´six year old´, this dog will   easily become too excited - due new dogs, a new place, a new situation, and   so on. At the same time, the class require that the dog and owner follow a   strict program of exercises, and in a addition the program lasts way too long   for a young dog. No wonder that the ´six year old´ will become agitated and   even hysterical. Many, many dog owners drop out of these classes and courses   because their dogs are impulsive, excited and almost hysterical. They are not   ´crazy´ like the owners may be told, but their stress level is at a maximum   and self-control level at a minimum. Naturally! Because, they haven´t learned   how to deal with these types of situations before. It´s doomed to fail.

Use of   violence or force to get the dog to pay attention in such a situation is   unlikely to make the dog any better. On the contrary, if the dog wasn´t   already in a state of hysteria, he would be if we use force and   unpleasantness. It´s not our place to make our demands to the young dog too   difficult. If the dog isn´t able to cope with a situation, then it simply   isn´t able to cope with it. We can prevent the dog from becoming hysterical   by learning to observe him and his emotional state, to learn to see that the   temperature is rising and stop what we are doing before the dog has reached   the level of stress and excitement where he is unable to communicate and   learn.

Early interference

Early   interference is the key word. The interference may be to:

  • Stop the training.
  • Act less threatening        ourselves.
  • Let the dog change his        position from for instance lying down or standing to the non-active        position of sitting.
  • Keep the leash loose - it        needs to be so loose that it´s hanging, otherwise the dog will feel the        pressure of the leash. Remember that a tight leash is the quickest way        to raise the level of aggression.
  • Don´t fight the dog.        Remain calm and under self-control - How will the dog learn self-control        if you don´t set a good example?

When the dog is "slamming the doors"

The   young dog is in a phase of transition, and there´s a lot that needs to be   explored and tested. Allow the dog to explore. Allow him to get a taste of   life and allow him to check things out. It´s completely harmless. We need to   have boundaries, but make sure that they are set in such a way that the dog   isn´t a prisoner without freedom to be active and figure things out on his   own. Should he become difficult, so-called stubborn or testy, it is not   because he has planned to take over the leadership or become top-dog, but   rather to explore and find out how things work. A young dog will not become   leader, he doesn´t even think about it. But he needs to check things out in   order to see the types of reactions he will get if he ever thinks about it   later. Don´t overreact! Turning your back to the dog and ignoring him is   sufficient - and will say more than a thousand words. Turning the back and   ignoring the adolescence is exactly what the adult dog would do.

Under   no circumstances should you get physical with the dog - avoid physical   unpleasantness such as shaking him by the scruff of his neck, grabbing him by   the cheeks while looking into his eyes, or any other cruel and frightening   methods of punishment. Notice how the confident, adult dogs do it, and copy   what they are doing. Adult dogs let the adolescent dog know without seeming   brutal - they turn their backs and walk away. They may ´yell´, but no more   than that.

Is your   dog growling? Wonderful! That means that he hasn´t been scared into passivity   and has kept a natural part of his way of communication. Growling isn´t   dangerous, it´s simply a way to let others know that he is uncomfortable.

When growling/snarling/snapping

1. Was   it something you did that provoked the dog? If so, stop provoking.   Provocations can be, to mention a few; to jerk the leash, yelling and   scolding, grabbing the dog by the scruff of his neck, shoving the dog,   pinching the dog, taking the food from the dog, disturbing the dog in his   sleep or when he´s resting, giving commands with an angry voice, demanding   too much of the dog, holding the dog tightly, pulling on the leash, teasing   the dog, bending over him and walking straight at a dog who´s on a leash.

2. Was   the dog frightened by something? Then avoid that he gets frightened again,   otherwise his defense reaction will only become stronger and stronger.

3. Is   he only doing it to check out your reaction? Turn your back to him! He will   give up immediately. In a situation like this, at least one of you need to   stay cool. Besides, it´s a given that most conflicts between dogs and owners   is a result of trying to dominate the dog, not the other way around. Using   ´sit´ is psychologically correct when conflict situations occur. It´s a   neutral position - it´s asking for cooperation rather than submission. And to   sit will come more naturally than anything else, even for an agitated dog.

In   order for a young dog to learn self-control, he needs to go through a   learning process. We can help him by making a few demands to ourselves:

1. The   dog doesn´t know which options he has. We need to teach the dog that he can   choose to sit calmly instead of jumping, running around and pulling on the   leash. Due to the situation, the adrenaline level in the body is high, and it   makes the dog uncomfortable at the same time as he doesn´t know what to do   about it. We can show the dog and help him learn to control the situation.

2. Move   slowly. Use calm and slow body motions. Speak calmly and quietly. Your body   language and behavior will convince the dog.

3.   Don´t get self-control and physical force mixed up. Self-control is   voluntary, while physical force isn´´. Avoid shoving, forcing, pulling and   pushing the dog. Keep the leash loose. The reaction to physical punishment   will only be an increased stress level. 4. Practice self-control in all   situations. At first, practice in areas free of distractions, in short   sessions and loose leash. Don´t have the dog sit too long in the beginning -   the muscles will get tired and sore from sitting too long.

We have   other means of aid as well, such as the calming signals and rewarding the dog   for the right behavior, only to mention a few. One day, you will have an   adult dog who knows how to behave, who has self-control and who wishes to   cooperate. That day will come if you raise your dog with gradually increased   demands that he is able to deal with. Be considerate - your dog needs time to   grow up just as we do.


Fantastic advice and is basically the way I have dealt with my dogs over many years and found it successful.   People just need to understand that dogs are dogs, we are humans and to be happy together we need to give to them at their level not expect them to give to us at our level.    Brilliant, brilliant advice and I do hope Kay and Baylee take your advice on board because it will join them as one for many years together.....

Great post. Something interesting, with the 2 bros I have now, it is the first time in 34 yrs of IS ownership where I did not have an older dog around when the new pup arrived. The cycle got interrupted with the premature death of the guy who should be the role model. Anyway, what a huge difference in how long it is taking the fellas to get civilized without the older dog to 'put his foot down.

Also, my vet and partner ( 2 different people) want me to neuter and I refuse. The vet claims not neutering can lead to prostate problems. Has anyone ever seen this?

Yes, but I hear for IS it is more important for them to mature before neutering. This will help the growth plates mend properly,if fix too early this will interfere with their growth plates and all over health. That is why I decided to wait.
What are you calling mature? Obviously not emotional maturity. That could be ten yrs. LOL So 3ish? I've always had males and have never done it nor had a problem. This business of ruining their coats. Not good. Might as well have a Chesapeake Retriever. LOL
I was told to wait until the age of two. Their coat will change. Baylee is only 10 mos. old right now so who knows what "they" will find in the future.

I have no intention to neuter. I'm just receiving outside pressure.

Sue has given you good advice, none of my entire dogs had this problem.  Vets will pressurize because of their cash register mentality.  You had already come to the right conclusion.   Enjoy him, as you clearly have all of your dogs, and have a good christmas.

"Outside pressure" obviously these folk weren't raised with Bob Barker admonishing them every day to "Remember, please have your pet spayed or neutered " like we were! Haha...Is the U.S. the only country with such an over population of shelter animals? :(

My apologies Finn.....a bit of my Irish in me lol. :)) I've enjoyed this discussion and have learnt so much and us humans have a lot to learn. Take care.




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