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Hi, my 8mth old red setter is welcoming us  when we come down in the morning  mouthing still for at least 20 mins any ideas how to stop him. He also his very fussy with his eating any ideas there.

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Do you mean nibbling, Lillian? Also what do you mean about fussy with the eating? Is it only certain things, or not eating at all? Best wishes.

Hi James, thanks for replying,paddy keeps mouthing us when we come down in the morning, and sometimes he hurts,he wont stop until i tap him one or shout at  him , its as if he bully's us.also he has selective hearing , his eating habits have gone right out the window , he thinks he's one of us . any ideas????? lizzi

Hi Lillian, So you are not alone! We are going through something similar with our nearly 7 month old. He is also a mouthy nibbler and jumper! Although we have no problems with his eating, as he is a great eater. We haven't reached the stage where he can remain with us while we are eating, as he will only sit for a few seconds before bugging us for share. We put him in his crate, but keep him a little something which he is made to sit for after we have finished! He is a selective hearer as well, but young as they are, I firmly believe that they know exactly what they are doing! There is a battle of wills going on in our house at present, with him not wanting to be told what to do, and me making him do what I want him to do. It can be exasperating at times, but believe me you must persevere, and keep reprimanding him for doing wrong. I simply keep saying NO firmly to the mouthing and jumping, and it even gets to the stage where I will nip him for mouthing (which he doesn't like!) and jump on him for jumping at us (which he also doesn't like). Whether or not this is the right thing to do, it works for me and works quickly! I have read enough from other members on E.S. that these and many other traits in setter puppies are common but can and often do change as they age. I am however of the opinion that you must continually train and condition them to make sure that it does change. As far as the eating situation is concerned, if he does not want to eat his own food but wants yours, then you will probably have to keep him out of the kitchen/dining room when you are eating until he eventually eats his own first. (My sister's first boy had to be hand fed for a few years like Howards, although not any more!). At least take comfort that you are not alone, in respect of your boy's behaviour, Lillian. And remember, if he was in a dog pack, he would quickly be made aware of the boundaries of what is allowed and what is not! So make sure he understands his place in your pack and do not allow any bad behaviours! Where your dog sleeps is a personal choice. We also have ours sleeping in the bedroom with us. Many do and just as many do not. It is not an answer to anything, but I do know that a dog is always happier when it is close to it's human family. Lastly, you have not said if your boy is destructive! Do you have a crate? I would not be without one until maturity. Our boy is never left with the run of the house if we have to leave him alone! Best wishes and hope some of the replies have either helped or given you relief that you are not alone. Also use the search box in the forum tab at the top of the page to seek out information on a whole range of issues.

lol, you nip him?! Ha ha ha ha!!! And jump on him?!
I'd love to see a video of your technique :D

That's right. If he hurts or nips, he gets nipped back with a firm NO! And if he jumps up, he gets put down, as it were, with a firm NO! And as for the video, well, some things are best kept to oneself, as someone incognito like yourself will understand!

Hi James , can't stop laughing at the part of the conversation jumping on your dog perhaps i might try that, only he'd end up like a cardboard cutout ,i would never say to any of my friends!!Oh get a red setter the are really nice dogs !! only to people i don't like lol lizzi

It's a bit like pawing him down with my hands, Lilian, lol (perhaps jumping was the wrong expression). You know, like giving him a taste of his own behaviour to see how he likes it! And do you know what? He doesn't! And it is working! Rory is my first pup, and he can be wilful and headstrong if allowed (which he is not!). We were ruined by my beloved Romeo, who came to us at five years of age, fully trained and exceptionally behaved. This, I now realise, was only because of the amount of work put in by Tony & Rachel (who gave him to us) in his puppyhood. Rachel told me that they require a lot of work, training and conditioning to get them to that stage, and boy do I now understand! However, I am definitely not allowing bad behaviour, and rewarding good behaviour. It can be exasperating at times, but without putting in the work now, they would just carry on doing what they want, rather than what you want! Here's hoping I survive it! lol.

I made the mistake once of having our red girl sleep downstairs on the ground floor in her own bed for the first year. I was a newbie to the dog world and thought, this is how it is done and besides: Our stairs were dangerously slippery. What a joy to our Joy, when she finally managed those stairs and I brought her bed up! She would not stay in her bed though but on the hard ground right besides mine. So that's where her bed went in form of a kiddy bed mattress. And when she became an epileptic and sometimes when feeling sick, afraid of another seizure, she learned that it is nice and comforting to come up on our bed and snuggle in - and we learned that it is a setter we brought to our home and that the setter is indeed a special breed. Now this is probably not the answer, you expected, but should we ever get another pup into our home, I'd never have the little one stay anywhere else but right where we are - maybe in a small kennel or den, if in need of a good nights rest before a long working day but in the same room nevertheless. Our girl was a very mouthy youngster btw., biting quite hard actually! She’s an ever so content and gentle lady now, having had her morning cuddles long before coming down in the morning. Maybe, I should teach her, how to make coffee :-)). Enjoy your Paddy and have a Happy 2017! C & J 

Hi Cornelia, thanks for replying so soon , i have a monster on my hands,he's lovely sometimes but most of the time he thinks our limbs are for biting and chewing .the one thing he gets me with he will run round the yard with things in his mouth and will not drop them he thinks everything a game very disobedient, he tries to avoid his own food and tries to eat ours,when visitors come he constantly jumps up them and tries to bite them not aggressively but will not stop and hurts. any advice will be welcome .... lizzi

Hi Lilian, We had a biting, fighting monster at home, jumping up like a rubber ball, faster, than what I could turn round, tearing my blouse and jacket. I was wearing long sleeves and trousers all summer to at least protect my skin! But she eventually grew out of it and with a lot of patience and training turned into the most lovely lady. Here’s how it looked when she was young - note the careful way, I still touch that ‚shark’ when in play in the last photo:


Like Howard already mentioned, it is a good thing to give Paddy toys, he can put his teeth in and tear: Soft toys, toys with ropes, thick ropes with knots or simply an old towel with a knot in; also things to chew on or a kong filled with some meetpaste or treats to keep him occupied. Joy started one day to put her teeth into the knot of the girdle of my old morning gown and that way get her morning cuddles. She does not do that anymore, she holds me with her paw now, wrapped around my leg but holding she does from time to time.

One very difficult bit of advice we got, but the best, we got, was to ignore the dog at certain moments - now that’s a hard one when you have a dog that is jumping up and even nibbling on your trouseres with each step you make, trying to walk away form the scene. Ignoring means, no touching, no talking and not even looking at your dog. When Joy went overboard in play, I shouted ‚NO’, turned round and simply walked away from the scene - or as said before not that simply:-)).

A kiddy gate bewteen two rooms or like we have, between the entrance and the living room area is helpful when having guests or when you want Paddy to settle down or out of harms reach. Sometimes, we also used a house leash of about two meters, bound to the piano or a heavy piece of furniture (only when we were present though!) and that way she was with us but could not constantly try to get our attention by nibbling at our legs or being a nuisance to our guests.

What also helped was a change of routine. We noticed that her going-overboard-time was during certain hours of the day or at certain moments, like as you say, when coming down in the morning. With a kiddy gate to the entry, you could first thing in the morning go to the entrance, close the gate behind you, silently put on your shoes and jacket and then turning round, put the collar on your dog without even looking into his eyes - he’s probably anyway startled by your totally diffent actions by now - and take him for a small morning walk - and hopefully enjoy your first morning coffee afterwards. 

Oh and when it came to 'stealing' things, we started to swop with something better, when Joy got hold of something, she shouldn't - most of the things were put out of reach anyway but there was a time, when she picked up stones in the garden, trying to engage me in play and this could have been dangerous to her. She once swallowed a stone and we were very lucky that it found it's way out again. Enjoy your red rascal and let us know, how you fare. C & Joyful

Happy New Year.

.Art is a fussy eater in that he likes to have his first meal hand fed......and I am daft enough to do it.............and he is six! His second meal of the day he eats quite happily unaided.

As for mouthing ,I would suggest having a cuddly toy or something else and replacing yourself with that!

Good Luck ,



Sounds like a pretty typical young Irish Setter....I kept baskets around the house with variety of toys to give to avoid the mouthing. ...loud ouch and No (even pretend crying) often changed the mood. Substitute as much as you can so Paddy learns acceptable things to chew on. Training is ongoing when they're young....I used gentle training only and another form of good very small treat just for training....kept a few in my pocket and threw a quick training session in when behavior was slipping into the wild side. ....often changed that mood to a pup eager to please. I used a short leash for training when we had company and once calm kept them close to me in anticipation of one of the treats in my pocket. Jumping is hard to break ....I tried the turn around as I firmly said no and walked away. Tapped back paw with my foot to bring four paws back to the floor and finally decided to use my training treats to teach "four on the floor" into either a sit or a down. I started with them with paws on my arm or shoulders....gave the four on floor command as I stepped away or removed my arm....rewarded four on floor with praise and treat. Repeated over and over til four on floor was automatic and added the sit or down. Treats phased out slowly so sometimes just praise and sometimes a treat. I also train with hand signals to add changes and challenges for them..they will learn to watch you while training for those signals and I thinks it adds to my bond with them. Borrowing items is part of the game for them....life to an Irish is one big,joyous game. Crate or some form of containment when you are gone is safer for them than an Irish running amok in your home. All of ours grew out of having to be contained once they figured out it got them crated when gone. Our Molly regularly steals a tea towel and teases us with it, hides it or wants a game of chase...which we laugh at as that towel is never used by us....it's hers but the stealing of it satisfies her sense of getting away with something! Socks she borrows to hide....if they'd put them where they belonged it wouldn't happen! Our most talented and creative "borrowers" were the Irish we had while our girls were growing up...perhaps competition for attention or reactions they got out of our girls were a part of that. The two with only adults in the house didn't seem to feel the need to counter surf or borrow (except Molly's tea towel).

I never fed from the table ever and usually feed our pups first. Any table foods (green beans, tidbits of fish or chicken ) were placed in their bowl as I did the cleanup after a meal. Ours always laid on a rug while we ate. Hang in there it does get better.....and you will someday laugh at some of their wilder moments.

PS....I also do the trade for things they shouldn't have ....don't need to do it very often now with Molly but when she first came home we were trading at least once a day! Good luck and hope you soon find your Paddy to be a perfect gentleman (most of the time)





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