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We have a 6-month-old Irish Setter who we enjoy a great deal and give lots of love and attention to. She does an ok job entertaining herself but we do feel sorry for her that she doesn't have anyone to play with when we are not around. We are therefore thinking about getting another Irish Setter to run our large rural lot with her. My question is what should we get a male or a female? I have intended on eventually breeding her but was not planning on keeping a second Setter. We would be able to keep them separate when she is in heat but I am wondering if an unaltered male might have a little too much sexual energy. My brother has two dogs and the male is constantly trying to breed with the female (who is fixed). I feel very bad for the female. His dogs, however, are completely out of control in most other areas as well (my brother isn’t big on training-somehow I think he manages to do the opposite of training and make them more wild then natural). I understand that the male would pursue her when she is in heat but outside of that would they get along? Also would it be helpful that she would be the older and bigger of the two starting out?

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I had an entire male and an entire bitch and never had any problems with the male harrassing the bitch until she was actually in season...and even then, he didn't bother with her until she was at her peak. They are far more interested in just playing together and causing mischief! I haven't found them to be a particularly rampant breed when it comes to overt sexuality...not like my Labrador used to be, anyway. I'd be more worried about what kind of trouble a pair of setters will get up to - my well-behaved boy turned into a brat from hell the moment he had another setter to help "guide" him in the wrong direction!!

Never had a problem with the dog (who is older) being larger or stronger than my bitch. He was very gentle with her when she was a baby, and would even lie down on his side to play with her (which he still does with any puppy - or child, for that matter...he seems to know instinctively not to be a boof-head with the little ones). In fact, she bossed him around, and he took it like a lamb! (And still does, I might add...although possibly this is because a) she's a bitch, and b) waaaay smarter than he is!!)

Setters need other Setters around (well, just my opinion, but they do thrive on having canine playmates). If you're planning on breeding your bitch, why don't you do some research on what lines you like etc and make a decision based on that? Obviously, you want to do all the right health checks on both dogs, and make sure you're breeding for the right reasons - ie bettering the breed, and not just for the pet market. Do you show or work your bitch? What does her breeder think of you breeding from her in the future?

Good luck with finding the right companion for your bitch :)
Are bitches ussually way smarter? I have never been around a dog that is as smart as my setter. I am used to labs, golden retrievers, and small house dogs. The breeder is supportive of her being bred at a later date and I have researched some breeders where I could get my second Irish from. They are all quite a long way off as my area in Louisiana doesn't have any. Though I have read that New Orleans had an Irish Setter club but I haven't found anything on them since Hurricaine Katrina. I don't plan on showing her as that is not a world I know. At this point she is in perfect health and her temperment is everything the breed should be. She also seems to have excellent focus for a pup - but of course still prefers to be silly.
I don't know about all bitches, only speaking for mine. She is definitely smarter than my dog (sorry Fionni, but she is!). They are both smart dogs, though. Fionni flew through 4 obedience levels in 4 weeks, so he's not an idiot. But he doesn't bother to think things through the way she does.

Had a look at her photos - she looks like a lovely little puppy :)
Hi James!

I keep both males and females at my kennel, and I can see a problem with that. Not that the dogs are oversexual or so but when the bitch is in the heat and it comes to mate the instincts will take over. If you can leave the bitch or the dog for a couple of weeks with some friend or so, when she is in season, it will be no problems, but otherwise I really think that it is not fair to any of them especially the dogs. Seing mine who quit eating and feeling very bad and even having prostate problems during this periods.
If you wish to breed your bitch you can mate with some other studdog, you don´t have to own him yourself.
So I believe the best for you is to have another female.

Good luck finding your new familymember,
Greetings Kristina
I do have places that I could bring my Setter but it is really hard to do and I am quite particular about her training. When we first got her we were in a transition from a small apartment to our house. We had her stay with some friends who enjoyed having a puppy but it seemed to take several weeks to break her of some of the bad habits she learned there. I really like the idea of having two girls - partially because I am much more familiar with bitches. One of the drawbacks of that is that an excellent stud dog would be at least a 3 hour drive away.
Hi again!

Well if you decide to have a maledog, there is nothing who says that he will be an excellent studdog. He maybe won´t turn out like you wish, or he can have bad hips or another defect that you wont know when he is a pup. I was driving 10 hours just one way, taking severals day off from work when I was mating my bitch, so 3 hours drive seem like nothing to me, if you really find a studdog that you like that wouldn´t be any problem.

Best Regards Kristina
hehe I wouldn't care if the perfect stud dog was on the other side of the world, if I thought he was right for my bitch.

Anyway, take your time and think about it. She's only young now, and she looks happy and healthy. Enjoy her company while you make your decision :)
My opinion is don't get another dog for wrong reasons. Dogs are not babies, so don't feel sorry if she has no one to play with. You are the one who should be training, playint etc. with your dog. Try agility or really obidience or any other dog activity.

Greetings, Kristina
I would certainly recommend getting another bitch.
It is so much easier and as for getting a dog for future mating, well that is almost impossible as you dont know what is going to appear healthwise in the future with both of them.

I am now presuming that you want to breed in a serious manner with all health-checks done etc. and not just "produce puppies" for neighbours and family.
And honestly...3 hours away for a studdog...that is NOTHING!

As for getting another dog NOW, I would personally never sell a puppy to someone that has a dog as young as yours. I would like the older dog to be at least two years old and mature + trained enough to be able to set a good example for the new family-member. Instead of two dogs (Yes, they will have a great time) getting totally out of controll and not taking much notice of you.
Good luck!
Ursula, very good, I agree with everything you say completely.
Yes I agree with you Ursula...
Why do you not wait until your girl is old enough to produce puppies of her own, she will be mature, and then find the best dog for her, and yes this could be many many miles away, but then you have one of your own breeding, and the bitch would be comfortable with him/her from the beginning, and there is always something satisfying about 'your own breeding'
I had a dog with four bitches, (they weren't Setters), and the dog was a brilliant stud dog, Ha Ha. Right from the word ''go''. When at four months he 'got at' one of my girls, (she was injected and it was a BIG MISTAKE), and as he got older he wasn't interested in the girls until they were 'ready' by this time he had been parted with his 'bits'.He was a gentleman with the girls all the time.
People told me to keep two doors between him and an in season bitch, that would probably have worked with a different breed, but he just ate through both doors in a matter of hours, hence him parting with his bits.
I have always kept bitches since, he was my first male, an absolute sweetheart, and now after many years I am considering keeping a male from my next litter, if that ever happens...
I too think you should wait until she is older before you add another pup to the family! The last thing you want are two pups getting up to mischief while you are not there!! I also think another bitch is a good idea! My bitches play really well together( they are all related!!) But they also get on with most of the bitches staying in the kennels(as long as they are not too dominant!) Males are a bit more complicated, unless they are neutered! Stressful for both the dog and the bitch during heats(bitches are just as keen to see the dog when the time is right, as is the dog! its a two way street!!) ;o))




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