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Hamilton and Micawber took their Silver and Gold respectively last week and they both FAILED!!!

Hamilton thought he was in the puppy class (he's only 7 years old) and it was time to have a romp with all the other dogs who were needless to say beautifully behaved. Fortunately he wasn't the only one to fail but he was certainly the only one who thought it was playtime.

Micawber on the other hand really did give it a go but failed to stay in the 'down' position for the allotted 2 minutes, having become thoroughly bored with the whole procedure, he thought he'd go over to play with Saffie the little border collie who amazingly did not budge an inch and passed with congratulations from the trainer for ignoring this glorious, elegant lump of Red.

The Examiner came over during the testing while I was watching Micawber with Andrew doing the handling and said 'I bet those 2 are spoilt' would we, no never we couldn't possibly spoil our 'boys' could we???

So back to the drawing board or rather the basics fortunately the trainers are happy to have them back to disrupt their otherwise perfect classes!! Did anyone ever find it was boring being an IS custodian?



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The trainers should pay you for providing the other dogs with such sterling tests of their obedience as Hamilton and Micawber!

I think they should consider paying us for entertainment better than most TV programmes these days
That just made me laugh out loud. It truely epitomises what we all just love about Irish Setters! The fun and unpredictability! First time I've found the heart to laugh so endearingly about Setters since our beloved Chloe passed in November. Thank you!

The other week I was reading a book about dog's brains and behaviour and they listed the IS as medium trainability high reactivity, and somethings else. I was furious to read this and was complaining about it all week long. I mean, how dare they, saying IS are only medium trainable???? I considered it a huge offense to me, my girls and the breed!

"They are such nice and trainable dogs!!! pffffff It's so clear they never even saw a setter. let alone training them! Damned labrador lovers" Was my favourite sentence that week.

Then, last week, a friend asked me to help her train her GSD young male, who broke a leg and has been resting at home for the past month, becaming a bit hyper! So I started my impossible task on monday. After a 5 min session I realised why they call IS a medium trainable dog! =)

Gotta love your gorgeous red clowns! =)

My first Irish named Ben and over 30 years ago now was so clever and crafty...in class he was the perfect dog we got to the highest level..the school where we went trained police dogs and we got sooo much praise ..how proud we were when we left training with all the certifcates and ribbons.....

Along the road we would walk to our local field for some excersise all at heel of course.....through the gate and onto the grass...perfect.

Unclip the lead and he was off....Barking at full volume and running in huge circles.....and in true setter style completly deaf...there were times when it took over 2 hours to catch him..he would never run away ...but just stayed at arms length..I would have to hide from him because if he could not see me he would panic.....he often came home with 4 sore paws..and at home he was back to being a perfect dog. Recall was the main reason we went training it worked in class ..lol....but we did make a lot of new friends who would all try to help me catch him...Had to make sure I had a free day before he was let off the lead...I used to use a lunge rein (which was used for my horse)clip him on that and I still had control we would walk along with him running in circles and Barking....those were the days...lol

Same problem with Hamilton, Jennie, off leash and he's gone Micawber goes round in circles trying to find him. At training last week the trainer had to relate Micawber's antics in agility 'bridge stop sit on top' 'A frame sit on top' 'seesaw sit balancing on the middle' no way was he budging until he'd grabbed everyone's attention. He takes twice as long as the other dogs to complete the course. No chance of being a wallflower with our 2 around!!
Think you're right Sue it depends on the dog or the custodian who isn't too good at training. I had one IS who could not resist squirrels they seemed to play a game around the trunks of some beautiful oak trees until one day Sheena got bitten on her nose. It taught her a lesson but she still wouldn't come back to a recall

I agree Cornelia......I found all the Irish I have owned to be very trainable.

An update on Micawber's training exploits seem to be in order. On Wednesday evening he managed to concentrate for most of the 45 minutes however all is not well, whilst talking to the trainer outside the hall the Examiner who failed Micawber walked past with his very well trained golden retriever. I'm not sure if Micawber was annoyed at being failed on his gold or really disliked the retriever but he took a lunge at him with teeth and feet this happens to be very unusual behaviour for Micawber especially as the other dog was not an entire male. I think it' s called how to succeed and influence people needless to say Micawber was 'told off'

Thank you all for posting about your dog's antics. At least I know now that I'm not alone. :) One minute Errol is as good as gold sharply returning on the whistle the next he buggers off deaf to any recall commands. Completely unpredictable. Unfortunately I still have the nagging feeling that it's us owners that are too blame because we're all - at heart - far too soft with our Reds.


This is why I love Irish setters. I went to puppy classes with Millie and without fail every week she would fall asleep half way through, and I had to keep waking her up to carry on training. Irish setter seem to decide when and how they behave.




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