Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

Hi, great to find this group. I had to smile, when I read that other people love their dogs as much as their children. I feel the same. Not many people understand that.

Before we got Gina & Anton, I read all these expert books about dog training, and they all more or less said that you should show your dog who is the boss. I found that most of these book lack respect for our fellow creatures and felt apalled by so much "expert" information.

Now, most of the time I do the opposite of what they write in their fancy books. Our "kids" grow up in a loving family. They are pampered, have nice little coats for wind and rain, get the best food and the best places to be, one being the couch. Training is playful with lots of fun. They get heaps of cuddles and never a harsh word. (well, we are consistent with some house rules, but that's something different, isn't it).

I even roll on the floor with them when we play (an absolute NO! according to the experts), they roll all over me, and we have fun.

Yet they respect us, the same as we respect them, as individuals, as family members and as dogs. They do what we trained together in order to be safe in a human world, and they trust us 100 per cent. I could not give back all the love and happiness these two give me in a lifetime!

I'd love to read your personal experience. Have your dogs ever taken advantage of your love and gentleness, as the experts say? Which "rank" have your dogs in your family?

Ilona

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Replies to This Discussion

It is interesting how much training has changed over the years. I never heard of dog classes when we first got a dog in the 60's. Off course I was very young then. I took a puppy agility class with Scout which was required by the trainer I had trained with for several years. You were requied to read several books and when I questioned some of the ideas I was told I had to try them first. One was only feeding your dog by hand not from a bowl. Try that working full time and commuting 5 hours a day. Needless to say husband would not feed any dog this way.

All my dogs are part of the family and are allowed on the bed and couch with me. It is hard to go to bed and not know where everyone is. Usually Hawk is on the bed, Tiz is either on the bed or next to it and Lady lays at the door so she knows whenever someone gets up as she can not hear very well and does not want to be left out on anything.

I think some of the information from the training book can be helpful. No one knows all the answers and you have to be open to other ideas. Somethings work with one dog but not another. I think it is the same with children.

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