This thread was started in the Setter behaviour group but I think both Susan and I felt it would be better in the main section as we have plenty of field-trail setters owners that may be able to give a hint. I have trained and competed with differant dogs but have found one scecific problem with most of my setters = Retrieving.
It started with my first ever setter, I was used to training german Shephards and there was no problem to teach them to retrieve. It was a piece of cake...just throw something...and they fetched it.
Well ALMOST as easy as that.
I tried the same with my first setter and came to a grinding halt.
I went to see Mr James (Wendover kennels in England) and told him about my problem.
(These were the early 70's...so perhaps english rules were differant, I dont know) but Mr James told me that a setter was NOT supposed to retrieve! After all, that was what you had other breeds for!
I then moved to Sweden and found setters retrieving at field-trials.
Well generally I feel that (compared to other breeds) the irish setters I breed are not too happy about retrieving. A few have been naturals, but frankly most of them NOT.
Susan has a young dog that appears to retrieve everything...but not cold game.
We can try to copy in the beginning of the discussion so you can see how far we have got and what suggestions you may have?