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i have two beautiful girls now aged 9 months

I am a bit concerned about one of them - she comes back when called - the other acts like a real setter and ignores me until she feels like it.

Does anyone else have a setter that displays this unusual behaviour and should I be worried

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So far our Molly here does come when called...sometimes she gives a lingering glance and can almost hear her thinking why can't I stay and play with that bird (up the tree) a wee bit longer but she does come even if a bit slowly so the "selective hearing " does not seem to be as bad as it was in my males.....they eventually came but not before finishing their own agenda's first.  Classes were a joke.....on long off lead downs where you leave your dog...everyone of them would wait til I was half way across the room and then belly crawl after me til they got about half way and then up they would come to run after me so I could not escape.....could always tell when the belly crawl started as I would hear giggles from other owners.....the same dog on recall would take his time if it was HIS idea to explore but heaven forbid if I went to explore alone! Perhaps it just is a trait that our Irish Setter's insist on keeping to keep their servants  trying to please them?
Cash stays near me.  Many know that for the longest time he was about an arms length away and would flit about when I tried to leash him back up to go home.  He refused to get leashed but if I walk off he will follow along.  Just not close enough to grab him.  It became a game of wills that now I have won.  I just stayed cool about it.  Often others would snag him for me and eventually he realized (I am guessing here) that he can't win this one.  I also praised him over with hugs when he did what I wanted him to do.  Now he will do a minute or so of flitting around but then just stops and lets me leash him up.  He loves to run in the field but will not do so unless I come along to at least the edge of the woods.  If I stay on a path he walks with me till we hit the edge and off he goes.  He will then run with abandon chasing birds and checking every tree.  As soon as I head back, he comes along.  I rarely even have to say his name.  He just follows me.  Not sure if that is proper!  And it is just how he is.  I am not much of a formal training type person.  I just love him and make spending time with me fun. 
Sue none of mine could stand to see me walk away from them...had to follow...and heaven forbid if I opened up my car door. My favorite was my Shannon at my Dad's ...woods and lake for them to run free and play in and silly Shannon would go get his leash to be walked on ...had to walk him at least for five minutes before he would run free off lead.  Molly does come so happy we at least are on same page when I am ready to come inside or leave. Even in a wooded area or field mine always had to keep checking on us...be sure they could see us so never too much worry about them wandering off.
Seems my Charlie is a proper setter too then... He will obey most commands at home and in the garden, but once outside, I might as well not exist. I was told a few times (and read in a few books) that to recall train him, I have to make myself the most interesting thing in the world to him... Well he is with me all the time at home, so in a park full of distractions, and considering he has never been even remotely interested in any kind of treat, trying to be the most interesting to him is like trying to convince my kids that their mum is the most exciting thing in the middle of a fairground. Short of dressing up as a squirrel and climbing up a tree, I can't see how to capture his attention!
Ziggy, I could almost have signed your posting off as mine! So Murphy is a real setter boy too and as Eva said to Catherine about her real setter, he is a Louis grandson! Murph is excellent in the house or out in the walks on our own but add into the mix a friendly dog and I have not a chance ..... Folks know us now and they are very patient and even try and hook him for me when its time to go our different ways ..... He is the only dog on our walks like this as others all follow their owners (Murphy would go too given half a chance) but then he is mostly the only setter we see regulary but that has its benefits too as everybody knows he gets so much attention and I think are very fond of him .... The other day 3 of us tried to get him, not making a fuss as we tried to get his collar.  I watched him play a game with us all he would wander up and tease us then run like mad turn around and smile back ..... then I think he got bored as we werent chasing him shouting or making a fuss and he walked over to me and stood .... I explained to the others Murphy is ready to come now he likes to do things in his own time! Murphy is teaching me that patience is very important when learning to be a setter owner! Perhaps everybody thinks I am mad on the walks but I do have so much fun with my boy and his ways ...... We are getting there!

Fred has me trained! Often other dog walkers who all know him will call him and he always goes to them ...why not me?I have tried the squirrel suit but all I got was howls of laughter from my dogs!

The trick of walking away from your dog and him following doesn't work either.Fred will watch me go and he will sit and sit and sit,I once walked the length of a field and round the other side and he never moved.He will then wait for me to go back, he stays sitting and then with kind words of'Good Boy' (and under my breath 'little b*****d!'),I can catch him.But I do think ,as he reaches eight years old, he is getting a little more responsive............I think!

Arthur has yet to refine his skills in not returning but if he sees something really interesting,like a blackbird or a paper bag,or another dog,then I might as well not be there!

And we love 'em.

Take heart Howard

Jasmine is now very nearly obediant...(except when she smells horse poo, and she reverts back to the true Irish Setter that she is)

She is now just over 10 years old....so there is hope for your wee b*****d, I think most Irish will come to that particular name....and you are so rite...we do love 'em....

These postings have made me and Joan laugh such a lot.I am just glad I am not the only one to have a normal setter!

I agree, this is a very funny thread... I sometimes worry I'd done things wrong when Charlie doesn't appear to be the perfect obedient dog... so reading that other setters confirm he's just a normal irish boy is very reassuring...

He might not be top dog when it comes to recall and training, but he's a most affectionate, funny and sweet boy... he's our first ever dog, neither myself nor DH had dogs before, even as kids, so it was a steep learning curve, and I'm very pleased we've gone for an Irish, they have a beautiful temperament...


Now... where do I find a squirrel suit???

That's a brilliant story... made me laugh...

Lovely thread Alan.

I have 4 normal setters and one very well fenced field. 

Pitanga was a normal setter until she was about 2 years old. Then something happened and she decided that I was important even if she was not attached to me by a leash. Even worse, she just stopped pulling me on the leash!! I was very concerned and even started a discussion about it at the time =). Romã always had abnormal tendencies but fortunately playing with her mother gave her a few months of relative normality.

Today I fell I run a freak show. We may be in the park and they might be chasing invisible birds, but if I pull the leashes of my pocket I'll have too reds running to me and waiting by my side to get their leashes on - I don't even have to call them!!! They are also glad to follow me without a leash in the most interesting/crouded/scary/etc place. It gives me the chills every single time... I haven't shouted since Pitanga had her ear surgery and started listening properly again.

They would be very offended if I tried on the squirrel suit, because my normal boring me is enough for them, but I would looooove to see photos of those of you who are considering trying it on =)




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