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Hi fellow setter owners
Our Irish setter Harley have started this thing now where she will start barking out of nowhere to get attention. Sometime also jump on us. We had a smilier problem a little while back when she was younger, but she grew out of that "biting" phase. she's now 8 months old and I've read other places that they go through phases where they "try" you out because they are natural "pack leaders" and we are trying our very best to let her know that she is not the one in charge, we are. However as of right now nothing seems to really stop her or make it better in any way. It's only been about a week of this, but it is tiring and I'd like to see if someone has gone through the same/ have any advice.
If we keep busy and do stuff most of the day she's fine. It is, especially, at night when we want to sit down and relax she does this. It is for attention, but no matter how much we love her and to play with her we cannot play with her constantly all the time or do something that has to do with her. Both me and my partner works form home at times and sitting down in the front room for longer periods of time have been impossible the last week. Most people I've seen talk about this, talk about the dogs not getting enough exercise, but I don't think that is the problem here, as we take her for at least 3/4 walks a day. On a normal day 1 long walk in the morning, a shorter one mid day and in the afternoon another long and one shorter at night. She has lots of toys, a big back yard we let her run around in and we play with her as much as we can. We are hoping it is just her "I'm going to test you" phase she is going through right now, however any advice or ideas on how to make this a little more enjoyable is greatly appreciated, we would like to be able to have company over without having to worry about her having one of her "tantrums" as we like to call it and have to put her in the kitchen (Which we use as a crate. with a baby gate in front of the door)
Don't know if anyone would agree with me but get a water pistol. Let her bark a few times and when you stay stop or enough or no and she carries on squirt her. Worked for Jamie.
the best water pistol and I have had a few, not just for Jamie but for my hubby and son, are the nerf zipfire super soaker, absolutely brill! x
They do keep trying things out. Ours didn't bark at us....our Irish lads were thieves! Not getting enough attention? Oh well, I'll steal this book, doll,pillow, her sandwich,shoe,...the possibilities were endless but resulted in chases by our daughters which delighted our Irish lads. Moms watching tv....empty the toy box one by one and toss it on her lap....eventually Mom will give up and play fetch with us (we knew if we touched a toy the gig was up as then it was playtime so we'd stand up letting the toys just fall).
Allison's idea of a water bottle to squirt her once with might work but be careful that it doesn't turn into a fun game....Irish Setters see life as one big,happy game and they're very adept at making sure their life is full of fun.
Perhaps try a short training session when she barks....rewards for doing the proper sit etc and end with a down or place command if she has a special bed or spot she likes to lounge at.
Good luck....:) let us know what works.
One thing....the more exercise you give the wonderful Irish the more they want and if they don't get it....stand by to be told off. I work for myself and find I must not go over board with walks when we are quiet or I get well and truly told off and then some :-) My two boys love their walks ....the more the better.
Please remember if they're anything like our Molly...if you do something with them once and they like it ...it's now part of their routine that they will beg you to do again. (We had one that thought being squirted with water was jolly fun)
Harley sounds remarkably like our 9 month old Misty. She too loves our total attention, which is not possible all the time as we have 3 boys too. As she is number 17 we are completely gobsmacked that she has become numero uno in the household. She is without doubt the most intelligent setter we have had and runs rings round us!!
We withdraw attention from her and generally speaking she gets the message. We also use simple obedience stuff to occupy her mind and get her into focus mode. If all else fails then she is put in her crate to calm down, and then the crazy creature won't come out again! Oh yes! She knows who is boss! However, we will get there in the end ...probably in about 3 years time. Just play the long game ha ha:)
On a serious note, she really needs to learn to be happy by herself. Have you tried leaving her with a stuffed kong? If its frozen it can take ages to get through.