I don't see much discussion on problems, but with the world of knowledge in here, hopefully you have ideas for me. Dublin is a fantastic dog, I got so lucky again. BUT....(always a but) I have a daily issue that is causing me a great deal of stress. Setters are talkers. Big talkers and he is very vocal about everything. We go daily for his run to the dog park which is about a 15 minute drive. His excitement every day results in whining, singing and then full out barking the whole way. I have to say that at times I am at my wits end and it is almost hard to concentrate on the road during this. He is tethered to the rear of my hatch so he can only stay directly behind me. I drive a VW GTI, so he has tons of room with my seats down but not enough room for that kind of crazy barking in my right ear. How do you teach a dog to quiet down. HE will for a cookie of course, but I can't drive and do training at the same time! Going home is settled and calm because he is beat. It is just the ride to the park that is the problem. Its odd because he doesn't do it on the way to petsmart, and he loves it there also. It is the anticipation of the RUN that does it. He is very stimulated to the other cars around us zipping by and to anyone on the street for that matter. He is quite territorial about our property and car. Looks almost vicious but he is really a sweetheart. Ideas? Or is it a lost cause that I have to live with?
I see you are getting LOADS of advice and it is not going to be easy for you to decide which road to follow... This is quite a typical problem when it comes to giving advice on-line without actually seeing and assessing the dog, the owner and the problem at first hand. I feel it would be best if you contact a recommended pet behaviour specialist.
Maybe I should reconsider the electronic collar. I have heard that once is usally enough for a smart dog and that just the vibration or warning hum I guess it is, reminds them and end of problems hopefully. If I could afford a behaviorhist, that would be my first choice. But the economy hit us hard with work and I have to do this on my own for now. Today with the sun shining, I am going to at least give the "Car stops moving towards my park" routine. And see if he is bright enough to figure it out. Someone recently suggested a muzzle, but I can't do that to him. Some website on dog breeds was where I read about the barking thing, can't remember which site now, I will look. But I am glad to hear that many of you have quiet setters. I do know with our last two, after about age 4 then mellowed into a fine whine so to speak. LOL
His quirkiness is amusing to me at times. He will run in the rain all day in the woods, but at home, if the ground is wet, he stands on three legs and hops around trying to go potty and runs back inside like he will melt. He does this thing with his food and water where is has to eat on the food side next to the window but to drink he walks all the way around the table to the other side and stands there. Never will he eat without first sniffing three times and looking around first. And his sleeping arrangements change about once a month or so. He sleeps on the couch for about a month, then might decide to sleep with my son for a month then again with us for a while. I smile while typing this because again Dublin is an oddball that you just can't help but fall in love with.
I'm horrified to think that anyone is using an electric shock collar on an Irish Setter, or indeed any breed. There are better ways of training a dog than inflicting a painful electric shock when they don't learn fast enough. For goodness sake, this is the 21st century, surely such draconian methods should have died out by now.
I believe Ursula gave very sound advice, bad habits are harder to break than they are to make. Sorting this one out is going to take a little time and patience.
Good luck Susan L, please don't resort to hurting Dublin, he loves and trusts you.
I love Exclusively Setter too, and consider it a place where all can share their advice or 'what worked for me' stories. People all around the world wanting what's best for this most special breed : )
Susan was given ALOT of good advice, and will do what seems to make the most sense to her. Nobody would ever want her (or anyone) to try something they were not comfortable with, and she is obviously a caring owner who will consider all her options. It is always interesting (to me) to hear what worked for other people! I also have had dogs for many years, pets that play with me in obed, conf, hunting.... I am always looking for tips etc from other trainers, and thank them for their input, even if I decide that way is not for me! I would hate people to stop sharing because they were afraid of making others angry. I have found when asking for advice online, it's best to read it all, see what makes sense to you, and don't EVER do anything to your dog that you are not comfortable with just because someone else recommends it! /// Joan
Sorry didn't mean to cause a fuss by asking. I meet lots of people who have used the ecollar and they basically say that once was enough for their dog etc. Others use it often. I never have. In theory it sounds like a plan for us, but I really don't think I will have the courage to use it on him. I am a softy like my dog and I am more the put up with it type. Hard as that might be. But I am at least thinking about it. I know many trainers use them and many will not.
"You see you can't train modern sporting dog without profi help and without special devices"
If this statement (made by Gennadi) is a correct observation, I find that there is something very wrong with the modern sporting dog...when did we go from dogs that could be trained and work with their trainers to dogs that need a battery to function?
Exactly!! How were dogs trained many many years ago before e collars were invented!! I have successfully trained a setter(a crazy one!) to do an agility course happily(having never trained one before!) and it was with reward and partnership between me and dog! If I had used strong methods Megan would not have done anything for me!!! Setters all over the world are trained without e collars!!
Must say I agree with Camilla and Carmel
For many many years there were wonderful Field Trial Irish Setter Champions in Ireland --- before the invention of e-collars!
Wonder how come those trainers could do without and not the modern day trainer??? Why?
Is it the trainer? more patience then, the dogs? not quite so hyper then, or both?
Sometimes its a idea to look backwards and see how things were done before and figure out the how and why!
Surely those methods can still be applied to-day?
Actually I was looking for the pics with Vito and your at dummy training, when I found your answer to Dublins' vocal communication. You may remember that I am German, too, and I know exactly what you mean. However, if you think dog schools with bossy instructors are a German trait - it's the same here in Australia.
We went to our local dog school, and the training was supposed to be "positive". What we encountered was this: 20 dogs being shouted at "sssssittt!" - "hhhhheeeeellll" (also "Fuss") by their people, under the controlling command of a grumpy, tightmouthed instructor. Gina and I are gentle personalities. We do not need all this shouting. Actually, I can politely ask her and then say "thank you, well done".
I told this Mister Grumpy, the instructor. He just laughed at me. "You have to make it clear: Gina is your dog, not the other way round!" We left and never went back.
Next day I had a splitting headache, because Gina had gone into such a panic that she pulled on the lead to get away from all this. The poor little dog (she was 6 months old) was traumatized and wouldn't move from her bed for our morning walk.
I believe, no matter where you live, some people simply have the need to power up their ego by bossing other creatures about.
As you wrote - not our dogs are the learners, we are. So I learn and Gina helps me. We invent a lot of games - already started with dummy training, with socks, old clothes, leaves in the park. She sits and stays while I hide behind a bush and she finds me - when we see one another it's a big fuss - it's so much more fun without being a bully!
I wish you and Vito all training and dummy fun in the world - without bossy "Gute deutsche Schaeferhunde" instructors, if you get my drift.
(Auf englisch geschrieben damit andere es verstehen)