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I have never had much faith in professional training classes having been thrown out many years ago with my first IS but I have to say my opinion has completely changed during the past 6 weeks. Micawber who came to us at 10 mths now 23 months has become this beautfully well-behaved boy I never expected to have the pleasure of owning. Still naughty but at training every Wednesday evening he is now for the 2nd week running top of the class and not only that he actually enjoys showing off his new found skills, tomorrow morning he's off to his first agility class. It helps that the trainer at our first meeting said 'I like him he's very intelligent' naughty but nice!!

How different it is to the very first training classes I went to with Sheena all those years ago.

Would love to hear what experiences good or bad other IS owners have had.

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does anyone know of any classes in the South Essex area? There's so many out there but it's a bit of a minefield to find a good one. Ollie and I have done very well independently; he will sit, lay down, give paw, leave, and his recall is getting much better now that I've realised he has a bit of an obsession with sticks in the park!  Just want to get him better when he meets new people. He has even improved meeting new dogs; I let him off for the first time on my own in a gated park (usually Dan and I go together - I've always been afraid he'll run off but bit the bullet this week) and there was a little 6 month old Spaniel girl there - he went and said hello and then came to me as he was more interested in my stick!!! 


Are you anywhere near Colchester?
oh and ANYONE who says IS are not trainable can get a big can of whoopass from me...they ARE!!  They love nothing more than to please their owners!!!  You may have to work a bit harder but, correct me if I'm wrong, their breed is to sniff things out...so if they pick up a scent they are doing their job, not ignoring you and being stupid.  Beagles have a very similar reputation but no one bad mouths them!!! Harumph!!

It's been so great reading about everyone's experiences.....I have three IS boys...when I was at the vet for my first visit he took great delight in telling me that IS are really stupid and have no brains...needless to say I don't see THAT vet anymore but I had the same reaction at training classes which i ignored and Merlin has gone onto do his bronze and silver Good Citizen.....we had done the training for bronze and a few days before the test we were at a show which was doing the bronze test so decided to put him in as a trial run...despite in classes being a clown..he did it all perfectly..back at classes the trainer then said "oh well you better try the silver" obvioulsy we had not practised some of the elements but Merlin took it all in his stride and passed that as well!! He is the same at agaility, pretends to be a clown but is actually having a .lot of fun (the reason we are doing it) and can do it perfectly well when he needs to!


Jack, my second boy just hid under a chair for 5 of his 6 week socialisation class but un beknown to us was poorly so that might explain why. We took Harry to obedience where he did the down and stay while my husband left the room, he made himself so comfortable he was on his back, legs in the air when Graham returned!!


I do obedience stuff by myself with them all and they absolutely LOVE it, they get totally overexcited and have to walk them around til they settle before we start..no way are they stupid!! 

My first Irish Setter, Murray, and I used to represent my local dog club in obedience competitons against other local towns Our team consisted of 5 German Shepherds and an Irish Setter......... one judge said what a joy it was to see him take part.

I can't say he was the most obedient dog versa the GSD's/Border Collies, as he was more interested in the end of the competition and the buffet table - hey ho.

So pleased you found classes you both enjoy. Micawber was yet again 'star' of the class on Wednesday his recall is down to perfection although Andrew made the mistake of leaving his little bag of cooked chicken on the stage. Micawber had obviously seen him do this, the trainer took him to the other end of the hall, removed his lead, Andrew called and Micawber ran for all he was worth jumped onto the stage and grabbed his bag of chicken. The trainer couldn't believe Micawber had seen where Andrew had put his chicken pieces - no flies on these Setters so clever and a laugh a minute!!

When I was at a show in Queen Elizabeth park with Murray, he did a perfect recall, sat for 30 seconds and then bolted into the forest area ....... 30 minutes later we returned and were disqualified .......




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