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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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With my dog Maggie I was having problems with her so took her to dog training,this was a few years ago and she was 9 months old.It was before the days of treat training and,although it was hard work,she learn't very quickly.She would do all stays,walk to heel off lead and ,in class,everything she was supposed to do.Even leaving her in a down stay and leaving the room ,she would stay until I returned .She was amazing ,I kept going to DT for  four years and she went through the grades and won several rosettes,we both enjoyed it very much. All without using treats.The treat was the fuss and praise that I gave her.The only thing we failed on was retrieve but the test was for her to retrieve a sausage and return it and give it to me.She retrieved the sausage and, about two feet from me,swallowed it! When recalled she would dance about as she returned,full of joy and enjoyment.Then they decided to introduce treat training,yes it is easier but it was useless for Maggie as she would stop whatever she was doing and find somebody elses treats.She ate a lot of cheese treats! She even sat quietly next to one owner and ,without him noticing,chewed through his trousers and ate the treats in his pocket! I decided that it would be better to leave,she would be ready every Tuesday evening for months waiting to go.I felt quite sad for her.I made some good friends there and we are still friends.Most of the dogs have now,sadly ,gone.

Well done Finn and Lois!

 

I have allways trained my dogs in one way or another and had various breeds before I ended up with my first ever setter.

I have done obedience, tracking, water-retrieving and also militairy training with setters (involving search and rescue etc).

When I made up my first Irish setter obedience-champion, I had the remark from the local training-group: Now that you have achived this, and have proven your point, get a real dog!

 

Well instead I had three setters in champion-class.

I needed to prove another thing...not only could this be done with setters...it was not going to be a once-off-thing, it can be done with all!

My last one being Ettan (SLCH LP1, LP2, LP3, LP ELIT Röde Baronens Long Tall Sally).

And she certainly IS my last one to compete at these leves at!

You will not be able to stay away from competing at higher levels, I was told, but making up a setter-champion that can compete with the far more naturals (border-collies) in this sport will take almost 5 years. I have competed to FCI-rules that are a lot harder that the english version.

And 15 years in a trot is a long time, but 3 champions in a row was a nice feeling...

So yes, it can be done!

And with any setter...its just a matter of wanting to (badly enough).

And being determained.

Ettan (the last of the three) was such hard work at times that I remember driving home from many training-sessions in tears and then searching through the web for Border-collie-puppies...haha...but we made it!

 

The photo is Ettan and me on my beach having reached the title...

 

 

Attachments:

Congratulations on your and your dogs achievements.

That is a lovely photo.

Thank you Howard!

These type of photos are normally very traditional (and are proudly displayed on the wall of the traing-club you belong to).

Without exception people wear their training-gear and sit in "obedience surroundings" with their dogs (all wearing choke-chains) on their left side.

I wanted something different and even borrowed a sparkly collar from a poodle-owner...unfortunatly (appart from almost strangling the dog at the time) it does not come across as being quite as flashy as I had hoped...:-)

Ursula,

Thank you for posting these great achievemenets....Congrats again......

I am trying to do a bit of basic gundog training with my young bitch ( this is mixed with other gundog breeds) and the 1st thing the trainer said ( and she has Golden Retrievers) was :' now don't forget Irish Setters are scatty!'  Well Venus is my number 12 Irish Setter living at home with us and I nealy left there and then! Anyway, I am persevering because amongst these' non-scatty dogs' , she seemed to behave rather better than most!

You know Catherine...the type of remarks about setters being scatty and untrainable are the best that could be made to me.

Its those type of remarks that made me want to prove a point! :-)

Finn,

Don't worry Finn, I know exactly what can be achieved with an Irish......Roger and Kim quarter the land very well and are whistle trained....I expect Kim will go shooting with my husband this season.  I am sorry to say though (and disagree with you and your trainer) that on the Continent, an Irish Setter will do the complete job when going shooting and will retrieve! I wonder if Susan Stone will come and explain this better than me as Glen compete in field trials on the Continent and in the UK but has also been trained to retrieve!

In Scandinavia all setters MUST retrieve in field-trials.
We have it a wee bit easier here in Ireland;o))) No retrieve;o)
Abbey has done her gundog qualifier and the fact she plays"fetch" made no difference at all;o)) She would retrieve toys all day if asked, just not perfectly, as we just do so for fun;o)) I believe, on the continent, setters must retrieve from land and water!!??

Finn,

I have had Irish a long time now.....and I like them to be able to do a lot of different things..... so yes, I enter some shows with them but they also do Gundog Training.....either at home ( I live on a farm and we have our own land to train on ) or we enter classes away from home. My two 5 years old are good at quartering and are obedient to the whistle, this is why Kim will probably be taken shooting this Autumn.....she seems to have also a good nose....I just hope she is steady on point on the day and does not let me down!   Venus is only 9 months old and this is why she has just started basic Gundog obedience with other gundogs....she is too young to spend a whole day quartering with other setters.

It's a fact that any trainer who says Irish Setters are scatty/thick/difficult to train should be avoided at all costs..... including Dr. Roger Mugford !!!!! A former setter owner at that.  What does that really say about his training skills.  He asked me how I managed to train my dogs to the level they are at ..... BIG sighs.

 

 

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