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Hi all, new to this site & quite new to owning a red setter , but we are totally in love with our boy, hes 14months old, the only problem is he bites when he is being brushed or when u touch his tail,  not a proper bite but a warning bite,(just clamps your hand) also we had him at the vet on saturday and he was getting his vacs and he tried to bite the vet :( 
The vet said some setters do this, is this true?? Also has anyone any tips? Thanks very much!

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Discipline, discipline and once more discipline. Your puppy or should I say young male is at his puberty and he is trying to boss you around. Never, ever allow him to do that or else one day he is a big male terrorising the whole family.

Have you ever heard of Cesar Milan and his way of rehabilitating dogs with problems? He has some very useful techniques for dog owners to manage their animals...

My tip is taken from Cesar:
When you want to brush your dog put a choking collar on him. Just until he lets you brush him without biting. Everytime he tries to bite or warn snap the collar firmly to discipline him. You can add word "NO" to this.
There are a few things dogs are not allowed to do and biting is one of them.
I knew he had to crop up sometime!!

Grooming is a very pleasurable experience and if you fight with him it will lose all of that.

Leave the brush to one side for a little while and just "touch" him. Stroke his ears (read a little bit about Tellington Touch) and run your hands along his back, massage with your fingers into the skin and hair on his body. when he is relaxed. Sleepy time stroke down his legs and gently massage his paws/ Run your hand firmly from the crown of his head right along his back and down his tail.

You need to work up to all of body contact but use treats and the best time to do this. Always have his grooming gear beside you and when you can touch him without him turning you can lay the brush on him and slowly run it along his back. you need to work back up to this as I suspect you have let him away with chasing you off when you were perhaps pullng tuggy bits out before.

Is this the only time you get hand grabbing or mouthing?
Setter DO NOT do this!
In fact setters are friendly and easy-to-handle-dogs compared to most other breeds.
Or at least they should be.

BUT, you can teach even a setter to behave like this by for instance quickly pulling your hand away when the puppy tries to nip. So there you have shown the puppy how to act if he/she does not like what is being done. I have never owned a setter that has tried to nip the vet during vaccination, ever!
We have actually had a rather similar discussion recently so check through those answers.
If he acts up when he is being brushed, you just have to brush him more often, talk to him, dont get angry but rather use a firm hand and stop brushing only when you want to and NOT when the dog feels he has had enough!

Use rewards when he has been good!
Hi Ossian,

No we only have him 2 months so we're unsure of how he behaved before this, its the same when we try put drops in his eyes, (he had an eye infection) he wont let us, . He is very clever and very manageable, but its literally when his tail is touched, we try to brush him or when we try to put in eye drops that he doesn't like it.
Otherwise hes a brilliant dog, im bringing him to obedience classes next week so hopefully he stops this! thanks for all your advice! :)
You dont know what has gone before so firm but gentle will get you through this. You might want to check that his tail is not damaged? Maybe someone just pulled it. Just work patiently at getting him to realise that you love him and wont hurt him and that - in fact - grooming and touching is a pleasure.
Thanks Ossian, will try this , :)
Hi, Reuben wasnt keen on being groomed at first but now he often lays down and relaxes accepting his fate. I think he even actually enjoys it now apart from 'the look' I get when brushing the tangled areas of feathering around his sensitive bits - oh why did I get a boy!!!!
I have brushed him virtually daily since having him (nearly 7 months) and always start with a treat (biscuit), then 1 in between and 1 at the end and with lots of praise throughout. I also make him stand and examine the tail and teeth etc, just o he is use to it. He is really good now but it was probably easier for me as I have had him since a 8 week pup and know all his history.
You have had some good advice with regard to patience, praise, consistency etc and although i dont personally agree with the Ceasar approach, you do still need to be firm but kind with these teenagers. Much like humans, haha!
Good luck
Hi Jacky. Please never use a choke chain on a dog. Cesar Milan's idea sound dangerous. I have had 2 dogs with paralysis of the larynx - 1 Gordon and 1 Irish, my Irish died in October as a result. I was told by Liverpool Uni Vet Hospital in the U.K. that choke chains and collars can cause this and only use a harness. As a result I only used a harness on my Irish but he must have had a weakness and developed laryngeal paralysis anyway. A weakness of setters according to the training hospital here in Perth [Oz]. Training clubs also refuse to allow choke collars and chains nowadays. Please be aware.
I wont be using a choking collar on him for starters, Ill keep at the brushing daily and im looking forward to his training classes, thanks everyone for all the tips!




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