Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

Recently I took on request of the ISCN two IRS in temporarily shelter for retraining. One of them -Thomas- was in his youth a therapy dog for mentally handicapped which he did well according to an employeee who owns a littersister. But Thomas was neglected when there was not enough staff around. Next address he lived mainly outside with his brother.

Where most of his littermates I know (the breeder died so couldn't care) are as free as birds, he is too shy: belly and legs up when you give attention or commands. Added he hates slippery floors, no step taken. As we have a slippery floor, we made a few stepping stones with carpet. Anymore experiences/tips with that out here? I like to regenerate him into a proud free bird!!!

By the way , the Irish Setter Sigh is the first Pets as Therapy dog of Jersey, reports the Jersey Evening Post. He is used to work for young people between 11 and 25 who have autism or learning disabilities. Check for the full report http://www.thisisjersey.com/2010/02/01/setter-of-attention

Views: 136

Comment by Henk ten Klooster on February 2, 2010 at 7:07am

Outside Thomas is as free as a bird... Proud, nothing like the introvert one when entering the houseroom
Comment by Susan Stone on February 2, 2010 at 7:17am
Hi Henkd, lovely picture of him outside. I bet he still needs time to settle in. In my experience extremely ubordinate dogs profit enormously from clicker training, where they are allowed to develop initiative by doing alot of what is termed 'free shaping'. I am not sure if you are into this type of training, but you may like to give it a try. Glen is the first dog I trained this way and it shows in his confidence and willingness to cooperate. The idea is to teach the dog to work things out for themselves - this builds confidence. Obviously no notice should be taken of the dog when he cringes or crawls wheras confident behaviour should be aknowledged.

Keep up the good work! All the best to Thomas.
Comment by Susan Stone on February 2, 2010 at 7:18am
sorry for all the typing errors..
Comment by Henk ten Klooster on February 2, 2010 at 7:24am
Thanks Susan! Thomas for sure deserves some therapy, sweet natured!!! Very interested to see him in feathered fields as well.... Maybe that is good for his confidence as well.
Comment by colette tuite on February 2, 2010 at 7:25am
It is just a thought, but some rubber backed mats might help as they would be non slipping. I guess it is just a matter of time to adjust and build up trust.I hope you suceed as he looks like a nice dog!
Comment by Henk ten Klooster on February 2, 2010 at 7:32am
Thanks Colette, yes those rubber mats work!!! I am counting, one step, two steps. He loves to be with all of us so maybe one day....The record is now five steps!!! Outside he is gorgeous, galloping like the wind.
Comment by ursula wilby on February 2, 2010 at 8:03am
I am allways one to work with food as "payment".
Providing he likes food, I would leave him in a room with shiny floors (and perhaps one or two "stepping-stone-mats") and then place the foodbowl in the oposite corner.
After that I would totally ignore him.

I am convinced that he is in the best of hands, Henk! :-)
Comment by Cornelia on February 2, 2010 at 8:12am
Hi Henk, I once read that dogs can get burnout too. It was suggested on one dog therapy page that dogs should start with one visit a month, not longer than an hour and increase the amount slowly. I don't know how many times Thomas was 'on duty' and with how many mentally handicapped he had to work, but it can be very stressful and you might find the reason for his dislikes of slippery floors there (all therapy centers / hopitals a.s.on have slippery floors), bringing back the old stress. Also that he cringes when given too much attention or commands - sounds like there was a time where he was forced into something, he could not handle anymore. If that should be the case, it might be important to create a place at home that is different to his old 'workplace', maybe with a larger carpet in one corner and introducing him gradually to stone floors again. It was just a thought.
Comment by Dee Rance on February 2, 2010 at 1:32pm
Hi Henk, Jas hates wooden floors, I have mats every now and then in the house so she can 'scuttle' from one to the other, every now and then she goes into overdrive and gets panicky, but if I make her stand still she gains her composure and is able to go from room to room, Good luck with him he really looks lovely, and I hope that you get him 'fixed' and into a good home..
Comment by Henk ten Klooster on February 2, 2010 at 2:25pm

As far as I could chase his history, Thomas was ALWAYS as social dog, Cornelia. He acts like a puppy, legs high showing belly. Ultimate submission. People who see him during a walk reacting like that think he has been beaten, but this is not the case told the employee where he was a social dog. Thanks Susan, Cornelia, Ursula and Dee for all advice. I will try all advices for this softy Robinson Crusoe on his island of carpet on our slippery floor. As if he has to sail an ocean.....


You need to be a member of Exclusively Setters to add comments!

Join Exclusively Setters



© 2024   Created by Gene.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service