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Irish Setters

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Irish Setters

Old 13th May 2019, 17:57
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Irish Setters

My wife wants to buy an available Irish Setter pup after the death of our beloved golden retriever at 13 1/2 years. Any thoughts will be appreciated.
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Old 13th May 2019, 21:07
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My experience with any of the Setter breeds are that, whilst they are generally good natured, they aren’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. They seem to be quite stubborn and a bit flaky. We had friends who loved the breed and over the years we were subjected to the over exuberant attentions of all of their Setters. They were pesky for attention - would paw at you endlessly and when they wanted to go in or out, would stand on their hind legs and scratch relentlessly at the door, which for a pretty big dog, was a pain in the proverbial. Separation anxiety seemed to be quite an issue too. Not brilliant on recall and if they got a scent, they were off! Having said that, maybe it was poor training by the owners.

Like yourselves, we’ve always had Labradors and Golden retrievers over they years and found them much better and calmer personalities. They’re always keen to please, without being OTT and were quick to learn the household etiquette. Our dogs liked to meet and greet any visitors but once they had identified and checked the papers of any guests, would get straight on their bed until they were invited to be part of the group. Always came back when called too.
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Old 13th May 2019, 21:20
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Not an expert but I did borrow / dogsit one for a week. It was great fun, relentlessly energetic despite his age. Easily distracted though! Any time there was water in sight, he was off and only came back when he decided it was time
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Old 13th May 2019, 21:31
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A close friend has had several over the years and I was always left with the impression that Gary Larson managed to sum up so well in this cartoon.
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Old 13th May 2019, 22:19
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Old 14th May 2019, 05:13
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I’m not a dog person but a neighbour had a Red Setter.

BehindBlueEyes‘ post describes my neighbour’s dog exactly. He said he would never have another one.
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Old 14th May 2019, 11:41
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My wife (before we were married) was given a red setter as the little lady owner could not handle it.
He was a good guard dog and wouldn't let anyone near our son in his pram when left outside a shop. He was as soft as anything with kids, people he knew and also tolerated my cat.
However:-
It raided the fridge on numerous occasions (sausages, lard, Sunday roast.).It was an escapologist (jumped a 5 foot gate) and used to raid neighbours rubbish bins.
After several large vet bills its demise at the age of 6, was a chicken carcass stuck in its gut.

So you pays your money and takes your chance.
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Old 14th May 2019, 12:57
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I had an English Springer spaniel for years. They have a reputation for being crazily exuberant and a bit off the wall. Irish Setters wrote the book. They are nuts - and of a size and tail possession that can do real damage around the house. Like all gundog breeds they are fixated on their human servants. Personally I wouldn't have one of you paid me, they're just to big and boisterous around the house. Lovely looking dogs though.
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Old 14th May 2019, 16:29
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Our neighbour has a Red Setter, daft as a brush it is. He reverses up their apple tree at an angle of 45 degrees to do its business.
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Old 14th May 2019, 17:47
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I've heard of Dachshunds being used to hunt lions, they're pretty stalwart and useful for flushing out the stubborn lazy cats but that's about as extreme an example as I can think of where a parlour dog excels at being a working dog. The Irish Setter is almost as renowned for its stupidity as is the Dalmatian, which is so dumb you can't easily even train it to point, which is what the IS was bred for. Pointers do not make good indoor dogs. They're not pets, they're working animals, think of them as recalcitrant children. Of course, you don't provide any details of your home so it's very difficult to suggest the exact designer dog to fit the hallowed halls you have in mind.
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Old 14th May 2019, 19:10
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Totally bonkers!
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Old 14th May 2019, 19:19
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Many moons ago a bought a house off a couple who owned a Setter. They moved to house that was situated on a busy main road. Sad to say the dog did not last too long..... The house I bought was in a cul de sac.
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Old 14th May 2019, 19:19
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First things first: rotornut, you have my sincere condolences for the loss of your four-legged family member. I hope you have more smiles for those great memories than tears for the loss. I empathize as well, having been adopted along the way by two gorgeous Golden Retrievers. They made it easy to be a "pet human".

Back in 1962, my grandfather lost his beloved canine companion, Bud, who was a large blond Cocker Spaniel. He and Bud were devoted to one another, but my grandfather wouldn't usually bite anyone who came within five feet of him. Bud would! No one missed Bud except grandfather.

Our family's heritage is Irish, so my father decided to invest a considerable sum ($1,000) in an Irish Setter puppy to assuage his father's sadness. Red he was, and that became his name. Of AKC championship lineage, Red matured into one of the more beautiful beasts I have ever beheld - long-feathered with a coat the color of a serene sunset and a conformation that met every criterion of his breed.

Red was a nice dog. He was a fine hunter. He would point and retrieve like the champion that he was. (Our farm outside of Atlanta had several 20-acre pastures which my grandfather "seeded" with several dozen coveys of quail.) Yet Red was "not right" in the head. He might snap when petted, and sometimes would growl and bare his substantial canine teeth when asked to surrender a bird.

When Red was but three years of age, he was shot and killed by my cousin when we were out for a quail/pheasant hunt on a crisp autumn day. The family argued about whether or not "Cuz" had done the shooting on purpose. I remember the horror and beauty of the moment. I ran up to a silent and still Red whose crimson blood was as carmine as his coat.

My memories of Red are equivalent to the memories I have about several of my former girlfriends: beautiful but wifty. Were I you, Sir rotornut, I'd stick with Goldens, though there is much to be said for Shelties, Border Collies, and Basset Hounds. Rescue dogs are the best of all! Don't trust a dog who doesn't love you, and never trust anyone who doesn't love dogs...

- Ed

Last edited by cavuman1; 14th May 2019 at 21:41. Reason: Parenthesis Added Rescues
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Old 14th May 2019, 21:56
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If you want a dog with Irish connections, the Wolfhound is the best.
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Old 14th May 2019, 22:26
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The difference between a setter and a pointer? one's an "up", the other is a "disa"
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Old 14th May 2019, 23:03
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Love [em, but would never want to own one, for the reasons listed above.

Nothing in my experience quite matches our half golden retrievers.
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Old 15th May 2019, 07:34
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I've had a couple of these (not at the same time) and they are mad as a box of frogs, they would let anyone into the house but not let them leave, just by smiling with teeth showing. Best memories of my childhood was taken them out for long walks and we would both come home knackered. I would slump in a chair whilst he went for a run round the garden, just because he could. Got home from school one day to find him absolutely hyper, he had managed to open a cupboard and get out a packet of space dust (popping candy) and had devoured it all. He loved the stuff!!!
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Old 20th May 2019, 21:29
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Thanks to all for your comments and Cavuman thank you for your condolences - it's tough loosing a dog that's been with us for so long.
Anyway, there were no golden retriever puppies immediately available from our local breeders and we found one Red Setter pup that had not been sold. So we are getting her as soon as she is eight weeks old. When we visited the breeder she had a number of mature setters and they seemed bright and relatively calm. I know setters had a reputation for being not terribly bright. However, my neighbour had a Red Setter who was calm and really with it so hopefully the breed is improving. Anyway, it will be fun and challenging to work with a puppy again and we are looking forward to it.
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Old 20th May 2019, 21:41
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I used to have one when I lived in a house with a good sized garden. They can be trained but it's hard work, they really aren't that bright, and they do need a lot of exercise. They also seem to suffer from random "mad minutes" when they simply go totally bonkers before they lie down again as if nothing happened. I swear mine could run horizontally round the garden fence.

And definitely don't let the sod see water, any water......
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Old 20th May 2019, 21:53
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Originally Posted by G-CPTN View Post
If you want a dog with Irish connections, the Wolfhound is the best.
Beutiful natured things but shed like crazy. If anyone were to get one I'd recommend a rugged estate / 4x4 that will take the interior punishment, and tiles in whatever rooms you allow them in. Wood and carpet get destroyed.

You can't go wrong with a Golden Retriever. Most Giant breeds (Wolfhound, St Bernard, Newfoundland, Great Dane) have wonderfully calm and affectionate personalities, but my god they eat
..and eat....and eat.

Best of luck with your new 4 legged friend, and remember; any dog is only as good as their training. Red Setters (As we call them in Ireland) need a lot of exercise too.
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