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Old July 24th, 2008, 04:00 PM
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English Setter, Golden Retriever or????

I am ***** thinking ***** of adding another dog to my family of two Goldens and a cat. The English Setter is one breed I seem to be drawn to but I've heard they can be difficult to train because they are generally stubborn. Does anyone have any experience with this???? Hazel for example

Also, if anyone could add any other general traits of the English Setters, it would be helpful.

Amber would definitely benefit from having a dog to play with - Bobby just can't do it any more.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 04:03 PM
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English setter - Ive heard that tehy are fairly easy to train, but they dont respond well to Aggressive (for lack of a better word) training, as they are pretty sensitive dogs. they require a trainer that has patience. I know this because my uncle has a english setter.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 05:01 PM
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Did somebody say English Setter?

Yes, they can be stubborn, though not all are...and yes, they require an even hand, because they really are quite sensitive. Sounds like a paradox, but it's true. They require a lot of patient training. They're fairly slow to mature--2 to 3 years...Evan, had he lived, would have taken at least till age 4 (at 3, he was just beginning to show signs of sanity ). And I've got to warn you that if you're considering a puppy, young English Setters are really a handful. One would definitely keep Amber on her paws... Young setters need lots of exercise and mental stimulation.

However, once they're at that 2-3 year age, they really mellow out. We call it SSMS--Sudden Setter Maturity Syndrome. I can't tell you how many wasted vet trips we've had due to SSMS. One day, they're , zooming puppies; the next they don't want to get off the couch! Fools us every time...

Also, once they've undergone SSMS, they're usually pretty rock-solid on that training that you thought they'd never get the hang of.

As for temperament...they're sweet, generally love people and other dogs, and can recognize another English Setter (I didn't believe it till I saw it), but they are very 'soft'. They can be very trying and occasionally I will loudly tell the Sheriff, for example, to "stop barking, it's just a dn deer"...and those big brown eyes roll up at me and the lips purse and you expect to see a tear trickle down that gorgeous face.... Yes...nice-nice and cuddling usually ensues... Which usually distracts him from barking at the deer...so we're both happy!

Setters need to be close to their people. They'll take your bed if you let them. (Maybe even if you don't )

They need a fair amount of grooming. They aren't double-coated, but they require daily brushing because of the mats. They're also somewhat prone to ear infections, so weekly cleaning is a good idea.

Now that I've blathered on, anything specific you want to know?
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Old July 24th, 2008, 06:32 PM
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Now I'm really in a pickle! It sounds like the English Setter and Golden are so much alike! What to do, what to do...

Thank you for your info, Hazel and babymomma. That's exactly the kind of information I was wanting. There is a breeder here in town - she also runs a dog grooming salon so I'll drop in and talk to her - now that I have some background on the dogs, I'll be able to talk more "intelligently" (a faint hope but hope it is)...

IF I add another dog to the family I'm thinking a 2 yr old or up would be the way to go and this breeder may know of any dogs that may be in need of a new home..

Thanks again!
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Old July 24th, 2008, 08:48 PM
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I love English setters!One of my dream dogs to rescue one day though will be an Irish setter.We had one in the family when I was a little girl and I still miss him.He was the dumbest dog I had ever met but I loved him to pieces.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 08:55 PM
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JanM , my opinion , if it was me , I would go with the english setter (well actually I'm with Rainy , I would go with an Irish setter )




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One of my dream dogs to rescue one day though will be an Irish setter.We had one in the family when I was a little girl and I still miss him.He was the dumbest dog I had ever met but I loved him to pieces.
Before I adopted my firs dog (Bailey) I was looking for an Irish Setter , found one but it was before my moving in my house date , I got fed up and called the shelter anyway , the girl had been on their website for quite some time , but was told she was adopted .... :sad: friends had one when I was young , and he was the dumbest dog , crazy loving playfull and crazy again
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Old July 24th, 2008, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JanM View Post
but I've heard they can be difficult to train because they are generally stubborn.
Don't believe that about any dog. Any dog is trainable, no dog is stubborn. It's up to the handler to outsmart the willful dogs and get the dog thinking that they do in fact want what YOU want
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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:06 AM
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Oh sure - throw a curve in with the Irish Setter - just when I thought I had it down to two possibles

Irish Setters are beautiful but somehow IF I do this, I'm pretty sure it will be an English Setter or another Golden.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:08 AM
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Don't believe that about any dog. Any dog is trainable, no dog is stubborn. It's up to the handler to outsmart the willful dogs and get the dog thinking that they do in fact want what YOU want
...and not that delectable mushroom growing on the other side of the fence! Cole just proved my statement wrong about them being rock-solid on that training once they make it through SSMS... Those mushrooms must be of the gourmet variety!

One other thing to take into consideration, Jan, is that a young setter is not going to know that Bobby is not up to hard play. And they can be quite persistent... Do you think Bobby is up to having a young upstart in the house? Even a two-year-old is still capable of being a real brat--our newbie, Brier, is a case in point!
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Old July 25th, 2008, 11:27 AM
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My friend in Italy has had English Setters for all of her life. Her last was bred by the breeder to show, but was too small so my friend was able to adopt her - a wonderful dog. Her pup died in March at age 9 - could no longer walk, but that can happen to any breed. After our last mini Dachshund died in 2004 - and after our stay at my friend's pensione we were seriously considering looking at English Setters on our return to Canada. My friend did say though that she had been seeing fewer and fewer English Setters in Italy and had been told there could be a neuro problem that was showing up in current litters - but she wasn't sure. When we got home I started to investigate and could find very few breeders - and I did a bit of research and also found reference to the neuro problems. Don't know if I am right or wrong, but we couldn't find a breeder with pups. I did find a guy who was breeding the Gordon Setter - as well as Beagles - and he didn't know that Beagles are becoming increasingly prone to back and neck disc disease much like the Dachshund (our Dachshunds neuro warned us of this, having just done same surgery on his 2 Beagles - and many others) - but he also didn't have any litters of Gordon's coming due. Now just over the past 3 weeks I have seen 3 young Gordon Setters - probably 8 - 10 months of age - left outside stores of all places, so maybe whatever health issues the breed had been experiencing has been resolved. So we ended up with the American Eskimo who is also a baby at age 4 years and 4 months and difficult to train. I absolutely loved my friend's English Setter and she me - would sneak into our room and I made it easy for her. Now as for the Irish Setter, in 1971 I lived in Kingston while attending school. The owners of the house rented rooms to students and they had an Irish Setter. This dog made by dog's SA look like nothing. I remember the night the dog ate the loveseat in half - and that was only the beginning!
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Old July 25th, 2008, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
...and not that delectable mushroom growing on the other side of the fence!
You mean you didn't want those mushrooms? I think he was just "helping" because deep down, it was important to you on some level
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Old July 25th, 2008, 11:41 AM
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You mean you didn't want those mushrooms? I think he was just "helping" because deep down, it was important to you on some level
Well, we are cooking stir fry tonight and we will require mushrooms! You may be onto something there!

Ummm...Jan, did I tell you that they can tell what's for dinner tomorrow night and help with the grocery shopping?

One health note--English Setters can be prone to elbow dysplasia (I think the percentages last time we checked were running about 16% afflicted to various degrees) and also to hypothyroidism (often immune-mediated). So if you go the breeder route, you'll want to ask questions about screening. You're more likely to find breeders who check hip integrity than elbow integrity, but more and more are doing the elbow checks, too. The hypothyroidism typically does not appear until mid-life, so it's harder to get good info on it.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
...and not that delectable mushroom growing on the other side of the fence! Cole just proved my statement wrong about them being rock-solid on that training once they make it through SSMS... Those mushrooms must be of the gourmet variety!

One other thing to take into consideration, Jan, is that a young setter is not going to know that Bobby is not up to hard play. And they can be quite persistent... Do you think Bobby is up to having a young upstart in the house? Even a two-year-old is still capable of being a real brat--our newbie, Brier, is a case in point!
Bobby is so good with babies - he tolerates them pushing, pulling, nipping - until they get too rambunctious then he lets them know to back off - and they do. He trained Amber in most of the household procedures - so, yes, he could handle a brat (he does every day with Amber )
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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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What about a Gordon setter? A little easier to train, very lovable.. my avatar is my uncles gordon setter puppy at 5 weeks.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
Well, we are cooking stir fry tonight and we will require mushrooms! You may be onto something there!

Ummm...Jan, did I tell you that they can tell what's for dinner tomorrow night and help with the grocery shopping?

One health note--English Setters can be prone to elbow dysplasia (I think the percentages last time we checked were running about 16% afflicted to various degrees) and also to hypothyroidism (often immune-mediated). So if you go the breeder route, you'll want to ask questions about screening. You're more likely to find breeders who check hip integrity than elbow integrity, but more and more are doing the elbow checks, too. The hypothyroidism typically does not appear until mid-life, so it's harder to get good info on it.
Hmm - help with the grocery shopping eh? Now that would be a bonus - my preference would be a dog that would actually do the grocery shopping I can see the haul - meat, meat and more meat

Thanks for the tip on elbow and hypo... I'll keep that in mind IF I go any further
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Old August 21st, 2008, 01:22 PM
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So have you put any more thought into this lately?
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Old August 21st, 2008, 01:23 PM
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Now I'm really in a pickle! It sounds like the English Setter and Golden are so much alike! What to do, what to do...
They don't like water tho right Hazel?? Did you mention that?

Id suggest going to a spca or rescue, and get them to profile their dogs, and pick one with the same energy level as Amber or lower, and because she is dominent, you want a confident yet laid back personality, that wont mind Ambers...confidence...you should also get a nutered male...just thing Ive leanrt. Some places have meet your match programs that will help you find a good match. If getting an adult dog, the temperment will be more important then the breed.

The breed you choose might not be what you expected.

Good luck, keep us posted.
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Old August 21st, 2008, 09:38 PM
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They don't like water tho right Hazel?? Did you mention that?
There are some that don't mind getting wet and some that absolutely love jumping in the lake...none of them live here! I'd say about 90% of all setters do not care for the wet-fur look. So in that regard, they differ from goldens.
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