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Irish Setters. Good idea or madness?

(19 Posts)
Iamnotamindreader Fri 21-Sep-12 15:23:19

I have a large family and we already have a cat and a golden retreiver. How would an irish setter fit in with the noise and bustle of large family life.

Our garden as is secure as we can make it for a 4 year old child who is headstrong and likes to try to bolt to the park next door at any given opportunity and just doesn't understand why adults have to be involved in that equation at all.

So talk to me about how stubborn they are. Manipulative I hear a lot too. Are we talking general puppy dog eyes that all dogs pull or are we heading towards the levels of evil genius displayed by persian cats?

Children have been trained not to tease dogs but they do enjoy being our current dogs pillows (at her choosing).

Shedding, don't care had persian cats for years so am used to chasing tribbles round the house.
Noise, same levels or more than the average dog.

Guard dog, yeah if I was looking for home security I wouldn't have ended up with a cat who likes to ride in strangers cars and a retreiver who loves burglars.

Have loved their look for years but am aware more in depth research is required. Such as how easy will it be to find a reputable breeder or is the breed popular enough to be rife with backyard and puppy farmers?

House is large enough for everyone to have their own space and have a large yard space rear and long garden front. Park is next door and more rural areas a very short drive away.

Would consider a setter rescue too.

SpicyPear Fri 21-Sep-12 16:14:44

I am no help with your practical questions but felt compelled to post because DH had one growing up and, despite not being the soppy type generally or about any other of several childhood dogs, he gets very emotional about her! She was apparently very very loving but very very dense. He actually laughs out loud remembering her splaying her long legs for a tummy rub!

Hope someone is along soon to help with the sensible stuff.

NettoSuperstar Fri 21-Sep-12 16:17:43

Not an Irish setter, but my family had an English setter growing up.
Utterly gorgeous, completely mad, very affectionate, needed lots of exercise and drooled and shedded everywhere.
Amazing dog though, brilliant.

happygardening Fri 21-Sep-12 17:39:27

A friend who used to I walked my dogs with got a puppy Irish setter just before I moved. It was absolutely gorgeous but I found out later that it had megaoesophogus which is a genetic condition and I think a health issue in this breed. The dog came from one of the "top breeders/judges" but when my friend called him to let him know he couldn't give a toss. She spent thousands in vet bills but in the end had it put down before it reached 18 months. Just beware.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 21-Sep-12 17:43:48

Gorgeous but not very bright. The ones I've known have always been escape artists. Not easily trainable. Zero recall- the ones I see being walked on her are all on leads.

puds11 Fri 21-Sep-12 17:46:20

Ive just walked past a lady in the park who has 6 Irish setters!

teachpeach Fri 21-Sep-12 17:49:31

Gorgeous family dogs - had 2 when I was growing up. As SpicyPear said very very loving , bit bonkers, gentle - never, ever heard ours growl at anyone, even when little ones would use their ears to help pull themselves up. Thinking about getting one myself!

Iamnotamindreader Fri 21-Sep-12 21:29:09

Thanks for the information.
happygardening thats terrible.

applegate Fri 21-Sep-12 21:37:41

we had an english setter when I was growing up and I echo the other comments, he was the kindest most loyal dog and was brilliant with us children. BUT was so thick.... he would go behind a tree on a walk and forget where he was, I remember several times coming home without him, having looked for hours only to recieve a phonecall from someone who had found him!! I look back with such fond memories, he was lovely.

BlueStringPudding Fri 21-Sep-12 21:44:02

We have an Irish Setter who is now 5 and a Gordon Setter who is 6. They are both lovely and great with our kids - particularly the youngest who is also just 6 - and has grown up with the dogs. We also have a cat, who is top dog.

They really are lovely. The Irish Setter doesn't really shed hair at all - but the Gordon does a lot. They are both quite bouncy but get a good hour or so walk a day, and spend a lot of time in the garden, and do actually sleep quite a lot otherwise.

Our setters aren't stupid at all! The Irish can open doors, including the exterior doors, which is a bit of a pain. They do bark loudly if the doorbell rings or there's an unexpected noise outside, so actually are quite a deterrent.

tooearlytobeup Fri 21-Sep-12 22:39:26

I've always loved the look of these dogs, but didn't know any so wasn't sure if they would suit our family. Reading this though they sound perfect! I've been thinking of getting a friend for our Springer, are they likely to have similar exercise requirements?

ithaka Fri 21-Sep-12 22:55:10

We had an Irish Setter when I was a teenager. Adorable dog, very healthy, lived to about 14. The most gentle dog imaginable, loved everyone, would never growl, totally bullied by the cat. So friendly. However, totally dim to the point of being untrainable. Needed lots of exercise, was mad about water, would swim for hours (we lived near the sea). Very poor recall, mad as box of frogs.

I couldn't cope with one unless I lived in a farmhouse with acres of land, but if you can give them enough exercise they are lovely family pets as they just love everyone.

horseylady Sat 22-Sep-12 12:28:20

My parents is mental!! But was a rescue and has issues!!!

We grew up with setters and they're all a bit mad/thick but friendly dogs, gentle as you can get and so loving!!

Berris Sun 23-Sep-12 12:29:45

I "grew up" with an Irish setter. She was beautiful, dense, waggy and lovely. Horrifically car sick, couldn't go in the boot (unless the caravan was attached). I used to sleep on her in the car. She was so gentle, the tail never stopped wagging. Discipline was relatively pointless - she'd just look at you, not understanding. She once decided to herd an entire herd of cows, in a local farmer's field. She was very strong, and once pulled my dad over, resulting in a patch being sewn on the knee of his flares saying "dog walking disaster".

I have so many fond memories of her. I was so upset when she was PTS, aged 12+ - all the nerves in her back/legs went and she couldn't stand up any more. She'd been on water tablets and heart tablets from about aged 7. The heart condition was apparently a breed risk, due to the deep chest and breeding. She also had skin problems in the later years.

She was a "Wendover" Irish setter, so her coat was a bit curlier than most Irish setter breeds. Her KC name was "Dauntless of Wendover". Breeder was very sniffy when we settled on "Tuppence" for her every day name.

I have greyhounds now, but will always have a soft spot for the Irish setters.

BlueStringPudding Sun 23-Sep-12 16:21:31

Similar exercise requirements to a Springer I'd have thought. Ours get an hour or so once a day, with some time in the garden, and that seems to work fine. They're very playful too. Our Irish will often take something like a tea towel into the garden and put it in front of him with his tail wagging - particularly if he thinks you haven't greeted him enough when you get home.

He will also sit patiently with his paw up waiting for visitors to shake it!

Baffledandbewildered Sun 23-Sep-12 17:00:51

They are the best family dogs ever. We have had them forever and breed them !! I may be a bit biased but they love other dogs cats and especially children. Very easy going temperaments but can be a bit head strong. Pm me if you want more details of the breed. I might add I don't have any puppies for sale.

hoodoo12345 Mon 24-Sep-12 22:41:56

My parents had one when i was growing up, he was a beautiful, gentle, lovely dog for me , i would sit in his basket with him with my teddies and talk to him about my day and secretly feed him biscuits, i adored him.

For my parents however he was a nightmare, he escaped ALL the time, his favourite destination being the local shop where he would walk in, go up the aisle ,collect a Mars bar (always a mars bar) and casually walk out again!
They never minded, they would tell my mum "your Jasons been in to say hello again"

He would wander all over the place and was often brought back by the police who were responsible for stray dogs back then, much to my parents embarrassment.
Once when the family were at my nephews christening he managed to open two closed doors, push a table out the way of the second door get into the living room, knocked the christening cake off the sideboard and ate the whole thing , my family were furious, i was secretly proud of him!
He certainly made an impression and 30 years later we still talk about him often.

NettoSuperstar Tue 25-Sep-12 08:41:45

He was called Jason hoodoo?
Our English setter was called Jasongrin

hoodoo12345 Tue 25-Sep-12 10:21:42

Yes his name was Jason.
Wonderful ,thieving, escapologist dog.smile

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