|Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 9:32am PST |
|I am afraid I am going to disappoint you, but all hope is not lost! That and you obviously are a thoughtful thinker.
An Irish Setter would not be a good choice. I know you are anticipating that , but I am mentored on this breed and will tell you WHY. They are true country dogs who need space and room to run and are far less apt to thrive in the city, and when they don't get what they need can be neurotic. Part of your vision that is incompatible with this dog...obviously you are thinking and exercise is not a problem....is that this is a boisterous dog. The concept of taking him to work sounds good on the surface, but this is just not a breed that will chill for hours on end. AN hour on end Part of what defines them as a country dog is that they need a big house. They have a high indoor energy, are very in your face and want to move about. They are far from hyper, but "calm" is just not what one thinks when it comes to their aspect and they have tremendous vigor. They don't get their nickname "rollicking" for nothing! When you have a big house and can run them out, then it is ok. They won't drive you insane. But in a small space? Or needing them to settle? They don't really have an off switch.
Secondly, please be advised that they are not what could be termed as highly trainable. This is pervasive enough in the breed where they have the reputation for being dumb. It is not that they are dumb, but they do have problems with focus and also are incredibly free spirited. I think the best all breed site out there is digitaldog.com, and a spot on phrase that had me laughing in hysterics is "this dog would be a great candidate for superhero because they are so well intentioned, except that they will occasionally forget what they were doing." THAT is an Irish! Charming to live with, but in terms of training and sharing their space, you had better have good tolerance levels and a sense of humor. It's part of who they are and what they were bred for...moving rapidly from one scene to the next.
Here's some shock therapy
So I would totally rule this breed out. I know that is hard. Trust me I do. I am very mentored on this breed and have wanted one forever, but I have waited many years (and will continue to)as they are a country dog. My mere suburban and more cottage-type existence has ruled them out, and I know what they can be when under-filled. Basically with an Irish, you really need to conform to the dog rather than he to you.
Feel free to fire any questions, of course!
The English Setter is likely the best replacement in setter land. They are totally different dogs, inside vs outside. In the home, they are extremely stable and easygoing. Outside, they become true setters. In terms of the lifestyle you are describing, they fit better. They are a ridiculously gentle and soft natured breed....trustworthy with anything. We could discuss them more if you'd like. As is true of setters generally, they are not the easiest to train. Not quite the complexity that the Irish can be...they have more focus....but are stubborn. The larger concern with them, as it seems you are not certain if the dog could come to work with you, is that one would need to be raised with care as they don't like to be left alone and are prone to separation anxiety. If you could bring the dog to work, however, they would settle very nicely, compared to an Irish, who would never leave you alone.
The Gordon Setter is the most trainable. Their basic working style is to work closer to the handler out in the field, so it comes more naturally. Their energy is between the two. They are marvelous, but a bit more serious than the other two. The Gordon is the responsible one, the English is the sweet one, the Irish is the galavanting one.
I have Cockers myself, so can understand the love. If you want me to explore that breed with you....I wouldn't rule them out, and there are some hunting lines that may actually suit you. We could also explore other breeds I am presuming Goldens are x'd for some reason, as they are very obvious?
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