Author Topic: Aggressive Irish Setter Puppy?  (Read 6108 times)


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Aggressive Irish Setter Puppy?
« on: July 11, 2008, 11:19:21 pm »
Hey all!
I found the board a couple of months ago and love reading all of the posts, and lurking. I've always been a "small paws" owner, but recently rescued a very skinny 6 month old Irish Setter (he's AKC, I got him from a breeder, pedigree seems fine).

Anyway, he's a good dog, a bit of a barker and jumper, but he's a pup. He does have some aggressive problems though. If he has a toy, he's very possessive of it, and will growl and attempt to bite if someone, or another dog, comes near him while he has it. He did break my guy friends skin. He does not, however do this to me (I'm a female by the way, if that matters at all) but does it to everyone else, I can take anything away from him, no problem.

Also, if kids run by him while he's on his leash or something, he barks at them and I can not tell if he wants to chase them or play with them.

Is this normal behavior? How do I correct it? He was housed with lots of other dogs, and his litter mates, when I got him. He plays fine with dogs and people if he does not have a toy or something that he thinks is "his."

He's fine with his food, but if he has a bone or something he exhibits the same aggressive behavior.


Thanks all! And "AJ" thanks you too!

Offline AltDeutsche

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Re: Aggressive Irish Setter Puppy?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2008, 02:45:53 am »
I am no expert so I can't give great answers to this.

But my first thought is that he needs to go to a obedience class, get a trainer and start to work with him now on these problems.

Also Just because he is AKC registered doesn't mean that the dogs breeding was good. The temperament could be very bad if the parents show aggressive tendencies. Beautiful dogs don't speak for their temperament.
Also 6 months is a long time to hold on to a puppy. Why did they keep him back? Or was this dog surrendered back to the original breeder? What was the reason if that was the case?

I am just a little confused cause you say you rescued him and then say he was with his littermates.
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Offline maxsmom

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Re: Aggressive Irish Setter Puppy?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2008, 03:31:44 am »
Welcome to the board and congratulation s on your puppy.  First off, I don't consider anything you described as aggression.  Biting or growling over a toy, is normal puppy behaviour and how he would have interacted with his siblings and playmates.  The fact that he does not do this with you, in indicative of a puppy who understands pack hierarchy and was well taught this by his mother and the older dogs he was around.  You are the leader of the pack and not technically a "playmate".  Barking or jumping around kids on bikes is also normal excited behaviour.  He is a puppy and just needs to be socialized and taught proper behaviour in public.  Correct him, when he does something you don't approve of, a firm no, redirect his attention to you.  This breed can be a bit hyper and very active.  They are a hunting breed.  When he goes after someone, who is trying to take his toy away, they need to tell him no, firmly and take it away, if this is something you are going to encourage or someone they are going to spend time around.  I don't let anyone other than Joe or myself, take anything away from my dogs.  They live with us and belong to us.  They don't belong to or live with the rest of the world.
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Offline patrick

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Re: Aggressive Irish Setter Puppy?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2008, 06:29:31 am »
There is a great book out called "MINE" which addresses resource guarding.  Trading up - that is teaching him he gets something better when he gives up his prize is very effective in dealing with this behavior and there is a lot of info on the internet on resource guarding.  He really doesn't sound aggressive but does need some more work on learning to give or drop it or whatever you want to call it.