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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I live in a small community and we recently got an irish setter puppy. She is about 3 months now and I was told you don't really start training them until 5 months. Now by circumstance, some of our residents will be leaving and we will be stretched very thin with all our other activities. I am worried that her training will be neglected and we will end up with an untrained dog that is somewhat of a nuisance. So my question is just how much time approximately will be required to train her? We don't need her to do anything fancy, she is mainly here to chase deer. But we need her to learn where she can and can't go, how to stop doing something we don't want her to do, sit, etc. etc. I would think it is all quite basic, but I really need to get an idea so I know if we should find her another home and wait until we are better suited to train her.

Thank you in advance.
 

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So she's to be a working dog with you? What sort of business is this? (Just curious).
There is no reason not to be working on training right now. The concern for me is the "five month rule" in my mind means that someone who immediately goes to punishment based training, but waits til the pup can "handle it".
Training should begin the moment you bring the pup home. This means short, simple training sessions (five or ten minutes at MAX) so that she learns that it is fun to learn. Keep it rewarding. GET A GOOD TRAINER.

Regarding time...well. You got an extremely high energy hunting breed dog. Any dog can take up to mental maturity to be "fully" trained (that would mean about two years) but basics can be learned in shorter times, just won't be fully consistent because there are many things going on in young dog's brain until they are done maturing.

Start with the basics: sit, down, stay, recall, leave it, drop it and housebreaking. Then get someone GOOD who can help you work with her on the job related stuff. You do know that a deer chaser can chase a deer for miles and miles and end up dead or lost? Controlling that instinct will require some serious work.

Hmm. Maybe after thinking about this, it may be better for you to rethink keeping the dog. Not sure....it depends on what answers you give to the questions here.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. I will try to explain things in more detail.

The actual work we would desire is minimal. We have a deer fence around the bulk of our property (maybe 15 acres of it), much of which goes through the woods. Somehow the deer still squeeze through from time to time, especially during the dry season when its harder for them to find food. We would just want her to be there to chase that occasional deer away. I highly doubt she would be able to follow it through the fence, so her getting lost does not seem like an issue. We are actually not a business, but a small monastery. We have extensive food and flower gardens (also fenced in) and fruit trees all around (not all fenced in). This makes the deer quite determined to get at us.

It is not that we have not been training at all, but not systematically. Unfortunately we will have to train her ourselves because we live an hour from the nearest where there would even be a possibility of finding a trainer. Depending on how much daily/weekly time it requires we are prepared to assign someone to dedicate time to research and training, but they will obviously be learning as they go.

That's the gist of it.
 

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You can start training right away, it takes 10-15 minutes a day. You can train one command a day and do little refreshers here and there. With a smart dog, it is very easy.
 

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Well, that clarifies things!
It sounds like a lovely place.

There are plenty of wonderful training videos on youtube, though I would definitely stick the the positively trained ones like Kikopups channel. The basics are all there. It is clicker training, but a verbal marker would work . Rewards are essential.

You will need a strong "leave it" and a strong recall. Both will take lots of practice. I can recommend a really good video for the "Leave it" I will post it here for you.



This is an intro to Leslie Nelson's Really Reliable Recall (dvd)..there is also a booklet available that is less expensive..there are also many other recall youtube vids on the side to check out.


The first and most important thing to remember is that this puppy, at this point, is an INFANT and will go through stages much like humans, infancy, adolescence and then maturity so training is an ongoing thing. She is also a bird dog and will have pretty good speed and agility so boundary work will be necessary. I highly recommend that the boundary of the monastery be very well inspected for areas where she may get caught on the fence or where there may be holes etc.

Good luck.
 
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