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Hello Dog Forum members. I just joined today with the hopes of getting some advice for my White and Red Irish, Buck. He was specifically bred as a hunting dog, but given up to the Irish Setter Rescue after four years, because the owner couldn't control his range.

I adopted Buck with the hopes his hunting/gun training would simply subside. It hasn’t. After two years he still runs around the yard looking for anything that moves. When he does see something, such a rabbit, deer, wild turkey or a cat, he get all excited and reacts with non stop, high pitched, barking. He does the same thing inside while running from window to window.

Lately, my concern is that Buck may be constantly frustrated not being able to give chase. At times he sits making crying sounds and just looks sad. Is it possible to undue his training or is it easier to redirect his energy and training to something else?

I appreciate any help in this matter.

By the way, I also have a female Irish at home named Kayla. Buck and Kayla are best friends.
 

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What you see in him is not "training." Its his genetic proclivities to be interested in game. "Training" of hunting dogs is all about taking these natural instincts and putting a bit of human directed control over the behaviors. That is, teaching him to hold his point, not run out too far from the hunter and so forth.

Nope, you can't train him out of this interest. Its part of who he is because it is in his breeding. You'll need to find another way for him to expend this energy if you don't want to hunt with him.

Will he stay with you if you take him hiking, or are you worried he'll run off? If you cannot do off-leash activities with him, then you'll need to find a fenced area and work with him doing something such as chasing a tennis ball, frisbee, or playing with other dogs. He needs to do something to get his energy released or he will feel crazy.
 

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Thanks Tess for the quick response. Buck's a runner! Another reason why his previous owner gave him up. But, I do take him and Kayla to an enclosed dog park where they both interact with other dogs. Unfortunately, some people bring unsocialized agressive dogs there that limits our play time.
 

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Thanks Tess for the quick response. Buck's a runner! Another reason why his previous owner gave him up. But, I do take him and Kayla to an enclosed dog park where they both interact with other dogs. Unfortunately, some people bring unsocialized agressive dogs there that limits our play time.
Well I have empathy for your situation. We have two hunting dogs, and keeping them satisfied and exercised is a full time job.
 

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I agree with Tess. Kabota, an untrained beagle mix, is exactly the same way with any kind of animal other than another dog. I, too, feel bad I can't just let him chase things, since I think he'd love it, but I know I'd never see him again.

We play with a flirt pole to tap into his natural drives. You can make one pretty easily. Kabota loves it.
 

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A flirt pole sounds like a great idea. I still have a few large feathers to give it a try.

Thanks for the idea.
 

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Thanks Tess for the quick response. Buck's a runner! Another reason why his previous owner gave him up. But, I do take him and Kayla to an enclosed dog park where they both interact with other dogs. Unfortunately, some people bring unsocialized agressive dogs there that limits our play time.
Most of it is unused energy. This is the only thing I have found that uses it up with my hound.
Diggler - Dog Scooters & Scootering Accessories
 

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