Mythen's It's All About the Emerald Isle (Emma)
Emma (Mythen's It's All Aboout the Emerald Isle) is the puppy we chose to keep from Whimsy's April 1, 2022 litter. Primarily chosen for her temperament, intelligence and lovely topline, we feel that she won't disappoint us in the show ring. Like her mother, she is already showing us an excellent range of motion as well as a keen interest in birds and scent detection. She has a strong personality - just adores meeting people for a cuddle or two. It appears that she will be a bit of a tall girl, but everything seems to be well proportioned. I had some health issues that prevented me from working with her very much for about 4 months so I have been concentrating on socialization, grooming and building a strong rapport with her, I still have not done any serious formal training with her. She will walk beside me and touch objects of various sizes, shapes and textures upon command while walking at heel off leash in a fenced area.
When grooming her I am having her "stack" or stand as she would in the show ring as much as possible. She is excellent at allowing me to shave her neck, inside of the bottom of her ears and the top 1/3 of the outside of her ear. She is very good when I am using the thinning shears to blend in her neck, ear area and the top of her head. I am totally useless at hand-stripping the top of the dogs heads because there is so much arthritis in my hands. It just takes me forever. So I start with hand stripping and clean it up with the thinning shears. She is improving while I shave between the pads of the bottom of her paws as well as doing a sani-clip around her genita area. I have always had a groomer but I really want to improve my skills with the Irish Setters myself. I still have a lot to learn and I am slow but my dogs are pretty patient. Emma is getting there, as well.
Emma is quite intelligent which sometimes makes her appear to be sassy and strong-willed. However, she learns very quickly and rarely has to be reminded of anything twice. For instance, when Emma was first learning stairs she attempted to pass me on them. I gently stopped her and brought her to the starting point. I then had several of our adult dogs, one at a time, follow me up the stairs while my husband held her to watch. I returned to the bottom of the stairs and she slowly followed me up the stairs, staying several steps behind. Of course we rewarded with plenty of love and a few treats. Emma continues to keep a safe distance between her and the person she is following on the stairs ever since. Another example is that we taught her early on to walk (well, she usually runs...hahaha!) past all the other dog bowls and even dogs eating to go to her own quiet eating place. Once she arrives there she sits patiently until she is given permission to eat. She's a rock star at this!
The sassy in her is primarily when we break a routine. She will "talk" to us to inform us that we are late with her walk, outdoor time, cuddles or feeding time. If that doesn't work she works her way between whatever our attention is on and us... for instance she will ease her way between a book, dog, tablet or whatever it is and I. If that doesn't work she will attempt to move objects from our attention. It's rather amusing but frustrating at times. If I am laying in bed watching TV and the dog's water bowl in the master bathroom is empty she will come and lay across me. For months I thought she was loving me and giving me a hug. I was wrong. It was her way to let me know the bowl is empty. If I don't catch on, she will go into the bathroom and move the bowl around on the floor noisily. I still thank her for the hugs though because I love the behavior. Our 12 year old Golden Retriever has 3 meals a day. Trust me, we can't be late or forget her third feeding time with Emma around! What a sassy girl!
Emma responds so well to positive training methods however, if she's had enough she will surely let you know! We try to keep training sessions short and end every training session with positives. Every night before she goes to bed Neil and her go to the weaning pen we had for the puppies. While there, Neil teaches her "tricks" for a few minutes. Then they share lots of one-on-one cuddle time. After they are done she runs into the bedroom, hops onto the bed to say goodnight to me, then runs into her crate in the master bathroom and lays down. She has improved a lot with the chickens. First she will stalk them and just set there; then in a silly burst of red-headed energy she will run towards one. If it doesn't flap and curse at her she quickly gives up on that one and runs to another. So, while there is still work to do on that at least she isn't jumping on them (even if they hunch down or pretend to die) and when I call her to come she is improving on her recall. The birds are quite used to this kind of idiocy as Gwynnie waits until they are gathered in a small area then dives right through the middle of them to make them fly every which way as they squawk and complain. They only go a foot or two before resuming the search for insects.
As I type this Emma is days short of 9 months old. As she matures I am certain I will have much more to add. Her most notable traits are her loving nature, playfulness, will to please, perseverence and confidence. We hope this will continue into the dog show world. She is absolutely horrible walking on a leash and with her off-leash recall. I have just started using a gentle leader, which she hates, but she is easier to walk! She is a physical powerhouse so needs more physical and mental activity than many dogs. Her mother, though, can be off-leash pretty much anywhere and her recall is excellent. Hopefully I will get Emma there soon so she can do some field training. She loves people, being outdoors, running, fetch, scenting and some dogs. I love her and I really hope that she will work out in my breeding program.