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English Setter: Dog Breed Information and Pictures

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Are you a game bird hunter who also wants a dog that the kids would adore? The English Setter could be the perfect dog for you.

These dogs are developed from crosses between the Spanish Pointer, the big Water Spaniel, and English Springer Spaniel. Together, these three breeds produced an excellent bird dog with a high level of competence in locating and pointing games in open terrain. It hunts in much the same way as its ancestors did, by quartering the ground in front of the hunters to try to smell what they are after.

This breed prefers to take it easy in the house and cuddle on the couch. Moreover, this breed is also very trainable, learning simple commands quickly and eagerly. Thus, this breed may be the best option if you’re searching for a dog who gets along well with kids and other pets and can share your home with you.

Let’s delve deeper into everything we can know about this breed, from its unique traits to its dietary needs and care.

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History of English Setter

History of English Setter

Dogs strikingly similar to the current English Setter appear in artworks dating back to at least the 15th century. This breed is commonly considered one of the first types of gundogs. Formerly referred to as “setting spaniels,” these dogs would range before the hunter on open land, crouch down (set), or point when they spotted their quarry. Before the invention of the gun in the 18th century, hunters had to use nets to capture the bird. They quickly gained favor among the nobility, who had huge estates.

They may have been created from the crossing of the pointing and spaniel breeds, while their exact ancestry is unknown. Compared to Irish or Gordon Setters, they are reputed to be gentler and a little bit smaller.

English Setters were first bred seriously in the 19th century by Edward Laverack, who frequently crossed with those dogs belonging to R. Purcell Llewellin. These dogs were sometimes called Laverack or Llewellin Setters to represent their ancestry. These dogs laid the groundwork for the modern breed we know and love. It was emphasized that the animal had an athletic build, noticeable feathering, a shiny coat, and distinctive markings.

In contrast to the Llewellin Setters, known for their field capabilities, the Laverack series became known as the show-type. The first English Setter was brought to the US in the 1870s, and the American Kennel Club officially recognized them in 1884.

In the 1930s, an English Setter rose to prominence in the United States. A statue of “Jim the Wonderdog” stands in a Missouri park. The rumor mill claimed he could read tea leaves and spoke five languages fluently. A reasonable number of people speculated that the dog was just intelligent and had been prepped and given certain commands by its owner. Despite their continued popularity in hunting, English Setters are also much sought after as companion animals due to their gentle nature.

Breed Characteristics of English Setter

Breed Characteristics of English Setter

The English Setter is a lovely dog you may share your home with. It is independent, loving, and wonderful. It is a breed of medium-short dogs. As adults, males can reach a maximum height and weight of 25 inches (64 centimeters) and 65 to 80 pounds, respectively. Women average between 45 and 75 pounds and 23 inches (59 centimeters) in height at the shoulder.

These dogs’ long, slender, and powerful necks allow them to hold their heads proudly. They have a long, square muzzle that begins about an inch below the eyes, and their heads are slightly domed, giving them an oval form. English Setters have large nostrils and a well-structured black or brown nose that complements their round brown eyes.

The hair around their ears is combed back, and their ears are set back on their heads. They have a predominantly white body coat; however, they sometimes have spots of color (called Belton) in blue, orange, lemon, or chestnut.

The Llewllins, a pure strain with genes traceable back to the 19th-century breeding effort of sportsman R. L. Purcell Llewellin and the Laveracks, are two of the most popular types of English Setter, also named for one of the developers of the breeding program, Edward Laverack. The Llewellin is a little, quick dog with a thin coat, while the Laverack Setter is a large dog with a thick coat.

More About English Setter

More About English Setter

Did you know the English Setter is one of the oldest gun dog breeds, with a history dating back to the 14th century?

They like both the giving and receiving of affection. Animals are devoted and watchful servants. They watch out for their family or pack. The English Setter breed is known for its sensitivity and strong emotions. They let you know when danger is coming. You can rapidly calm them down, though.

It’s no secret that English Setters are gregarious travelers. Dogs are social creatures at heart and thrive with human or canine company. So, there may always be activity in the home of an English Setter. Every visitor will make him pleased, and he will extend a warm welcome. These dogs also enjoy making friends with other canines of the same kind.

The animals frequently run and leap across the grasslands. They’re practically invincible, especially when they’re young. They start feeling anxious, but as they become older, they relax. Many people say that English Setters are the most affectionate and social dogs. 

Despite this, they are bred to hunt and have a natural aptitude for hunting. Don’t let their look deceive you. When an English setter spots a rabbit or a cat, he turns into a furious hunter. Keep this in mind while you’re together.


Size of English Setter

Males average 65 to 80 pounds and 25 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder; females are 23 to 25 inches and weigh 45 to 55 pounds.


The English Setter is an ideal family dog due to its calm demeanor and friendly nature. He has a soft, gentle personality and genuinely enjoys showing and receiving affection. Dogs of this breed are known for being watchful and protective of their human families and territory.

English Setters tend to be friendly and outgoing pets. They are happy to socialize with both human and dog companions. Although they are hyperactive as pups, they tend to calm down tremendously as adults. These canines typically have free-range lives, where they may run, dig, and play.

They are receptive to positive reinforcement and eager to learn. Because of their mild nature, harsh treatment often upsets English Setters. Never ignore an English Setter or shout at it; both behaviors can cause the dog to become fearful and anxious.

Due to their ancestry as hunters, English Setters may have an intense desire to catch and kill their prey. If they are easily tempted to “hunt,” you may need to keep them on a lead at all times or put in extra effort to train them to come when called.


Temperament of English Setter

The personality of an English Setter is energetic, playful, warm, and intellectual. Their pleasant personality features include, however, a sneaky streak of mischief. The fact that they are kind and patient with adults and young children also makes them a fantastic choice for a family pet.

Temperament, conversely, isn’t something that develops in a vacuum. A person’s intelligence is influenced by upbringing, socializing, and genetics. Good-natured puppies enthusiastically explore their surroundings, play with toys, and seek human interaction. Choose the puppy that seems to be in the middle, not the one who is bullying his littermates or the one who is cowering in the corner.

Make sure you meet at least one parent, preferably the mother, to check that their temperaments are agreeable. To get a sense of what a puppy will be like as an adult, it’s also beneficial to meet the sibling(s) or other parents’ relatives.


English Setters have a lifespan of 10–12 years, though they may begin to show signs of aging as early as nine years old. While they tend to be healthy, they share common health issues with other dog breeds. Read on to learn about some potential health issues with your new puppy.

  • Hearing issues
  • Hip dysplasia 
  • Allergies
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer

It would be best if you had your new dog checked for deafness, a faulty thyroid, and hip and elbow dysplasia before taking him home. If you have an English Setter, you should give it the proper nutrients to prevent obesity.


English Setters need plenty of exercises because they are high-energy dogs. They’ll let you know they’re unhappy if you don’t take them for a daily walk or run in the park by barking at you or digging holes in the yard. Such antics are characteristic of any bored dog, not just this breed. English Setters have a long coat, but their silky texture makes them little maintenance. Ten minutes of brushing or combing twice weekly are needed to maintain a well-groomed coat.

However, after a run outside, check for grass seeds and burrs. Keeping a pet English Setter’s coat clean and clear of tangles and removing knots beneath the ears and excess hair between the toes will make it happy and healthy. It will prevent coat tangles and foreign bodies from invading the skin, eyes, and ears. Show dogs are groomed by breeders who can teach new owners.



AMOUNT: Two to three cups of high-quality dry food every day, split between two meals, is what your pet needs.

Please observe that the amount of food your adult dog needs depends on age, size, structure, metabolism, and degree of activity. In the same way that not every human has the exact dietary requirements, not every dog does. A hyperactive dog will require more food than a less active dog. While shopping for dog food, it’s essential to consider the brand and quality; higher-quality food requires less dumping into your dog’s bowl because it goes further toward its nutritional purpose.

Coat Color And Grooming

An appealing feature of the English Setter is his luxurious coat. Without any curl or wooliness, the coat lays completely flat. Feathering decorates the ears, chest, belly, underside of the thighs, backs of the legs, and tail, adding a touch of elegance without hampering the Setter’s mobility in the field. His hunting-inspired color palette includes blue belton, orange and tan belton, and liver belton, all rooted in his English ancestry.

Nonetheless, the English Setter is a moderate shedder and requires regular brushing. A fine-toothed comb or slicker brush makes grooming easier. Brushing their coats weekly keeps them healthy and removes mats and knots. Clipping the hair around your dog’s paw pads makes them more mobile on any surface.

Children And Other Pets

Children And Other Pets

Protecting adult English Setters from children is more common than the opposite. He’s laid-back and will tolerate a lot of mistreatment, even if it’s not his place. Puppy and toddler socialization requires strict monitoring to avoid rough play like ear pulling and tail tugging. Several breeders won’t sell puppies to households with children under six because they think older youngsters can better care for them. Adult English Setters are great pets for homes with young children. A child should never approach or take a dog’s food. Never leave a youngster and dog alone.

English Setters do well with dogs and cats if raised with them. Nevertheless, keep your feathery companions safe until your Setter realizes that birds are off-limits. If given as a puppy, a dog may learn the information but don’t expect it. To avoid the parakeet biting its sensitive nose or tearing the Setter’s feathers, keep them apart.


While English Setters were initially developed to hunt birds, their friendly and pleasant personalities have led to their widespread adoption as family pets. If properly cared for, these dogs can live well in most households. If you own a dog, maintaining regular touch with your veterinarian is essential for monitoring your pet’s health.


Are English Setters good watchdogs?

When guests arrive, English Setters bark. If their owner says it’s okay, they usually stop barking and become friends with the stranger. This kind of vocal harassment of potential invaders is usually enough to prevent them from even setting foot on your property. Without a doubt, an English Setter would rush to their family’s defense if an intruder threatened the latter.

What is the normal lifespan for English Setter?

An English Setter’s average lifespan is around 12 years when they are well-cared for, well-fed, and regularly exercised. Sometimes, they may also live to be 14 or 15 years. The best years for an English Setter are ages 4 to 7. Even if they’ve been healthy until then, they will start showing signs of aging around the ninth year.

Should I buy a male English Setter or a female one?

Males of this breed tend to be laid-back, friendly, and obedient. While females share the same calm temperament, they are more likely to challenge their owner’s limits. Consider this in light of your lifestyle and expectations for an English Setter.

What size might one expect an English Setter to be when fully grown?

Most male dogs are larger than females of the same breed. Bitches are usually between 45 and 55 lb. and have a withers height of 23-25 in. (64-64 cm). Adult canines typically range in height from 25 to 27 inches at the withers and weight from 65 to 80 pounds. Field-bred Setters are smaller and have less coat than their show-bred counterparts.

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