About English Setters? Click Here for the
The English Setter is a large, gundog breed
with a natural bird instinct. These graceful
and friendly dogs are of two types: show and
field. Show dogs have a silky, flowing coat
while the field dog's coat is shorter. Overall,
the field type is also a bit smaller.
The origins of Setters date back to the 1500s
in France and were the result of crossing
Spanish and French pointers. Today's Setters
are believed to be the result of crosses of
the large Water Spaniel, Spring Spaniel and
the Spanish Pointer.
Edward Laverack and R.L. Purcel Llewellin
both play a significant role in the development
of the present day English Setter. In about
1825, Laverack obtained and mated two Setters
"Ponto" and "Old Moll"
from Rev. A. Harrison who had kept the breed
pure for over 35 years. "Laverack Setters"
were specifically recognized for their beauty
and refinement and are the base of today's
show dogs. The first show for the English
Setter was held at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1859.
Years later, Llewellin developed from Laverack's
best dogs, a type with excellent field abilities.
It is this strain which became the foundation
of today's field type - and is also referred
to as "Llewellin Setters". The Carnegie
Museum of Pittsburgh has a statue of the field-trial
setter "Count Noble" on display.
While there are two different types of English
Setters and they can vary in appearance, these
dogs are of one breed.
The American Kennel Club recognized the English
Setter breed in the Sporting Group in 1884.
The height for a English Setter dog is 24-27
inches (61-69cm) and females 23-26 inches
Weight: The weight for a English
Setter dog is 55-80 pounds (25-36kg) and females
45-70 pounds (20-32kg)
Coat Type: The
English Setter's coat is fine, flat, medium
or long length (depending upon the type).
Feathering on the ears, tail, legs and stomach.
Regular brushing and combing will keep the
coat in good condition and bathing needed
only when necessary. The English Setter is
an average shedder.
Color: The English Setter's
coat can have various speckled colors which
are known as belton. Combinations are white
with black (blue belton), white with orange
flecks (orange belton), white with orange
flecks and lighter nose is lemon belton, white
with liver flecks (Liver Belton) or "Tricolor"
which is blue or liver belton with Tan markings
on the face, chest and legs.
Temperament: The English Setter
is a friendly, intelligent and gentle breed.
These dogs enjoy attention, do well with children
and other dogs. English Setters love being
outdoors although they should never be kept
as outside dogs. English Setters do well with
training, but should never be treated harshly.
The field type is more active and can be strong-willed
and mischievous. The show type is more laid
Health Problems: English
Setters are a relatively healthy breed. The
following health concerns can affect this
breed: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, congenital
deafness, and canine hypothyroidism. Setters
have few genetic problems but some problems
occasionally occur. Cancer is more common
in older dogs. Allergies are seen in some
lines and include food allergies. These dogs
should not be overfed. The average life span
of a English Setter is between 10 - 12 years.
• The Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh
has a statue of the field-trial setter "Count
Noble" on display.
• The very
first dog registered with the AKC was an English
Setter named Adonis in 1878 - this breed was
recognized in the AKC Sporting Group in 1884.
AKC: Sporting Group
ANKC: Group 3 - Gundogs
CKC: Group 1 - Sporting
FCI: Group 7 - Section 2 - British and Irish
Pointers and Setters
KC: Gundog Group
UKC: Gun Dog