The English Setter is a easy to identify with its beautiful, silky coat and its setter profile. The English Setter also has a distinctive speckling or spotting of the coat that is very different than other setter breeds. The spots or speckles may be of any size or color including brown, lemon, blue (gray) or even orange on a white background. The setter has a broad head and a very pronounced stop or break between the muzzle and the eyes. The eyes are hazel and are very large and intelligent looking. Many people believe that the English Setter has one of the most expressive eyes and face of any of the hunting breeds. The ears typically hang down to the bottom of the jaw, and are very soft and silky to the touch. The English Setter also has a beautifully fringed tail that is held slightly above the topline.
Temperament of an English Setter
The English Setter is a very well mannered and even tempered dog that loves the company of both family and other pets. The breed does need human company and will become destructive if left alone for too long. They are typically very intelligent and may be somewhat stubborn to train, especially with regards to housetraining. Early socialization and firm and positive training methods are the best option for working with the breed. Their gentle temperament makes the English Setter an ideal family pet, even with very small children. They are very active dogs and love to run and romp with the kids.
Grooming & Shedding of an English Setter
As an average shedder the breed does require regular brushing with a stiff bristle brush or a pin brush. Special care must be taken to keep tangles out of the longer hair on the legs, feet, tail and ruff. English Setters should not be bathed unless absolutely necessary as their coat tends to dry when bathed.
History of the English Setter
The first setters where bred in France in the 1500’s and were the ancestors of the current setter breeds. In 1800 the hunting dogs were brought to England where two breeders, Lavareck and Llewellin. Lavareck bred more of the show style setters and Llewellin the hunting variety. Both types of setters are now known and the English Setter, while the hunting variety is still somewhat smaller that the larger show dog. They were so named for their “sitting” position when indicating that game is near. Some companion setters will naturally display this behavior without any training.
Health Issues with an English Setter
Major Concerns: deafness, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia