English Setter

Using dogs to assist in hunting for food is probably the oldest of all the canine professions. English Setters may well hold the record for being around a long time, and, although their origins are not recorded, bird-setting dogs such as these have been mentioned in literature since the 1500s.


This dog works in concentric circles, head held high scenting the air. On detecting a bird, its nose goes down and it creeps very gently towards it as if it is hypnotised: the hunter moves in stealthily behind. Setters need careful and skilful training.


A gentle and friendly dog. the English Setter is extremely affectionate and loves human company, although it will live happily in kennels provided it has companions. In general, the breed is very fond of children but they can be boisterous when young. Quiet in the house, a Setter will give warning of strangers but means them no harm.

must know

There are some genetic anomalies such as hip dysplasia and some skin disorders. Only buy from those breeders who use KC/BVA tests.


This dog has a soft expression and a noble carriage, which is noted for its symmetry - the basis of its elegance. It comes in several colours, all with white, black, orange, lemon, liver or tricolour. Those coats without heavy colour patches are preferred, but they should be flecked (known as Belton) all over. Dogs are 65-68cm (25-27in) in height, and bitches are 61-65cm (24-251/2in).

Strangers 3/5

Will give warning

Temperament 3/5

Friendly, good-natured

Exercise 4/5

Plenty of walks and free running

Grooming 3/5

Three times a week

Other dogs 5/5

Happily socializes with all breeds


Affectionate family pet

General care

English Setters are immensely friendly dogs and they dislike being left alone. Feeding quality food in the correct amounts is essential, particularly for such an active breed; a higher calorific value is needed for working dogs. Plenty of exercise is very important for adults, especially when they are working because stamina is of the essence. It is a spirited and headstrong breed and must be trained with patience and kindness. The glamorous coat is maintained by triweekly attention, ensuring that the leg furnishings are combed to prevent tangles.

Gallery of English Setter