The English Setter is one of the oldest breeds of gun dogs. Sir Edward Laverack developed the English Setter from early French hunting dogs in the early 1800’s. It is a beautiful, graceful, elegant, slim setter with a unique speckled coat. It thieves on human companionship or with other dogs. It has unconditional devotion to its whole family.
This breed is very gentle, placid, affectionate and friendly. Newborn puppies are born white and after the first week begin to change in color.
Black and white, orange and white, lemon and white, liver and white or tricolor, those without heavy patches of color but flecked all over are preferred.
The coat is short, straight and dense. Regular brushing and combing of the soft, flat, medium-length coat is all that is required to keep it in excellent condition. It is important to check for burrs and tangles, and to give extra care when the dog is shedding. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. Trim the hair on the bottom of the feet and clip the nails. This breed is an average shedder.
Prone to hip dysplasia, bitches are prone to false pregnancies. It tends to gain weight easily, be careful not to overfeed the dog.
The English Setter is mild mannered and sensitive. This breed is extremely loyal, patient and devoted to its family. It makes a perfect family dog. It is excellent with children. The English Setter needs lots of companionship and enjoys playing with other dogs. Consistent training and strenuous exercise is needed for a good-natured dog.
It is responsive and easy to train but does have a mind of its own. Training should start early to prevent development of bad habits, but should never be harshly treated. It tends to be willful and can be difficult to housebreak. It likes to roam, dig and jump. The English Setter is an adequate watchdog. There are two types of English Setter: field and show. The field type is generally a bit smaller and lighter, and very active so it needs more exercise than the show type. Both types need daily exercise to stay healthy and happy.
The English Setter is usually enthusiastic and lively outdoors, but relatively inactive indoors. It tends to be quite vocal and can become a nuisance barker if not discouraged at an early age. It may drool, although not obsessively like some of the Mastiff type dogs. The English Setter’s talents include hunting, tracking, retrieving, pointing, watchdogging and agility.
Not recommended for apartment life, a home with an average-sized fenced yard is essential, as it has a tendency to wander. It needs plenty of exercise – if possible, running free. If it doesn’t get a long, brisk, daily walk, it will be difficult to manage.