English Setter

The English Setter is a gorgeous and even-tempered breed. Their flowing locks are their defining feature, giving them an elegant profile. However, these dogs are also capable athletes, whose gentle and easy-going temperament allows them fit splendidly into family life. In fact, these are some of the most polite and good-natured setters. Read on to learn more about the English Setter.

Description of the English Setter

These dogs are known for their silky, flowing coat. However, unlike other setters, the English come in a spotted pattern. In fact, they come in a variety of shades, but they’re known for that pattern called “belton,” which is roan or heavy ticking. They can be blue, tricolor, lemon, liver and orange.

The English Setter has a lithe build, with lean muscle peeking out behind luscious locks. At the end of the day, though, they were built to work and they have the athleticism needed of hunting dogs.

Humans originally developed this breed to hunt birds. However, they are meant to simply lie down or “set” when they come upon their target. When rifles came about, their jobs changed a bit from the early days, but they were no less effective.

Life Expectancy and Size

Unfortunately, English Setters are generally expected to live only about 12 years.

These dogs are medium to large in size. Most Setters stand between 26 – 27 inches at the shoulder. They weigh a substantial 45 to 80 pounds.

Protective Ability

This breed is simply not a protector. Although alert they are far too gentle. They love their owners and are extremely loyal, but most English Setters do not have the protective instinct or show any kind of ill will. These kindly dogs generally do not display any aggression.


The English Setter is job-oriented and learns quickly. He will catch on to what you’re saying almost immediately, as long as you use consistent and cogent methods.

Make sure to approach the English Setter’s training with a positive attitude. These dogs are simply too attuned to their humans for any harshness or negativity. Using your dog’s mealtimes as a training opportunity will motivate your dog while avoiding weight gain.

Energy Level

English Setters are playful throughout their lives. However, they are also calm and steady. It’s a great mix, and extremely fun to have around the house.

These dogs are relatively high energy and require adequate exercise to stay happy and fit. Hunting lines may need even more exercise. However, they’re calm enough to make good family pets if you can give daily activity a good go.

What Living with an English Setter is Like

This dog is perfect for families. While they are social and calm at home, they are also athletic and always ready to play when they have the option. This breed is a good choice for active owners or those with children. The English and gentle and fun.

The English Setter can adapt to a variety of environments, although they should have at least some access to the outdoors. They are social creatures, and may suffer from separation anxiety. However, they are great with people and other pets.

Care of the English Setter

These dogs need exercise and coat maintenance.

Environmental Needs

The English Setter’s breeding makes them suitable for the rainy and cold air of Great Britain. They were meant to be agile enough for varied terrain, but also sturdy enough to handle anything thrown at them. Today, they can fit well into most environments, both hot and cold. They love the outdoors and should always have access to it.

Exercise Needs

Exercise could come in a variety of forms. For some families, long daily walks can be a good way to keep these Setters happy. However, you should supplement them with outdoor play. These dogs love clowning around with children to get their energy out.

These dogs make great companions for athletic owners, too. They can keep up with runners or bikers. Of course, they would make great tracking and hunting dogs.

Shedding and Grooming

Shedding and grooming is one of the most difficult aspects of caring for the English Setter.

This breed’s long locks require some serious care. You will need to brush your English at least a few times a week. This helps them stay shiny and makes sure that the fine hair doesn’t tangle.

Baths will be in order when your dog becomes smelly. Although some owners clip their dogs, others leave them au natural. A little trim here and there may help keep them cleaner and make their coats easier to care for on a daily basis.

Ideal Home Environment

These dogs are the epitome of adaptable. They can handle children, pets, and strangers without the blink of an eye.

However, their owners should match their athleticism. Exercise should not be a chore, because the English Setter simply needs too much of it. These social dogs should always have plenty of interaction with their families. Otherwise, they can become bored and destructive, or just plain sad.

Health Concerns

This breed is generally quite healthy. Unfortunately, they have the lifespan of a large dog and may only live to around 12 years.

Big areas of concern are the eye and the hip, especially as the English Setter ages. Other problems can arise with ear infections.

Behavior Problems

Some English Setters face separation anxiety. This breed is not well suited to long days alone. These are family pets, and will enjoy playing with the kids when they get home from school.