English Setter Guide

Sporting Dog Breeds


The English Setter is among the sweetest of setters, distinguished by its unusual speckled coat. They are elegant, athletic, goofy, and playful. Bred as companions and birddogs, one of these pups even spent time in the White House! President Hoover owned an English Setter.

Originally from England, this large and medium-energy breed can grow to between 45-80 pounds and lives an average of 10-12 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Sporting group.


FAST FACTS
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Origin: England
Breed Group: Sporting
Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Size: Large
Bark Factor: Moderate

AKC RANKING 94

FAMILY gundog, setter, pointer

AREA OF ORIGIN England

DATE OF ORIGIN 1300s

ORIGINAL FUNCTION bird setting and retrieving

TODAY'S FUNCTION pointing, pointing field trials

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 25 Weight: 60-65

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 24 Weight: 50-55

OTHER NAME none

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Energy level High energy

Exercise needs High

Playfullness Moderately playful

Affection level Very affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Very friendly

Friendliness toward strangers Very friendly

Ease of training Moderately easy to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Not very protective

Grooming needs Moderate maintenance

Cold tolerance Medium tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

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BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS AN ENGLISH SETTER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

The English Setter is a friendly, calm, and cheerful dog. This breed is very affectionate and playful. They are dedicated and boisterous dogs while they're working or playing; at home, they're content to be by your side.

This is a great family dog but can be shy with younger children. They'll always do best when supervised with other dogs and children.

WHAT IS ENGLISH SETTER BEHAVIOR LIKE?

This is a somewhat active breed that will need rigorous daily exercise. They also crave human company, so don't leave your English Setter alone for too long!

These dogs are alert and vigilant but not particularly protective. English Setters can be somewhat prone to barking.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN AN ENGLISH SETTER?

This breed can be challenging to train; they tend to be somewhat stubborn. At the same time, English Setters are sensitive people-pleasers. They'll respond well to gentle, patient, consistent training techniques and positive reinforcement using food rewards. This breed excels at hunting and retrieving.

Be sure to socialize your English Setter pup early and often. This shouldn't be a hardship; these furry friends are fairly outgoing. They tend to be good canine citizens at dog parks.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO ENGLISH SETTERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

Newborn English Setters have white coats. As adults, their feathered single coats are made up of long flowing hair. Their distinctive color pattern is known as belton markings, named for Belton, England.

English Setters are moderate, seasonal shedders who will need brushing every other day to prevent matting. Plan for baths about once a month.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO ENGLISH SETTERS HAVE?

This is a generally healthy breed. Some English Setters can be susceptible to deafness and hip or elbow dysplasia. This breed loves to eat, so be mindful about meals and snacks.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
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Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.

IDEAL FAMILY

ARE ENGLISH SETTERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?

The American Kennel Club doesn't list English Setters among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.

You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as large as an English Setter! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.

WHAT'S AN ENGLISH SETTER'S BEST DAY?

With you—all day, every hour. Out for a run. In for a meal. This dog wants you and you all the time.

SHOULD I ADOPT AN ENGLISH SETTER?

Your English Setter will happily join you for a morning run or jog and, with enough exercise, this breed can adapt to many kinds of homes. They're affectionate, playful, and polite housedogs. If you can commit to your furry friend's need for frequent romps and human companionship, an English Setter could be your new best buddy.

Have you decided that an English Setter is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.
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