A dog can express more with his tail in minutes than his owner can express with his tongue in hours. – Anonymous
The English Setter has been “setting” game birds in Britain since the 14th century – making it one of the oldest breeds of gun dog. “Setting dogges” is an ancient term used for setters who can be seen in early 15th century art depicting dogs that are discernible as being of a “setter type”. The Setter’s ancestors include the land and water spaniels of Spain, the Spanish Pointer and the English Springer Spaniel.
The setter’s function is to hunt for quail, pheasant and grouse by ‘setting’ game birds for the hunters’ nets. When working, the dog sniffs the air, scenting his prey. He is sometimes referred to as the Laverack or Llewellin Setter as these two men are credited with the development of the modern setter.
Photos displayed courtesy of John Anzil, Anzil’s English Setters, Ontario
The adult English Setter stands up to 25 inches (63 cm) tall. His coat can be black and white, orange and white, liver and white, lemon and white, white, black-white and tan, orange belton, liver belton, lemon belton, tricolour belton, or blue belton. He has long hair or feathers on his chest, body, legs, and tail, and requires regular brushing. Puppies are born white and begin to change colour after the first week.
Like the other setters, the English Setter is known for his expressive face, graceful gait, and boisterous personality. And like the other setters, he takes two to three years to mature and is a fun-loving and playful pet. He is an affectionate animal with boundless energy who thrives on human companionship and attention. This is not a dog to be left alone for long periods. He may be a good watch dog but with his love of people, he is not an effective guard dog.
This breed is intelligent, but he also has a mind of his own. Blind obedience has never been the setter style. He does best with a consistent and loving approach to training which should begin early. This is a sporting dog who requires an outlet for all that energy! Plenty of good romping room and long runs will ensure that he remains healthy and happy.