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English Setter – The Amazing Companion & Hunting Dog Breed

English Setter
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A medium size dog breed, the English Setter is one of the dog breeds accepted as both companion and hunting dogs in various parts of the world.

English Setters include a bunch of setters- tan-and-black Gordon Setters, White Setters and Irish Red, and red Irish Setters to name with.

This dog breed has earned the name “Setter” due to its inborn trait to crouch low or set the hunt for the hunter to complete. After hunting with the gun became really popular, these dogs were used as pointer dogs.


English Setter History

The rich history of the English Setter travels back almost 500 years. In those days, these dogs were initially bred on the estates of aristocrats who crossed pointer breeds and spaniel to develop hunting dogs.

Moreover, the primary purpose of this breed is to locate or set game birds. Furthermore, this breed gained immense popularity in America as well as in Britain.

Finally, when hunting rifles started to gain these dog breeds came to be known as “gundogs”.

English Setter Facts

English Setter Appearance

A charismatic, substantial, and excellent hunter dog, the English Setter consists of style, substance, grace, elegance, stamina, and power.

They contain feathering of nice length and are flat coated. Moreover, they have a strong top line, powerful rear drive, and excellent forward reach.

Male English Setters are very much masculine and female English Setters are feminine and move around without undue refinement.

Overall, the English Setter remains as a medium-sized dog with crowd-pulling good looks and pleasing personality. Moreover, this breed was developed to work on various terrains of Scotland, Ireland, and England.

English Setter Coat

In general, the English Setters have a flat coat without any wooliness or curl. Featherings are common on tail, legs, thighs underside, abdomen, chest, or ears.

Finally, extra or excessive feathering that hides movement or true lines or somehow that prevent dog’s ability as a hunting dog is not recommended.

Colour wise, the English Setters are different from other setters. Their coat shades range from blue or lemon dapple, orange, or brown across wavy chalk white background.

English Setter Size And Lifespan

English Setter Size

Males can gain between 63.5 cms to 68 cms tall and females between 58 cms to 63 cms in height. Females and males can weigh not more than 20 kgs to 24 kgs and 29 kgs to 36 kgs respectively.

English Setter Lifespan

The average life expectancy of an English Setter is normally between 10 to 12 years.

English Setter Grooming

Brushing the English Setters coat once a week is recommended otherwise their silky, long coats may look untidy. In case of tangles, use a big toothed metal comb for working through locks with ease.

If you leave them unattended, mats and tangles can cause unnecessary headaches in the future. Frequent trimming around other areas including feet and face can make your English Setter appeal well.

To sum up, a bath every 30 to 40 days will keep your English Setter’s skin and coat healthy and clean.

Note – Remember to trim the nails once every 30 days.

How many types of English Setters are there?

There are two popular types of English Setter dogs.

Llewellyn Setter or the main hunting type looks broader and smaller with very less hair and natural looking head. Also, being hunter dogs by nature, Llewellin Setters need very rigorous exercise.

Show type setters appear quite tall than Llewellin Setters with lots of hair and narrow head. In addition, they are pretty laid back.

Overall, of all the three Setter dogs, the English Setters are the best of the lot which includes Gordon, Irish, and English.

English Setter Temperament

  • This dog works well if trained and socialized early. Take him along for a leisure walk in the park, visit dog- friendly shopping centres and stores, and regularly invite guests to your home. By the by, this can help the English Setter to adjust to new sounds, new places, and new sights etc.
  • Treating this dog with regular consistent kind behaviour and also the use of food treats and positive reinforcements can do wonders.
  • As long as they are not treated badly, they will be very responsive to training and will not behave stubbornly.
  • They are easy going dogs and at times can behave oddly, indicating a lack of early socialization skills and puppy skills.
  • Generally speaking, the English Setters are people-oriented, intelligent, eager, gentle, mischievous, and strong-minded dogs
  • The first show featuring English Setters was conducted on 8th January 1859 at a place called Newcastle-On-Tyne.
  • Because of their look and usefulness, these dogs have garnered more attention in America for a long time.
  • Without the efforts of one Edward Laverack in 1825, this breed would not have reached places like America.

English Setter Health Problem

In case you are planning to buy or adopt an English Setter, keep these points in mind

Elbow Dysplasia 

A condition commonly found in big dog breeds or varieties. This means the elbow joint of the dog is affected by arthritis.

Some of the well-established symptoms of elbow dysplasia:

  • Dogs displaying signs of elbow joint manipulation
  • Reduced movement of elbows, in this case, it could be both
  • Your dog feels reluctant to go out or play
  • Swollen joints causing pain
  • Finding it extremely difficult
  • Limping and showing signs of discomfort

In general, we have classified this problem into four categories

  • Ununited anconeal process – Degeneration and irritation of the elbow caused to bone outgrowth
  • Growth rate incongruity – Lack of synchronization between ulna bone and radius bone results in a condition called as growth rate incongruity.
  • Osteochondritis dissecans –  Dogs displaying limpness mainly due to a problem in medial humeral condyle.
  • FCP or Fragmented coronoid process – A large fragment breaks off and irritates the elbow joint.

Elbow dysplasia – Causes in dogs

Elbow dysplasia happens primarily due to genetic factors. Other important factors that cause elbow dysplasia are irregular exercise, increase in weight, poor nutrition, hormonal differences, trauma, and a high protein diet.

In fact, three important parts include humerus, radius, and ulna. Particularly, these three parts form the dog’s elbow.

Also, the impaired joint formation can happen due to the improper developmental problem.

Treatment – Elbow Dysplasia

As a matter of fact, the degree of treatment exactly depends on the state of the elbow joint. Besides, surgeries do not happen in all the cases but surgeries are performed when

  • In certain cases, elbow joint replacement might be required
  • Removing the bone that’s creating unnecessary trouble for the dog
  • Realigning the bones
  • Totally cut or remove cartilage

NSAIDs or anti-inflammatory drugs will be prescribed to remove inflammation and pain. For prolonged use, these drugs might cause side effects connected with cartilage damage.





Not all types of hearing loss and deafness can be cured using surgery or medication, time and patience must be provided to the affected dog.

Vibrating collars can help to handle the situation in a better fashion, but take the call whether you are in a position to handle the dog or not. Plan wisely.





When the thyroid gland produces low levels, then this condition is known as hypothyroidism. Obvious signs may include untimely heat cycles, eyelids drooping, mental dullness, obesity, and certain cases infertility is also seen.

The skin can turn dark and tough, and the shedding of fur will continue. The treatment must be continued for lifelong and the affected dog can lead a normal life.

Hip Dysplasia




A condition where the dog’s hip joint and thigh bone are not working in pairs, a hereditary condition in most cases. Proper screening for hip dysplasia can be done at the Hip Correction Program conducted by the Pennsylvania University.

Tick Bites

Remember that your pet dog’s coat must remain shiny and clean. Use your hands and spot any indication of ticks and bald spots. Also, make your dog eat heartworm medicines and there are certain tablets that are prescribed once a month. If your dog has tick fever, immediately take him to a vet.



English Setter Food

English setter puppies are recommended to be fed at least three times daily. And, when they reach one year of age, feed them with best quality dog food at least two times a day.

Not to mention, English Setters are prone to over-eating and their diet must be checked every now and then. By the by, they like “counter surf” and do not use negative training or harsh training techniques.

In fact, some English Setters literally dive into the dishwasher to eat leftovers.

English Setter Training

Firstly, these dogs behave devoted to sensible and kind-mannered personality. They are overly sensitive and will remember every punishment, so treat them positively with no punishments.

Their prey instinct and sharp nose can force them to follow trails-alternatively this can also get them into trouble. As long as they are not fully grown, they are very delicate and therefore keep all toxic objects out of their reach.

In brief, when English Setters are provided proper exercise, training, and attention, they are such a delight to be with.

Exercise For English Setter

With regards to exercise, English Setters require exercise and pieces of training to remain healthy and happy puppy. Notably, this might include running around in a safe and secure fenced area.

When you are cramped for space, you can try hikes, long walks, or jog along with him. Also, they attain bone strength and development not before two years and you better stick to low-intensity exercises.

Although English Setters are boisterous by nature, they will keep quiet and behave as good companions at home.

Behaviour with other pets and small children:

Generally speaking, English Setters are very timid and gentle with kids and these dogs require more protection than the kids. Also, toddlers and puppies, who are both starting their socialization part, they require supervision to stop tail tugging and ear pulling.

Always teach your kids not to approach or disturb any dog while they are busy eating or relaxing. However, English Setters are not bird dogs and when they are taught to treat birds well from an early age, they will do so.

Otherwise, you are better advised to keep them both in different areas under supervision.

English Setter Names

Selecting an appropriate name for your English Setter is as important as feeding him with good food. So, a nice appealing name that not only sounds simple but the one your dog to likes is the key. Difficult to pronounce names may cause undue chaos and confusion.

Meanwhile, they are hunter dogs and bird names are suitable for them. Overall, whatever be the name but when it’s time to select a name for your dog, consider things like simple phonetics.

To make your task even more simple, take a look at these English Setter names.

Female English Setter Names

MableLovely or adorable
KelseyShip’s success
BonnyPretty and nice

Male English Setter Names

Popular male English Setter names

ThaddeusLarge-hearted and brave
EthanLong-lived and enduring
AldinOld Pal

English Setter Interesting Facts

  • Generally, friendly, surprisingly with a calm demeanour makes for an affectionate, quiet friend at home and a bubbly hunting dog.
  • Widely recognized for their unique hunting skills, these dogs can somehow turn any bad day into a peppy, energetic one.
  • Their supreme sensing skills help them to locate the prey and wait patiently for their partner to carry the hunt.
  • Initially developed as loyal hunt dogs, they are the most popular gun dog at present.
  • In the early 17th century, the English Setters were mostly used for the art of falconry.
  • The English Setter owned by late American President Roosevelt was named Winks.
  • Even though Setters and Pointers share similar traits, the main difference is their coats. The Setter and Pointers have long and short coats respectively.

English Setter Price

The price of a dog like an English Setter is based on various factors ranging from breed lines, socialization skills, breed demand, litter size etc.

The average price for this dog starts around USD 630 with papers and breeding rights. In case, if you fancy superior ancestry, you should be ready to pay around USD 1200 to USD 4500.

English Setter Breeders/Adoption Centers

  • Adopt-a-Pet.com
    310 N. Indian Hill Blvd., #800
    Claremont, CA 91711
  • Magnolia Setter Rescue
    Bonnie Foster, Coordinator
    17590 S.E. Hwy. 452
    Umatilla, FL 32784
  • Above and Beyond English Setter Rescue
  • English Setter Association of America

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