AKC Group: Sporting
“Setting” dogs came from the Spanish Spaniel. This spaniel would track birds and lay down in a “pointing” position when they located the birds. The hunter would then toss a net over the bird and dog. When hunters began to rely on guns, the Spanish Spaniel became obsolete. Two breeders stepped in and ended up creating the modern English Setter breed.
Size: 24 to 25 inches tall; 50 to 65 pounds
Color: Orange, liver, lemon or black flecks over a white background; tricolor (black and tan flecks against white).
Life span: 10 to 12 years
Health problems: Heart problems, thyroid problems, deafness, hip dysplasia or cancer
The English Setter is a medium to large dog with a sweet, alert expression. They have dense, straight, silky coats. The English Setter is a lively, spirited dog with plenty to offer you and lives his life with grace and dignity. These are devoted and responsive dogs. They live to shower their family with affection. Sociable and companionable, they have plenty of energy; they’ll love to hang out with you at the people park or the dog park. What they don’t love is being alone too long. They love kids, other pets and even strangers. This is a friendly dog who has love enough for everybody. They can have a stubborn/resistant streak. They can be slow to learn housebreaking. They also possess excellent memories and learn quickly. (This sometimes leads to bad habits.)
Your English Setter will require brushing or combing a few times a week to avoid matting. During heavy shedding periods, he’ll need more help. He’ll need his tail and feel hair trimmed often. You should keep an eye on his ears — make sure they’re clean and dry. When it comes to training, keep this in mind: The English Setter was bred to be an independent hunter. He would hunt on his own, then sit and wait for the human hunter to catch up and find him. Therefore, expect some resistance. Start early and start with housebreaking. (This alone will take several months.) Move on to socializing. Introduce children and other animals. (If he’s not socialized properly, he may always try to “mesmerize” your cat. And squirrels. Or rabbits, etc.) Once he’s mastered housebreaking, then begin basic commands. Go slowly and, while he’s a puppy, never engage in too strenuous activities. It can lead to bone or joint problems as he gets older. Use positive methods to motivate and reward him. No negative methods and be mindful of your tone please. A too angry a tone to this extra sensitive breed can cause him to regress to his natural instincts.