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English Setter

The English setter is one of the oldest gundog breeds, with a history that traces back to the 14th century. Among its forebears are the Spanish pointer, French pointer and a variety of spaniels. In fact, the breed was originally known as a setting spaniel. The breed came into its own in England in the early 1800’s when Sir Edward Laverack created a special hunting strain of the English setter. Later, R. Purcell Llewellin developed yet another hunting strain. The influence of these two breeders is so great that English setters are sometimes called “Laverack setters” or “Llewellin setters.”

The dog is a beautiful, elegant, slim dog, with medium-long silky hair. They are white with black, lemon, orange or liver speckling, some dogs may be tricolored; black, white and brown. These dogs are known to enjoy roaming, digging and jumping, so a well fenced garden is essential. English Setters are lively, happy, easy-going dogs that tend to get on well with everyone. They love children and other pets, making them perfect for families. They are mild-mannered and sensitive and love to both give and receive affection. These dogs are known to be alert and protective of their families and territories, but will calm down quickly when told to. English Setters need quite a lot of exercise, about two-plus hours daily will be needed for a fit adult, so hikers or joggers will find this breed blends in beautifully with their lifestyles.

Read about the history of this breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the UK Kennel Club. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKGundog
Bred ForSetting, Retrieving
Rare BreedYes
Country of OriginEngland, UK
TemperamentLively, sensitive, friendly
Exercise NeededMore than 2 hours a day
Size of Home NeededLarge
Height at Withers – Females61-65 cm / 24-25½ in
Height at Withers – Males65-69 cm / 25½-27 in
GroomingAt least twice a week
CoatMedium and silky
Life Span10 – 12 years
  • The English setter is an intensely friendly dog. They do not do well banished to the backyard or to a doghouse. Even more than most dogs, they need to be with people and included in their daily lives.
  • The word “setter” refers to the almost-seated position the dog assumes when he has discovered game.
  • English Setters are a rare dog breed. There simply aren’t that many of them circulating around. Sadly they are currently on The Kennel Club’s vulnerable breed list.
  • Used by hunters to locate upland game such as quail and partridge, the breed is enthusiastic when at work, having a keen game sense.
  • English Setters must always be exercised on leash or confined to a fenced yard. They are hunting dogs, after all, and will go in search of birds!


Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about English Setters.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about English Setters, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the English Setter breed. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site.

Thanks for reading!

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