If you watch dog shows you’ve probably seen setters as a breed whether they’re Irish, English or Gordon. The English setter got its name from the crouching stance they take when finding birds.
The English setter is a wonderful choice for your next family dog and here’s some information to help guide you in your decision.
Started as a hunting dog in the middle ages, this fun loving breed was introduced to the United States in the late 1800s. There were two strains, one bred for field trials and the other for the show ring.
Because this type of setter is more of a rarity than common, you’ll want to set aside a good bit of time to find one especially if you’re looking for a family pet.
English setters are gifted with a sculpted head and long feathers on legs and tail. While it isn’t desirable for a show dog, their coats can have patches of color. If you’re looking for a hunting companion, opt for the field dog because their noses are better attuned to birds as well as having greater speed than the show variety.
Their size ranges from 13 inches to 27 inches tall, they weigh in at between 45-80 pounds and live as long as 15 years.
Generally, these dogs are fun-loving and happy to be with their families but their hunting genes make them more independent than other breeds. The breed can be hard-headed so start socialization and training early in puppyhood. Generally, you’ll find this breed to be easy going, friendly towards all, and fairly easy to train.
A dog bred for field trials will naturally have more energy than those in the show lines. If she’s left outside in the yard without company for long stretches of time, she’ll use her voice to let you know her displeasure. Give her a job, something to keep her mind and body active.
Like any breed, genetics plays a huge part. These dogs a susceptible to any diseases that plague the breed in general but that includes …
- Hip dysplasia
Early socialization with humans and other dogs is critically important for an English setter. Because they have a tendency to rule the roost, a puppy class starting at about 8 weeks is a smart idea. Clicker training with treats works well.
This breed does not respond well to a harsh tone of voice and that can make them even more stubborn.
Because this breed has long feathers or fur with a flat coat, brushing a couple of times a week will keep her looking gorgeous. They do shed but a bath every 6-8 weeks will help remove any dead skin and hair.
Make sure to clean his ears regularly because long ear flaps don’t provide circulation and brush their teeth a couple of times a week to remove tartar.
An English setter would be a wonderful addition to your family and will bring you joy for years to come.