Dubbed as an elegant sporting breed, the English Setter is one of the prime breeds that are being used as a gun dog that efficiently points and retrieve bird games. This dog is in the same family as the Irish Red and White Setters, Irish Setters, and Gordon Setters. The term “setter” is used to describe the dog’s almost sitting position when it has found a game.

This breed possesses a flat, moderately wavy and silky coat that drapes its body elegantly all over. It is well-known for having a color-speckled coat which is called uniquely called “belton”. These combinations are blue belton (white with black specks), orange belton (white with orange specks), lemon belton (white with orange flecks and nose is light), liver belton (white with liver flecks) and tricolor (blue or liver belton with tan markings on face, chest and legs).

The long hair of this dog covers its pendant ears, legs and tail like a fringe. Its velvety coat wraps around its body to emphasize its slim and elegant body. This coat is just in perfect thickness to allow the dog comfort whether in a cold or humid temperature.

This dog has two types namely the field or hunting type and the bench or show type. The hunting type has a shorter length of coat and requires a little grooming while the show type has a longer and more flowing coat that requires regular grooming. This dog is an average shedder and needs dry shampooing or bathing when necessary.

This dog is well-known to be sweet-natured and gentle and really loves to be surrounded by children. It is also placid, loves affection and is amiable to everyone such that people dub him as a “gentleman by nature”. It is also very intelligent and in fact, it can perform tasks that other breeds specialize in except for herding.

Its working and obedience intelligence is proven to be above average that it ranks as 37th in Stanley Cohen’s The Intelligence of Dogs. This dog is infinitely active and loves to disperse its energy that’s why families should give this breed constant activities to get busy on. This dog can only strive well in a well-spaced house and a wide fenced yard, and that it needs daily exercise like walking, jogging or playing.

This dog may be highly trainable but it is mischievous and strong-willed at times, too. Never apply harsh criticisms or negative reinforcements in training the English Setter because it is highly sensitive. It is best to reinforce this dog with positive remarks only or else, it will refrain from doing tasks for fear of displeasing the master.

The English Setter is said to have come from 15th century France and came only to England in the 18th century. This dog originated from the crosses of the Spanish Pointer, Water Spaniel (large) and Springer Spaniel. There are two beautiful varieties of the English Setter today namely the Llewellin and Laverack, thanks to the two different fanciers named Edward Laverack and Purcell Llewellin.


  • Friendly, Mellow, Merry
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 94 of 193
  • Height: 25-27 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 45-55 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 years
  • Group: Sporting Group

English Setter Association of America

Club Website