English Setter

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50-55 lbs

The English Setter originated in England in the 1300s and has been used for hunting game birds since the 1500s. They are small to medium sized dogs about 25 inches tall and about 60 pounds on average. It is part of the Setter family that includes Irish Setters and Gordon Setters. They are athletic but elegant looking with long legs and a lean build perfect for running. Their coat is of medium length and has feathering on the tail, legs, abdomen, chest, and ears. There are five different colors, which are blue belton, blue belton and tan, lemon belton, orange belton, and liver belton. Although they were bred for hunting, this breed has become a popular addition to the family because of their friendliness and eagerness to please. The English Setter was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1884 and is the 102nd most popular dog breed.

bird setting, retrieving
Date of Origin
gundog, setter, pointer, hunter

English Setter Health

Average Size
Height: 25-27 inches Weight: 60-65 lbs
Height: 24-25 inches Weight: 50-55 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Deafness
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans
Minor Concerns
  • Ectropion
  • Hemophilia
  • Atopic Dermatitis
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • Hearing
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

English Setter Breed History

The English Setter gets its name from the way they sit (or set) when they find game. They would sit by the game until their master was able to net the bird. They are also good pointers and hunters, which is believed to be due to their mixed breeding back in the 1600s. This was presumably done because of the use of guns for hunting so the English Setter could point rather than sit by the game. According to the AKC, the English Setter is a mix of Springer Spaniels, Large Water Spaniels, and Spanish Pointers in combination with its Setter background. The name of the flecks in the fur (belton) come from the town where the man (Edward Laverack) who started this breed hunted. The flecks in the white fur can be blue and tan, blue, lemon orange and liver colored. Edward Laverack began the English Setter breed in 1825 and it is this bloodline that all English Setters are based on. Another man who influenced the English Setter was Purcell Llewellin, who was a breeder who got his dogs from Mr. Laverack. Mr. Llewellin crossed his dogs with other English Setters that were known for their field capabilities and these dogs were then imported to the United States. It is Mr. Laverack’s English Setters that are the foundation for the show dogs and Mr. Llewellin’s dogs that are known for their field capabilities. They are now classed as a sporting dog with the AKC and a gun dog with the United Kennel Club (UKC). The English Setter has been a registered breed with the AKC since 1884 and they are the 102nd most popular breed.

English Setter Breed Appearance

English Setters are beautiful and elegant dogs that are not only good hunters and gun dogs, but also show dogs. They come in colors that sound tasty such as lemon, orange, and liver (if you like liver) and their medium, silky coat has long, flowing fringe on the tail, legs, abdomen, chest, and ears. The fur is flat and has no curl or woolliness. The English Setter has a long neck; muscular, straight legs; and a square muzzle with large nostrils and a black nose. Their large, dark eyes are round and give them an intelligent and curious expression. They have a long head with a well-defined face and their ears are set back and even with the eyes. The tail is long, straight, and has long fringe. Their graceful gait gives them a floating appearance with the long, feathered fringe flowing in the wind. When running, you can see the strength of the legs and long reach, which is what makes the English Setters such good field dogs.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

English Setter Breed Maintenance

Your English Setter needs to be combed and brushed at least three times a week so they are a high maintenance dog breed with all of their long feathering. You should use a metal comb and slicker brush to remove dead fur and condition the coat. Use your fingers to untangle any mats. You may need to use conditioner if the mats are difficult to remove. It is recommended that you bathe your dog once or twice a month to keep her clean and healthy. Use a mild shampoo and conditioner recommended by your veterinary care provider. This will help with shedding and dry skin. You can have your dog groomed and trimmed if she is not a show dog. Keep her nails trimmed to prevent cracking and check her ears for dirt, wax, and other debris. You can use an ear cleaner specially made for dogs. Brushing her teeth regularly will also prevent dental disease and bad breath.

Brushes for English Setter
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

English Setter Temperament

The English Setter is a friendly and gentle breed that makes a nice family pet but they are not always comfortable with strangers, which makes her a good watchdog. Children can be tolerated but those under five years old should be constantly supervised. These dogs need a lot of exercise and a large yard to play in. Even if you take your dog hunting regularly, they will still need exercise daily so either a long walk or trip to the dog park is a good idea every day. The English Setter is smart and can remember what she is taught right away. You may need a trainer specially for hunting dogs if your dog is also an indoor pet at home because the rules in the field are different from the ones at home. You should also be careful not to leave her alone with any animals that can be mistaken for game such as chickens or ducks. She may bring you an unwanted surprise!

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

English Setter Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3.2 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

English Setter Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 30 lbs
Height: 19 inches Weight: 25 lbs
12 Months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 37 lbs
Height: 23 inches Weight: 34 lbs
18 Months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 62 lbs
Height: 25 inches Weight: 52 lbs

Top English Setter Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable English Setter breeders of 2017.
Carousel Kooikerhondje
Fair Oaks, California
Birdhaven English Setters
Huntington Station, New York
Upland Dogs
Ellensburg, Washington
Beirl's English Setters LLC
Mellen, Wisconsin
Ray Dohse's Eshod Farm
Wrightsville, Georgia
Gold Rush English Setters
Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Pine Meadows English Setters
Overgaard, Arizona
Edwardian-Intarsia English Setters
Fair Oaks, California
Wyndswept English Setters
Eagle, Idaho

English Setter Owner Experiences