English Setter

45-55 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. 

Bird Setting, Retrieving
Date of Origin
Gundog, Setter, Pointer, Hunter

English Setter Health

Sketch of English Setter
Average Size
Male English Setter size stats
Height: 25-27 inches Weight: 60-80 lbs
Female English Setter size stats
Height: 23-25 inches Weight: 45-55 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 their 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 dog could point rather than sit by the game. According to the American Kennel Club, this attractive canine is a mix of Springer Spaniels, Large Water Spaniels, and Spanish Pointers, in combination with the 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 breed in 1825 and it is this bloodline that all English Setters are based on. Another man who influenced the development of this dog 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 American Kennel Club and a gun dog with the United Kennel Club. They have been a registered breed with the AKC since 1884.

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 like as lemon, orange, and liver and their medium, silky coat has a long, flowing fringe on the legs, abdomen, chest, and ears. The fur is flat and has no curl or woolliness. They have 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 a long fringe like the rest of the body. Their graceful gait gives them a floating appearance with the long, feathers flowing in the wind. When running, you can see the strength of the legs and long reach, which is what makes the English Setter such a good field dog.

Appearance of English Setter
Eye Color Possibilities
brown English Setter eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black English Setter nose
Coat Color Possibilities
brown English Setter coat
red English Setter coat
blue English Setter coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
English Setter straight 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, making them 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 a conditioner if the mats are difficult to remove. It is recommended that you bathe your dog once or twice a month to keep them 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 they are not a show dog. Keep the nails trimmed to prevent cracking and check the ears for dirt, wax, and other debris. You can use an ear cleaner especially made for dogs. Brushing your companion's teeth regularly will also prevent dental disease and bad breath.

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

English Setter Temperament

This impressive canine is a friendly and gentle breed that makes a nice family pet but they are not always comfortable with strangers, which makes them a good watchdog. Children can be tolerated but those under five years old should be constantly supervised when in any dog's company. 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 a trip to the dog park is a good idea every day. The English Setter is smart and can remember what they are taught right away. You may need a trainer who specializes in 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 them alone with any animals that can be mistaken for game, such as chickens or ducks. Your eager pup 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
$1.20 - $1.40
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00

English Setter Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of English Setter at six months
Male English Setter size stats at six months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 30 lbs
Female English Setter size stats at six months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 25 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of English Setter at 12 months
Male English Setter size stats at 12 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 37 lbs
Female English Setter size stats at 12 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 34 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of English Setter at 18 months
Male English Setter size stats at 18 months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 62 lbs
Female English Setter size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 52 lbs

Top English Setter Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable English Setter breeders of 2019.
Top English Setter breeder Carousel Kooikerhondje
Carousel Kooikerhondje
Fair Oaks, California
Top English Setter breeder Birdhaven English Setters
Birdhaven English Setters
Huntington Station, New York
Top English Setter breeder Upland Dogs
Upland Dogs
Ellensburg, Washington
Top English Setter breeder Beirl's English Setters  LLC
Beirl's English Setters LLC
Mellen, Wisconsin
Top English Setter breeder Ray Dohse's Eshod Farm
Ray Dohse's Eshod Farm
Wrightsville, Georgia
Top English Setter breeder Gold Rush English Setters
Gold Rush English Setters
Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Top English Setter breeder Pine Meadows English Setters
Pine Meadows English Setters
Overgaard, Arizona
Top English Setter breeder Edwardian-Intarsia English Setters
Edwardian-Intarsia English Setters
Fair Oaks, California
Top English Setter breeder Wyndswept English Setters
Wyndswept English Setters
Eagle, Idaho

English Setter Owner Experiences

7 Years
1 People
My english setter was abandonned by a hunter probably, when he was 6 months old, along with his mother an sister. He was suffering from leihsmania, erlichia, and urine crystals. Now, he is super healthy and runs a lot, despite his hip dysplasia. He was for sure a backyard breed, but he is one of the most beautiful and adorable setters. He usually plays with his rooster and he doesn't like the noises.
3 months, 1 week ago
3 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Orphea was a rescued dog, we took him home that he was already more than 1 year old. He's really affectionate and he really like cuddles. he learned quickly all the basic commands and at home he is the best but when we go for our daily walk (in the mountains) he goes crazy. If he sees a bird he starts crying, he pushes a lot and if we let him free there are good chances that he will not come back for hours. In the dog park is much calmer (if there are no pigeons) and plays with other dogs.
5 months, 3 weeks ago
3 Years
4 People
House & Yard
Laying in the sun
Dog Parks
Dog-friendly events
Learn a new trick
Cabo loves anything active like many of his breed. He spends about 4 hours outside a day and if he's not outside he's cuddling or begging to go outside. He has a very good temper and has never even tried to bite anything except birds while he's hunting. 10/10 best dog I could ever ask for!
1 year, 8 months ago
8 Years
Explore the city
This is an absolutely classic dog with whom I was very excited to walk. They're dogs of painting and old english novels; a dog of some strange fantasy land. I was glad to put a real tangible personality to this image that I had developed. Trapper was calm and poised, but not without a little skip in his step. Upon my arrival his owner gave me a warm welcome and passed the leash off to me and he trotted right out of the house. He'd been expertly taught leash skills and was one of the easiest walks I've ever been on. I am curious to meet another English Setter to find if Trapper was just a dream of a dog or if all English Setters take to learning as well as he did.
1 year, 11 months ago
3 Years
The English Setter was a great walker! He set a fairly fast pace, so we were able to get two miles in 30 minutes. He was easily startled, however. For instance, he was quite scared of the blow up Christmas decorations. He was very well behaved, and took directions easily.
1 year, 11 months ago
3 Years
The English Setter I walked had high energy, but didn't pull much. I just had to make sure we kept a nice trot pace, alternating with short runs. Sometimes he would spot a lizard in the bushes and would walk slowly pointing his nose at them, very cute. He needs to be walked more then once a day and for at least half an hour. Not a hard dog to walk though, I just made sure to keep a short leash and incentivize him to keep going instead of sniffing too much around.
1 year, 11 months ago
12 Years
English setters are very energetic and athletic. They are happiest when they are sniffing and exploring in parks, grassy areas, forests, etc. They will take a long time to tire out, and generally need very long, brisk walks to wear them out. They aren't usually big on walking on street areas because of their prey drive unless there are people to give them love and attention! :) Because of their prey drive, they might pull or bark at squirrels, depending on their training, so make sure you're strong! They tend to really like people and are happy to have walking companions. They are super docile and forgiving and don't tend to be aggressive or guarded in my experience. They can be a little bit hard-headed, but a super intelligent and can learn a lot of commands with consistency!
1 year, 11 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd