Llewellin Setter

35-60 lbs
Field-type English Setter

The Llewellin Setter is considered by some to be a breed separate from the English Setter, while others claim that it is a specific strain within the breed. Developed originally by a Welshman by the name of R. Purcell Llewellin from stock obtained from the breeder who initially refined the English Setter, Edward Lavarack, the Llewellin Setter also has a small infusion of Gordon and other Setters. This small contribution has given the Setter developed by Llewellin a slightly smaller stature on average, as well as slightly shorter ears, and a tendency to range closer to the hunter than the dogs developed by Lavarack. 

Hunting, Gundog
Date of Origin
Late 1800s
English Setter, Other Setters

Llewellin Setter Health

Average Size
Male Llewellin Setter size stats
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 35-60 lbs
Female Llewellin Setter size stats
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 35-60 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (Chd)
Minor Concerns
  • Panosteitis
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Endocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Deafness
  • Epilepsy
Occasional Tests
  • Skin Evaluation
  • Brain Auditory Evoked Response (BAER)
  • X-rays or other radiographic imaging
  • Blood Panel

Llewellin Setter Breed History

The status of the Llewellin Setter as a breed, rather than a type or variety within the breed, is somewhat controversial. Based on writings and artwork from the 15th and 16th century, the English Setter breed was originally developed as an all-around hunting dog over 400 years ago, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that the breed was refined. The refining of the breed can be attributed in large part to a breeder named Edward Lavarack in England who penned a book in 1872 that he called The Setter, a book which was used to draw up the official standard for the English Setter. Prior to Lavarack authoring his book, in 1861, a Welsh breeder by the name of R. Purcell Llewellin obtained English Setters from Lavarack’s kennels to begin his breeding program, and in 1871 he obtained two stud dogs by the name of Dan and Dick to add to his kennel. Dan and Dick were the offspring of Duke, an English Spaniel, and Rhoebe, an English Spaniel that came from a line that had included Gordon Spaniels with the possibility of other spaniels as well. Llewellin bred these two stud dogs back to the English Setters that had originated with Edward Levarack which had a small effect on the physiology and temperament of the breed. This small inclusion of genetics from another breed is the crux of the matter; some fanciers say that the differences are distinguishable enough to separate the two, sometimes citing evidence that a number of Llewellin Setters do not quite fit the breed standard, while others claim that the contributions from other breeds were far too small to have made any significant changes and that the Llewellin Setter is a specific line within the English Setter breed, rather than a breed of its own.

Llewellin Setter Breed Appearance

This is a medium-sized Setter type dog that has a strong, athletic build, with a deep chest, and a back that is slightly longer than the dog is tall. Their heads are fairly long, but overall in proportion to the rest of the body, with a well-developed muzzle that is both deep and broad. The eyes of this dog tend to be either oval or almond shaped and can come in nearly any color, including brown, green, or amber and their medium-length pendant ears are set well back on the skull and hang flat or in folds by the sides of the head. The Llewellin Setter is sometimes indistinguishable from the Lavarack line of English Setter which is commonly seen in the dog shows, but breeders and sportsmen state that the Llewellin Setters tend to be a bit smaller than the Lavarack line, with a tendency towards slightly shorter ears, and a higher tolerance for warm climates. 

Eye Color Possibilities
hazel Llewellin Setter eyes
brown Llewellin Setter eyes
amber Llewellin Setter eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Llewellin Setter nose
Coat Color Possibilities
red Llewellin Setter coat
brown Llewellin Setter coat
fawn Llewellin Setter coat
gray Llewellin Setter coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Llewellin Setter wavy coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Llewellin Setter Breed Maintenance

The Llewellin Setter does require a little more grooming than many other breeds due to their long, fine fur and a slight doggie odor. Bathing this dog every six to eight weeks helps to control the odor, and many pet parents find that this is an excellent time to trim and tidy the coat as well. In order to control the dog’s moderate shedding and prevent tangles or mats from forming, this dog should be brushed frequently, at least three to four times a week, if not daily. Hanging ears such as the ears of the Llewellin Setter are more prone to developing infections and should be checked frequently for moisture, debris, or damage. 

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

Llewellin Setter Temperament

The Llewellin Setter in the field is an enduring dog with a natural desire to find and retrieve birds. Hunting enthusiasts report that they tend to be closer ranging than the Lavarack strain of Setter and more frequently check in with the hunter. The Llewellin Setter at home is a mild-mannered, sweet canine with a strong desire to be in the company of people. While they are athletic and playful enough to keep up with even the most active of kids, they are also generally aware enough of their surroundings to keep from knocking over the smaller ones. They can be difficult to housetrain, in fact, despite their amicable temperament and their natural skill in the field, they can be challenging to train in general when it comes to anything but hunting. Their affection does not always translate into a desire to please, and they can be both stubborn and manipulative, making calm, consistent training the most effective, particularly if it starts early in life. 

Llewellin Setter Activity Requirements

While this breed may not be as active indoors as many other working dogs, they are still working dogs. In order to be at their happiest and healthiest both mentally and physically, they should get at least forty-five minutes to an hour of vigorous exercise each day and they should be provided with some form of mental stimulation as well. Along with regular walks and jogs, these dogs may enjoy alternative activities such as rally sport, flyball, and hunting trials. They are not prone to over vocalization so if given enough extra exercise they may be able to adjust to apartment living, but they are much better suited to a larger home with a yard. 

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

Llewellin Setter Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3.2 cups
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00

Llewellin Setter Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Llewellin Setter size stats at six months
Height: 20.0 inches Weight: 33.5 lbs
Female Llewellin Setter size stats at six months
Height: 20.0 inches Weight: 33.5 lbs
12 Months
Male Llewellin Setter size stats at 12 months
Height: 22.0 inches Weight: 43.0 lbs
Female Llewellin Setter size stats at 12 months
Height: 22.0 inches Weight: 43.0 lbs
18 Months
Male Llewellin Setter size stats at 18 months
Height: 23.0 inches Weight: 47.5 lbs
Female Llewellin Setter size stats at 18 months
Height: 23.0 inches Weight: 47.5 lbs

Llewellin Setter Owner Experiences

6 Months
2 People
When we saw the parents we were surprised they were smaller than we expected as we own 2 Reds and a Gordon as well. I looked into the line and discovered the Llewellin Setter. He is gorgeous.
2 years, 6 months ago
3 Years
1 People
House & Yard
I’ve owned and bred Llewelyn Setters for over 20 years. Careful breeding maintains the attributes of the breed. I never bred prior to 3 years of working and training my dogs. Hips are tested and genetic test for deafness. When bred and raised in a home they are very social, intelligent calm dogs. All my puppies were paper trained in the house. I took them all for long walks, carrying a small metal container of puppy chow, when I called them I rattled the puppy chow and they came running. I allowed all kinds of animals, cats, cattle and chickens around them so they are extremely social and devoted to their owners. They open doors with knobs and sliders. If not properly socialized as puppies they can be very smart, stubborn and might bark. I have a 1 year old rescue that has been a challenge, but she’s very attached to my older female. They play together for hours daily. Extremely gentle dogs.
2 years ago
12 Years
4 People
House & Yard
My Beautiful girl is 12 years old but looking at her you would never tell. we are on the look out for another Llewellin so any info would be great we are located in NJ -ciwaszczuk@widebandsystems.com
1 year, 6 months ago
Sadie Talullah
11 Years
1 People
House & Yard
Sadie is everything her breed implies. Rescued 3 years ago, she is flexible, loving, easy-going, affectionate, playful, loves tug, joyfully entertains herself by throwing her toys in the air and catching them. Loves car rides and hanging her head out the window when we drive 20 mph. Likes to bark when playing or excited to see an arriving family member.
9 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd