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.