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English Setter


General Description:

There are two distinct types of English Setters. Bench setters tend to be larger with longer coats and heavier lips. This is the type of English Setter that you would see in a dog show. Field Setters, which is what is usually in rescue, are smaller and lighter and tend to have a much shorter coat. They are also known to be quite exuberant and full of life.

Both types of English Setters are generally joyful, snugly dogs who love to bond with their human pack. English Setters should never be kept as outside dogs. You will find that they are happiest when able to spend equal time outside chasing birds and inside being loved by their family.

English Setters are an extremely active breed and need plenty of daily exercise to be happy and healthy. Bred to set or point game birds, they can become very focused when there are birds around. This focus can often be at the exclusion of anything else around them. Although they are smart and possess a desire to please, they do not always have the best recall due to their "birdiness." Since a field setter can run many miles in a very short period of time, they should not be trusted off leash in an unfenced area. Exercise by leash walking alone is not recommended for such an energetic breed, so a safely fenced area is a must. Not providing an English Setter with ample opportunity to release their energy may lead to unwanted behavior.

Although they love affection and bond strongly with their family members, field setters can also be very strong-willed and mischievous. This personality stems from their need to do their job of birding and their need for continual exercise. They require a family who is willing and able to give them the attention, training, and level of activity that they need.

As long as they get enough exercise, field setters will settle down in the house and become your own personal lap warmer. English Setters are sweet and sensitive and thrive on lots of love and companionship. Their often goofy antics will keep you laughing. They will respond best to positive rewards and gentle training methods. Hitting or shock treatment can be the end of the setter’s trainability. They will shut down and not know what to do.

Llewellin setters are a type of field English Setter. They were bred to be better hunters than the typical field setter. Llewellin’s tend to be more energetic, but still want to be inside with you and cuddled.



Females: Preferred height at the withers is 21-25 inches, and roughly 40-60 pounds. Males: Preferred height at the withers is 22-27 inches, and roughly 45-60 pounds.



Black and white (blue belton), orange and white (orange belton, lemon and white (lemon belton liver and white (liver belton) or tricolor blue belton with tan or liver spots.


Energy Level:



Life expectancy:

Usually between 12 and 15 years.



Setters love everyone.


Other animals:

Not always good with cats and fowl.



Setters are very sensitive and should be trained in a loving manner. They can do obedience, some agility.



Silky long hair that sheds. They are also self cleaning, mud drops off when dried.



Hip dysplasia, allergies, deafness, bloat haematoma.


Best with:

People as an indoor and outdoor in an active life style.


Not for:

Couch potatoes.



Very loving to almost everyone.



Can become possessive of people and not want other dogs around them in a public setter (ie dog park).


Further Information:

American Kennel Club
Breed Details

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