The English Setter: A Complete Guide

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Gentle, kind, and affectionate, the English Setter is devoted to his family, sociable with strangers, and gets along just fine with kids.

He is moderately easy to train. He’s an effective watchdog and will bark to notify his humans that someone is approaching the property.

Once he’s introduced to guests, however, he happily accepts their presence.

All these qualities make him a good choice for a first-time dog owner who appreciates his beauty and sweetness and can provide him with the exercise he needs.

English Setters are quiet indoors. But outdoors, they love to run and play with other dogs and people.

A daily run, off-leash play in a fenced area, or an energetic hike through a nearby park or wilderness area will be just his cup of tea.

While he’s generally gentle and nice, the English Setter can be a little stubborn.

Two English Setters sitting next to each other
The English Setter is exuberant and vivacious when outside.

Counter that tendency with a kind but firm training from early puppyhood and set boundaries so he knows exactly what you expect.

Avoid harsh training techniques. A spoonful of sugar will work much better than an angry voice.

His tendency toward independent decision making means you must find interesting ways to hold his attention and teach him what you want him to know.

Because they’re so active, the English Setter excel at activities such as rally obedience and agility. They can also make super therapy dogs with their easygoing disposition and love of people.

Hunting comes naturally to most English Setters. They make a great choice for the hobby hunter or for someone who wants to compete in field trials or hunt tests.

If you want a gorgeous and calm dog with the potential to become your partner in all kinds of activities, the English Setter is one to consider.

His lovable disposition and lively spirit will inspire your devotion.

English Setter Puppies – Before You Buy…

What Price are English Setter Puppies?

The price of English Setter puppies is approximately $400 to $600.

How to Find Reputable English Setter Breeders?

The reputable breeder exerts their efforts on the good health of their dogs and the development of the breed.

These breeders also provide a health guarantee and require an agreement to return the puppy to them when you are no longer able to take care of them.

If you’re looking for a reputable breeder, attend dog shows. Well-bred dogs are featured in dog shows, so they’re a great place to get referrals to quality breeders.

Ask for references. Good breeders will have plenty of great references and they will willingly give them to you.

You can also ask your vet for referrals. They see plenty of purebred dogs come through their practice and they are familiar with their veterinary history.

Local dog organizations and breed clubs will also be aware of local legitimate breeders known for producing healthy dogs.

If you have friends who own or are familiar with the English Setter, ask them for a referral to their breeder.

When all else fails, you can always go online and do a Google search for good English Setter breeders. Just make sure to recognize the red flags that indicate a bad breeder.

3 Little-Known Facts About English Setter Puppies

  1. The English Setter’s name originated from the way he sits when they find game. They would sit by the game until their master was able to net the bird.
  2. They are also good pointers and hunters, which is believed to be due to their mixed breeding back in the 1600s.
  3. The English Setter is a mix of Spanish Pointers, Large Water Spaniels, and Springer Spaniels in combination with his Setter background.

Physical Traits of the English Setter

A side view of an English Setter
The English Setter is a very gentle and calm dog.

The English Setter is a slim and athletic dog with a trademark speckled coat that comes in blue, lemon, orange, or brown.

He has a long head and a pronounced stop. He has a square muzzle and dark eyes and nose.

His long, pendant ears have a soft tip. He also has feathering on his tail, legs, ears, and undercarriage.

The English Setter needs to be brushed at least three times a week to maintain his healthy coat and skin, as well as to remove mats and tangles.

He is an average shedder. Regular brushing will keep loose hair from falling all over the house. The English Setter should be bathed every six to eight weeks to keep him smelling fresh.

His ears don’t circulate air very well, making him more prone to ear infections. Check his ears every week for any signs of irritation, redness, or wax buildup.

Brushing his teeth weekly will also keep his breath fresh and promote good gum health.

How Big is a Full-Grown English Setter?

Male English Setters stand at 25 to 27 inches in height and weigh 65 to 80 pounds.

Females stand at 23 to 25 inches and weigh 45 to 55 pounds.

What is the Life Expectancy of the English Setter?

The life expectancy of the English Setter is 10 to 12 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the English Setter

An English Setter with flowers on its head
The English Setter is devoted to his family.

The English Setter is a true family dog. Mild-mannered and sweet, he loves people of all ages and can be trusted around children.

He has a knack for remembering things and people, often greeting someone he hasn’t seen in a long time as if they were old friends.

English Setters are very sociable and outgoing dogs who thrive in the company of humans.

They will want to be included in all family activities. They are small enough to travel well in the car and athletic enough to keep up on jogs and hikes.

English Setters love all people and are far too laidback to be a reliable guard dog. They may love people, but they are more stubborn than you might think.

The desire to please isn’t strong in them. They are actually quite manipulative, and consistency is key to raising an obedient English Setter.

A gentle hand is also important when training because he is a sensitive dog with long memories.

They will not forget someone who treats him poorly. His long memory also means that it can be hard to break bad behavior, so early training is very important to keep bad habits from becoming permanent.

English Setters can only tolerate being alone for a few hours at a time.

They should not be raised in homes where they will be alone all day, or they will become destructive chewers and neurotic barkers. Boredom can also result in bad behaviors in this breed.

If not given sufficient activity, an English Setter will find ways to keep himself entertained, and it often involves chewing things that don’t belong to him.

The English Setter’s Diet

As with any dog, you should feed your English Spaniel good quality dog food. Food that is high in animal protein is also a good choice.

Adult English Setters usually do well eating two meals per day. You can feed him 3 to 4 meals when they are very young, and then move to three meals per day as they get older.

By the time they are about a year old, they should be eating two meals per day.

How Much Exercise Does an English Setter Need?

This medium-sized dog requires a lot of activity for healthy development.

They are not meant to live in a condo or apartment, but they thrive in houses with big yards or in farmhouses with plenty of room to run and socialize.

They enjoy most physical activities. As long as the activity involves people, the English Setter will be very game.

English Setter Health and Conditions

Hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, cancer, and congenital deafness are some of the health issues that can affect English Setters.

My Final Thoughts on the English SetterAn English Setter face on

The English Setter is a quiet worker with an excellent nose and a coat that keeps him comfortable in both hot and cold weather.

He’s a very gentle and calm dog. He’s friendly and excellent with children.

He’s easygoing and loves all the affection that he can get.

The English Setter is exuberant and vivacious outdoors but relatively inactive indoors.

With passive owners, they will become stubborn and be difficult to housebreak. Rules, structure, and training should begin early to prevent the development of bad habits.

They need a confident, consistent, authoritative, firm, and calm owner, but he should never be treated harshly.

Owners need to be calm yet possess an air of natural authority. English Setters are adequate watchdogs. They like to roam and dig, and they are good jumpers.

If you are not the person who can exhibit a natural air of calm and authority, choose a dog that is more submissive.

The English Setter can be a nuisance barker if not provided with enough mental and physical stimulation or if left alone too long.

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