English Setter

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    History & Overview

    The English Setter is one of the oldest breeds of gundogs that were used as bird dogs trained to find and point game more than 400 hundred years ago. Originally setters were called setter-spaniels and are believed to be developed from the old Spanish Pointer, Water Spaniels and Springer Spaniels. It was introduced to the United States in the 1870s.

    Three distinct types of English Setters have been developed over time: Laverack, Llewellin and Ryman. All of these types are superior hunting dogs with an excellent disposition. The Ryman type was developed by G. Ryman in the early 1910s from Laverack and Llewellin setters to combine the Llewellin’s outstanding field talents with the beauty of Laverack setters.

    Ryman setters are orange or blue belton or tricolor. Ryman setters are very popular as hunting and show dogs. They combine beautiful looks, intelligence, mild disposition and good hunting abilities.

    At A Glance

    Country of Origin:

    Great Britain


    Pointing dog


    FCI Classification: Group 7: British and Irish Pointers and Setters; Setter (with working trial)
    AKC Classification: Sporting Group


    Large (24 – 27 inches at shoulders)


    Black and white (blue belton), orange and white (orange belton), lemon and white (lemon belton), liver and white (liver belton) or tricolor, that is blue belton and tan or liver belton and tan.

    Litter Size:


    Life Span:

    9 – 15 years

    Grooming Requirements:

    Brush two to three times a week to keep the coat free from tangles and matting. The show-bred English Setters usually have a longer and heavier coat than field-bred type.


    Sheds somewhat year-round. Regular brushing will help minimize shedding.


    Friendly, sweet, with strong pointing instincts.

    Social skills:

    Very sociable with other pets.

    Suitability for Children:

    English Setters love children.

    Exercise Needs:

    Two hours daily. This breed was developed for running all day long.

    Train Ability:

    Intelligent, quick learner, easy to train. Being very sensitive, English setters do best with positive reinforcement. Harsh correction may ruin the dog.

    Health & Behavioral Issues:

    Video Credits: Animal Planet, Discovery Channel


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