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English Setter

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English Setter

Canis lupus

Last updated: May 20, 2022
Verified by: IMP

English Setters were first bred between 400 and 500 years ago.

English Setter Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Canis
Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

English Setter Conservation Status

English Setter Locations

English Setter Locations


English Setter Facts

Fun Fact
English Setters were first bred between 400 and 500 years ago.
Temperament
Friendly, affectionate, and gentle
Diet
Omnivore

English Setter Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Blue
  • Orange
  • Chestnut
  • Multi-colored
  • Olive-Grey
Skin Type
Hair
Lifespan
11 to 15 years
Weight
80 pounds

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English Setter as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Moderate
Separation Anxiety
High
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
High
Friendly With Other Dogs
High
Pure bred cost to own
$1,000 to $1,500
Dog group
Sporting
Male weight
65-80 lbs
Female weight
45-55 lbs

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The English Setter was likely first bred between 400 and 500 years ago. It is believed that they were bred by mixing Spanish Pointers, Water Spaniels, and Springer Spaniels.

The English Setter was given its name because they were bred to “set” or quietly lay down when looking for birds to hunt. Their human hunting companion would cast a large net to cover the birds in their area and try to catch them. With the development of firearms and advancements in hunting, the setter breeds began to further developed to stand in the style Pointer dogs are known for.

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English Setters have a gorgeous long and silky coat. Their coat may be a variety of colors including blue belton, liver belton, lemon belton, blue belton and tan, or tricolor. They will need weekly brushing to keep shedding down and prevent their long hair from getting matted or tangled. The average lifespan of an English Setter is between 11 and 15 years.

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English Setters continue to make a good hunting companion, but they can also make a wonderful addition to a family. They are very loving, affectionate, and playful. This breed is also quite active and will need a home where they will receive sufficient exercise.

Owning an English Setter: 3 Pros and Cons

Pros! Cons!
Friendly: English Setters are very friendly and affectionate. High exercise needs: English Setters are an active breed and will require daily exercise.
Good with kids: English Setters are quite tolerant of young children and can make a good addition to a family. May become nuisance barkers: Without proper training, this breed may bark a good amount.
Healthy: English Setters are an overall healthy dog breed. Training can be challenging: English Setters are not as easy to train as some other breeds.

English Setter Size and Weight

English Setters are a medium to large dog breed. Males typically weigh between 65 and 80 pounds and are between 25 and 27 inches tall. Females are a bit smaller, generally weighing 45 to 55 pounds and standing between 23 and 25 inches tall. While puppies typically only weigh between 16 and 25 pounds at three months of age, by the time they are six months old, their weight will increase to be between 29 and 46 pounds. Both males and females are full-grown by the time they are 16 months.

Height (Male) 25 inches to 27 inches
Height (Female) 23 inches to 25 inches
Weight (Male) 65 pounds to 80 pounds
Weight (Female) 45 pounds to 55 pounds

English Setter Common Health Issues

All-in-all, the English Setter is a healthy breed. Still, there are a few common health concerns to be aware of before adopting this breed.

Health and Entertainment for your English Setter

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Hip dysplasia is one of these concerns. This is a genetic condition where the dog’s hip joint isn’t formed correctly. This causes the bones to rub against one another, which can make it very uncomfortable to walk and may require surgery. Always work with responsible breeders who are upfront and transparent about the puppy’s parents.

English Setters may also develop elbow dysplasia. Like hip dysplasia, this is another inheritable condition, making it that much more important to look for reputable breeders. With elbow dysplasia, the bones that make up the dog’s elbow are believed to grow at different rates. This can interfere with the joint functioning properly and can cause lameness or arthritis. Monitoring and controlling a dog’s weight can help lessen some of the problems elbow dysplasia may cause.

A third potential concern for English Setters is hypothyroidism. This is a condition where the thyroid levels are too low. It can lead to a variety of problems including infertility, lethargy, obesity, mental problems, and irregular heat cycles. Dogs with this condition will require daily thyroid medication, which can keep them healthy.

As a summary, below are some potential health concerns English Setters may face:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism

English Setter Temperament and Behavior

English Setters have a very friendly and affectionate personality. They are very gentle and kind with those they meet. They also are very tolerant of young children. These traits mean that this breed can make a wonderful family dog.

They were bred for hunting, and look to be very active each day. English Setters can be quite playful due to their energy, but they’ll also need sufficient exercise each day. If their exercise is not met, they may become overly active inside and begin exhibiting undesirable behaviors.

How to Take Care of an English Setter

When taking care of an English Setter, it is important to consider the breed’s temperament, nutrition needs, training and exercise needs, and other characteristics. This will help ensure you provide your dog with the care they need to be happy and healthy.

The Best Dog Food for English Setters

Most adult English Setters should eat between 2 and 3 cups of food each day. Always choose a high-quality dog food that will help your English Setter get the nutrients he or she needs. The exact amount of food your dog will require can vary based on his or her age, weight, activity level, and other factors. If you are unsure how much to feed your dog, consult with their veterinarian for guidance.

English Setter puppies should be fed high-quality puppy food. Additionally, it is important to understand that since the puppies have a smaller stomach, they will need to be fed smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Most puppies should be fed between three and four meals until they are around one year old. Again, your dog’s veterinarian is a good resource if you are unsure how much or how frequently they should eat.

Since this breed’s foremost health problem is joint dysplasia, look for dog food containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

At A-Z Animals, we say the best dog food for English Setters is Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food.

The concentration of chondroitin, glucosamine and DHA in this food helps mitigate joint problems like hip and elbow dysplasia. The DHA, combined with vitamin E, also supports brain function. Since it’s protein-packed with quality meats, this dog food supports the highly active lifestyle needed to maintain a reasonable weight for joint protection.

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Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, 33 lb

  • FOR ADULT LARGE BREED DOGS: Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food is complete and balanced nutrition for large breed dogs over 15 months old and weighing over 55 lb
  • MUSCLE & JOINT SUPPORT: A combination of animal protein, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate promotes lean muscle development and joint health in active adult dogs
  • HEALTHY BRAIN FUNCTION: DHA and vitamin E support healthy brain function and help keep dogs sharp
  • SUPPORTS ACTIVE ADULT DOGS: Optimal levels of fats and carbohydrates fuel an active lifestyle
  • HIGH-QUALITY PROTEIN: High-quality chicken is the first ingredient for protein that powers their day

English Setter Maintenance and Grooming

English Setters have a gorgeous long coat that may be a variety of colors including blue belton, lemon belton, liver belton, blue belton and tan, or tricolor. Due to the length of their coat, it is important to brush this breed at least once a week using a soft bristle brush. You may also need a longer toothed metal comb to help remove tangles. If the English Setter’s coat isn’t properly groomed, it can become matted, making it uncomfortable for the dog or even leading to potential skin problems. Regular brushing will also help keep shedding to a minimum.

In addition to regular brushing, an English Setter will also need the hair around their face and feet to be trimmed to keep it from getting too long. Their teeth should also be brushed on a regular basis, their ears should be kept clean, and their nails should be trimmed to keep them from getting too long and causing the dog discomfort when he walks.

English Setter Training

Overall, English Setters aren’t too difficult to train, but they are not among the easiest breeds either. They are known to be strong-willed at times and will need a firm leader to set clear boundaries. However, this breed does not respond well to harsher training techniques, so rather uses more positive training methods.

In addition to training your dog from an early age, be sure to socialize him or her as well. Bring your English Setter with you to different environments and allow him or her to be around different people. This will help ensure that they are clear on expectations and how to interact.

English Setter Exercise

English Setters were bred for hunting and have a high energy level. This breed requires regular exercise every day. Take your dog on daily walks, or even runs, and give them plenty of time to run around and play in a fenced-in yard or dog park.

English Setter Puppies

Before bring home an English Setter puppy, make sure you have a puppy-proof space in your home. Remove anything that could be a potential hazard to the dog or personal items that you wouldn’t want to see destroyed by a young puppy. Additionally, make sure you purchase a crate, dog bed, food, and all the other supplies your new puppy will need before bringing him or her home so you’re fully prepared when they arrive.

While English Setters have a high exercise need, it is important to be careful not to overexercise puppies or have them engage in higher impact activities. Until they are around two years old, their bones and joints haven’t reached mature strength and could easily be injured.

English Setter Puppies playing in the grass.
English Setter Puppies playing in the grass.

Minko Peev/Shutterstock.com

English Setters and Children

English Setters do very well with children. They are friendly, calm, and tolerant of children. This breed also enjoys playing and could make a great playmate for a young child.

However, as with any other dog breed, it is important to always supervise children when they are around an English Setter. This can help prevent either the child or dog from getting accidentally injured.

Dogs similar to English Setter

Irish Setters, English Pointers, and Brittany Dogs are three breeds that are similar to the English Setter.

  • Irish Setter: Irish Setters and English Setters are both hunting dogs. Both breeds are similarly sized with males weighing an average of about 70 pounds. While Irish Setters are typically mahogany or red in color, English Setters can be a variety of colors including blue, belton, lemon, tan, liver, or tricolor.
  • English Pointer: English Pointers and English Setters are both very affectionate and friendly dogs that do very well with children and other dogs. Both breeds also have a very high energy level and require a good amount of exercise. English Pointers are easier to groom and are known for shedding less than English Setters.
  • Brittany Dog: Brittany Dogs are another hunting dog. However, while English Setters were originally bred in England, Brittany Dogs were originally bred in France. Both breeds do well with children and other pets, but the English Setter is more tolerant of strangers. Brittany Dogs are smaller than English Setters. The average weight of a male Brittany dog is 37.5 pounds compared to the 67.5-pound average weight of a male English Setter.

Famous English Setters

Over the years, many famous individuals have chosen to own an English Setter as a pet. These include:

  • Clark Gable
  • Annie Oakley,
  • Brigitte Bardot
  • Glenn Gould

If you are undecided about which name to give your new English Setter, consider some of these popular choices:

  • Bradley
  • Chase
  • Ethan
  • Hunter
  • Drake
  • Gracie
  • Faye
  • Kelsey
  • Sage
  • Mable

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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What’s the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?

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Small

Medium

Large

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If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Kids
Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

Yes

No

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.

I want a cuddle buddy!

About average energy.

I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!

All energy levels are great — I just love dogs!

How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and — of course — pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

English Setter FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does an English Setter cost to own?

The cost to purchase an English Setter from a breeder is typically between $1,000 and $1,500. When deciding between different breeders in your area, be sure to do your research and choose a breeder with a good reputation. It may also be possible to find an English Setter up for adoption through a local rescue. The cost to adopt through a rescue should be significantly less than a breeder will charge, and will likely be a few hundred dollars.

As your budgeting to take care of your English Setter, keep in mind that the average lifespan for this breed is 11 to 15 years. You’ll need to be prepared to offer them the care they need for this entire lifespan. Budget at least $1,000 to $1,500 for the first year owning the dog and $500 to $1,000 for each subsequent year to cover all the expenses associate with pet ownership.

How long does an English Setter live?

The average lifespan of an English Setter is 11 to 15 years.

Are English Setters good family dogs?

Yes, English Setters are good family dogs. They are gentle, kind, and patient with children. English Setters also have a higher energy level and can make a good playmate for a child.

Are English Setters aggressive?

No, English Setters are not a very aggressive breed. If provoked or threatened, it is possible for them to exhibit aggressive behaviors, but they should also calm down quickly when asked by their owners.

How much is an English Setter puppy?

English Setter puppies typically cost between $1,000 and $1,500 to purchase from a breeder. Rescues may also offer English Setter puppies. In this case, the cost to adopt will likely be a few hundred dollars.

Are English Setters Hard to train?

English Setters can be a bit more challenging to train that some other breeds. They can be strong-willed at time. However, with a strong leader who uses positive training methods, this breed can be quite trainable.

What does an English Setter look like?

English Setters are known for their elegant looks. They have a long silky coat that can be liver belton, lemon belton, blue belton, blue belton and tan, or tricolor. English Setters are a medium to large breed. The males are a bit larger than the females, weighing between 65 and 80 pounds and standing between 25 and 27 inches tall (compared to a female’s weight of 45 to 55 pounds and height of 23 to 25 inches).

What’s the difference between English Setters and Llewellin Setters?

All Llewellin Setters are English Setters, but not all English Setters are Llewellin Setters. In fact, Llewellin Setters are their own distinct bloodline of English Setter, though there are very few differences between the two breeds.

Sources
  1. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/english-setter/
  2. Dog Time, Available here: https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/english-setter#/slide/1
  3. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Setter
  4. Pet Finder, Available here: https://www.petfinder.com/dog-breeds/english-setter/
  5. Dog Breeds List, Available here: https://www.dogbreedslist.info/all-dog-breeds/english-setter.html

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