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English Setter

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Physical Characteristics


Breed Group:

Sporting/Gun Dogs


Male: 70 – 80 pounds
Female: 60 – 65 pounds


Male: 25 – 27 inches
Female: 24 – 25.5 inches


The speckled look of an English Setter is called “belton.”
The most common color is white flecked with black (blue belton) or shades of orange (range from lemon belton to liver belton).
White flecked with black and tan (tricolor) is also possible.


The English Setter has long, silky, and slightly wavy coat. There are also long featherings on the legs and the tail. The long fur requires careful grooming.



The English Setter is a graceful and intelligent medium sized dog. This breed was once used to point or “set” game birds, alerting hunters to the location of the birds. As such English Setters are athletic, durable, and alert of their environment. While their temperament is not like that of a retriever or a collie, they are still very trainable. Their friendly nature makes them great companions and family pets.

Country of Origin:

United Kingdom


English Setters’ ancestors were developed as a bird dog more than 400 years ago. They likely were produced by crossing Spanish Pointer, Water Spaniel, and Springer Spaniel breeds. The modern Setters were established in the 19th century by Edward Laverack, and later Purcell Llewellin.


The English Setter is sometimes called Laverack, after its original breeder.
Setters whose bloodline can be traced all the way back to the first setters bred by Purcell Llewellin are given the name “Llewellin Setters.”


English Setters are very people-oriented and friendly. They thrive when given love and attention, and will be happiest if they are given a job to do. They are generally good around children. Their birding instinct means they are alert and curious; therefore they can appear to ignore commands because they are focused on something more interesting in their environment.



English Setters are highly intelligent and therefore can be stubborn and willful at times. However they are good-natured and sensitive to criticism; therefore, punishments and harsh treatments should be avoided. Positive reinforcement with rewards and praises works best with English Setters, and with patience it is possible to train them to perform a variety of tasks.


The English Setter is an active breed when outdoors, and adult setters need plenty of exercise. They do settle down once they are inside and are content with cuddling on the couch. Puppies should not be over exercised as they may have hip problems later in life.


Since English Setters are energetic, outdoor-oriented dogs, a fenced backyard with some acreage is highly recommended. Their long coats also require considerable amount of care. English Setter is a relatively healthy breed and can reach 10 to 12 years in age.


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