The English Setter is a medium to large breed classified under the gundog/setter group with a clean outline and an elegant appearance. It is an active breed with a keen sense of smell. At home, the English Setter is one of the friendliest dogs. Physically, it has a long and reasonably lean head with a well defined stop. The square muzzle is moderately deep, accentuated by not too pendulous lips. It can either have a black or liver nose, depending on the coat colour. The expressive eyes ranges in colour from hazel to dark brown. The ears are set low on the head and flat to the cheeks, having a velvety tip with the upper ear adorned with fine silky hair. The jaws and teeth form a regular and complete scissor bite. The long muscular and lean neck is slightly arched at crest which is typical of setters. It has very muscular and straight forearms, well-muscled hind legs, well bent stifles and a body with widely sprung ribs that gives the breed a large breathing room during field work. The tail of the English Setter is almost in line with the back, medium length and neither curly nor ropy. It is slightly curved and adorned with bright, soft, and silky featherings.
The English Setter has a long and silky coat. The hair from the back of the head to the ears is slightly wavy but not curly. The back of the legs, underbelly and the tail have long silky fringes. The coat features flecked colours, otherwise known as belton (white combined with either black, orange, lemon, or liver) or tricolour (blue belton and tan or liver belton and tan).
The average size of dogs is between 65-69cms at withers while females stand between 61-65cms at withers.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The earliest bird setting dogs known in England appeared more than four hundred years ago and were used to set or point upland game birds. These early setter-types were also depicted in 15th century artworks and are thought to be crosses of the Spanish Pointer, Water Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniel. Dr. John Caius, an English physician wrote in 1576 about dogs from France that greatly resembles an ancestor of the blue belton English Setter. However, the modern English Setter that we know of today owes its appearance to a man named Edward Laverack, who, in the 19th century began breeding his own line of English Setters for use specifically in bird hunting in the field. Over 50 years, Laverack maintained his strain of Setters and became well-known throughout England as “Laverack Setters”. A man named R.L. Purcell Llewellin was attracted to the Laverack Setters that he purchased some of the best stock and outcrossed them with his own line of setters (Duke, Rhoebe and Kate) and thus began the line of working dogs we now know as “Llewellin Setters”.
In a nutshell, the English Setter is described as a “gentleman by nature”. It is an affectionate, alert, cheerful, friendly, gentle, intelligent, outgoing and social breed. However, there are some Setters that are more obstinate and naughty, especially those from the working lines. These original field/working types are sometimes called Llewellin Setters and they have very strong hunting instincts. In general, an English Setter is a wonderful family companion that thrives on attention, energetic activities and most especially hunting work. This sociable animal will not do well being left alone for long periods of time because it will develop destructive behaviours and may bark persistently.
Training the English Setter is on the moderate side. In Stanly Coren’s “The Intelligence of Dogs”, the Setter ranks above average in working/obedience intelligence. It is an intelligent breed that can be trained in just about any task or command, except herding which it doesn’t have an instinct for, not even a single drop in its blood. Basic training must start as early as possible using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise work. An English Setter destined as a house pet needs early socialisation, particularly if it came from the working lines.
To keep the silky coat of the English Setter looking wonderful and healthy, regular brushing is required to keep the coat free of mats. Clipping and trimming the coat every few months also helps minimize tangling and matting. Show-type English Setters have more profuse coats that require more attention than those coming from the working lines. This breed sheds all year round and is not an ideal dog for people suffering with allergies.
The average life span of the English Setter is 12 years but there are dogs that lived up to 15 years.. Like most dogs, whether purebred or otherwise, the English Setter is also known to be affected with inherited diseases such as congenital deafness. The breed is also affected by autoimmune thyroiditis, canine hypothyroidism, elbow dysplasia, and allergies. Some English Setters may be affected by certain forms of cancer.
The English Setter is an active breed and needs plenty of exercise. Up to two hours of daily walks or jog along the sidewalk or running alongside a bike are ideal exercise routines. Inside the house, the Setter tends to have lower energy and can be seen sleeping on the couch or on the floor. It will do best in a house with a large yard or in a countryside home where it can do its job hunting birds in the open countryside.
The English Setter is one of the friendliest dog breeds, good-natured and particularly wonderful with children. It is a playful breed and will do well with other dogs and animals, particularly those it grew up with. However, it is a bird dog by nature and it’s strong “bird-as-game” instinct may kick in anytime and may try to subdue or kill any avian inside the house.