Life span: 10-12 Years
Height: 24 – 26 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
Weight: 60 – 80 lbs. (male), 45 – 55 lbs. (female)
Belonging to the Setter family, the English Setter shares similar characteristics to that of its distant family members – the Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, and White Setter. It is known as a gundog, but unlike other gundog breeds, the English Setter makes for an excellent family pet. The English Setter has the ability to endure hard work in the field, while also being calm enough to lay at your feet. Its moderately shaggy hair is usually “ticked” with blue, orange, and Belton – a color that is specific to the English Setter.
This relatively large dog has medium sized ears that flop down, and a long, feathered tail with a slight curve that is down when resting. Their eyes are brown with a black nose and their coat is long, wavy and dense. Coat colors include brown, lemon, red, blue, black and white, with a base color and markings called “belton” all over its coat.
Their names comes from the way in which they hold their prey until their owner arrives, which is by sitting on them. In the 1600s they were crossbred in order to give them hunting and pointing abilities. Their ancestors include the Spanish Pointers, Springer Spaniels, and Large Water Spaniels. The markings on its coat are named belton, after the town in which Edward Laverack, who created the breed in 1825, hunted. Later on, Purcell Llewellin crossbred dogs he got from Edward Laverack to enhance their abilities. The breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1884 and are classified as a sporting dog, while in the United Kennel Club they are classified as a gun dog.
This loving dog is affectionate with its family, as well as gentle and playful with children. They also tend to get along well with other household pets, but must always be supervised around small animals that it could confuse as prey and young children that it might unintentionally harm. They are wary of strangers, making them good watchdogs. Training can be difficult, as they might get distracted by their instincts, however, they are intelligent and tend to learn quickly and remember what they learn when paying attention.
Although generally healthy, this breed may have some diseases, such as:
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Hypothyroidism, a disease that affects the thyroid gland, its symptoms are ear infections, skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression.
Deafness, complete loss of hearing since birth.
Brushing must be done weekly, and they must have the hair around their face and feet regularly trimmed, as well as bathing them every month or so. They should also have their nails trimmed, teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections regularly. Exercise can be done in a wide fenced yard or a run outside on a leash, however, their bones and joints may not fully form until the dog is two years old, and so avoid exercising your dog too much before then. They can be difficult to train, as they may follow their instincts rather than your instructions, but with positive reinforcement, training can be successful.