- Setters originated before the advent of hunting birds with game, when dogs that spotted birds were expected to crouch so that hunters could throw a net over the birds without it getting snagged on the dog.
- The oldest known setter dates back to the 1300s from the English moors.
- Around 1825, Edward Lavarack undertook a 35-year program of concerted breeding to form the basis of today's English Setter. He began with two dogs named "Ponto" and "Old Moll."
- Purcell Llewellin founded his dogs on Laverack's stock, crossed with some other dogs, but concentrated on field ability. One of Llewellin's dogs, "Count Noble," became a field trial sensation in America. Count Noble's body was mounted after his death and put on display at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.
- Today, show English setters descend principally from Lavarack's stock, and field English setters from Llewellin's stock. Field setters are smaller, with less hair and a greater tendency to have patches, rather than flecks, of color.
English Setter Behavior Concerns
- Makes a cheerful and active companion.
- Usually very good with children.
- Makes a good watchdog but poor protection dog.
- Eager to please but easily distracted.
- Does best with reward-based training involving food.
- Outgoing toward strangers.
- Gets along well with other pets and dogs.
- Enjoys retrieving and hunting.
English Setter Suggested Exercises
- Makes a calm housedog if given adequate exercise.
- Requires daily exercise in the form of a long walk, jog, or energetic games.
- Field lines tend to be more energetic.
- A good candidate for dog parks.
- Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.
English Setter Grooming
- Coat is fairly long, silky, and either flat or slightly wavy.
- The coat needs brushing and combing two to three times a week to prevent mats.
- It needs monthly bathing.
- Some clipping and trimming is needed every month to maintain optimal looks.
- Shedding is average.
Suggested English Setter Nutritional Needs
- English setters tend to be eager eaters, and some may put on too much weight.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
- Puppies should be fed a balanced a puppy food.