English Setter

  • English Setter Puppy
  • English Setter in the UK
  • English Setter Dog
  • English Setters
  • English Setter
  • English Setter Puppies
  • English Setters in Great Britain
  • English Setter in Great Britain

Gundog Group

Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 61 - 69cm M | 58 - 66cm F
Weight: 25 - 36kg M | 20 - 32kg F
Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 Years

Considering getting an English Setter?

The English Setter is the oldest gundog in the world that originated in England in the 14th century. It is a medium-sized dog that weighs 45 to 80 pounds and stands 61 to 69 centimetres at the withers. Gentle but at the same time strong-willed, this mischievous dog breed is used to hunt games such as quail, pheasant and grouse. The English Setter is people-oriented and very sociable, making it a popular choice for a family pet.

Are you looking to buy an English Setter? Before you decide, learn more about its background.

book icon History

The English Setter is one of the oldest hunting dogs in the world dating back to 14th century England. It was often called "Setting doggies" which is an ancient term used for dogs that set or point upland game birds. There is evidence to suggest the English Setter was a cross from the Spanish Pointer, English Springer Spaniel and a large water spaniel.

In the 17th century, the English Setter had become widely popular and established on British estates. The modern English Setter was developed by Englishman Edward Laverack and Welshman R.L. Purcell Llewellin in the late 1800s, in the hopes of creating a gentle and companionable dog breed.

Today, English Setters have a unique appearance, with sculpted heads, athletic bodies and feathery tails. These elegant dogs are still one of the favourite dog breeds in the UK and the world because of their kind and gentle nature.

comb icon Appearance and Grooming

An epitome of grace, strength and stamina, the English Setter boasts of an elegant, symmetrical and athletic build. It is medium-sized and slim, weighing 45 to 80 pounds and standing 61 to 69 centimetres at the withers. It has a long head and a definite stop. Its muzzle is square that is moderately deep. Depending on the dog's coat, the nose is either black or liver. English Setters have dark eyes, either hazel or dark brown, that are bright and expressive.

The English Setter’s trademark is its speckled coat that comes in a variety of colours such as blue, lemon, orange, or brown, while the base of the coat is white. The coat is tight and lies flat without any wooliness or curls. It also sports feathering (longer fringe of hair) on the ears, chest, belly, legs, tail and underside of the thighs.

To keep its stunning coat, English Setters must be brushed at least thrice a week or even daily. Bathing them every six weeks is also recommended to avoid that doggie smell. Trim its hairs every six weeks to maintain its neat appearance. If you're not confident to do the trimming yourself, take your English Setter to a professional groomer. Don't forget to brush its teeth at least twice a week, trim its nails regularly and clean the ears with a cotton ball moistened with a vet-approved solution.

bulb icon Temperament and Intelligence

The English setter is described as a "Gentleman by Nature." It has the mildest of manner of the setter breeds (Irish Setter and Gordon Setter). English Setters are very sociable, and the friendliest setter and must not be left alone for longer periods of time, else it becomes destructive. However, they can also be strong-willed and mischievous. They are smart and can be trained to perform tasks, but often their natural hunting bird instinct gets in the way of their focus.

Outdoors, they are active and highly energetic dogs, but they tend to have lower energy when inside the home, often content to be couch potatoes and lap dogs. Still, English Setters must be given lots of exercises and mental stimulation. When it comes to children and other pets, English setters have a strong affinity with children and also get on well with other animals if introduced at a young age. This dog breed rarely shows any aggressive behaviour and remains to be a popular choice for people with young families.

food icon Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult English Setter is 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day. Regardless of what recommendations you get from online sources, nothing beats consulting with a veterinarian. Be sure to double check with your vet with regard to the nutritional requirement of your English Setter, especially on its calorie needs.

As a rough guide, a typical calorie needs of adult 65-pound English Setter per day:

  • Senior and less active: up to 1,140 calories daily
  • Typical adults: up to 1,390 calories daily
  • Physically active/working dogs: up to 2,220 calories daily

English Setters will need a high-protein diet to help build strong muscles and joints. It is also highly recommended to feed it brown rice and a good mix of vegetables. Just make sure to stay away from wheat and corn, which are fillers and don't provide much nutritional value.

stethoscope icon Health and Exercise

When properly cared for, English Setters can live up to 15 years. However, like any dog breed, they are also known to suffer from a few health issues specific to its breed. English Setters are predisposed to health issues that include skin problems and hot spots, Elbow and Hip Dysplasia, thyroid problems and even blindness.

The English Setter is a gundog that requires lots of exercises to keep it healthy and happy. It's not well suited to city apartments as it thrives in homes with plenty of room to run such as big yards or even farms. This dog breed enjoys all physical activity from long walks (at least 2 hours) to running and playing a game of chase. Albeit, they can be couch potatoes when indoors, this dog breed leads a more active life, so it is not a good choice for people with sedentary lifestyle.

pound icon Cost of Ownership

If you're looking for a gentle and loveable dog, an English Setter is a good choice. However, is it a good choice considering your finances? Keeping a dog is not cheap. There are a lot of expenses that you must factor into your monthly budget if you want to keep it happy and healthy. For starters, buying an English Setter puppy will cost around £450 to over £1000, depending on the pedigree. Pet insurance is another cost to factor in if you want to be offset some expenses on health emergencies and accidents. Insuring an English Setter will set you back a monthly amount of £20 to £50.

Of course, getting a pet insurance does not cover regular veterinary consultations and basic procedures such as vaccinations, boosters and neutering/spaying (when the time is right). Veterinary routine checks will cost you around £1,000 a year. When it comes to food, buying high-quality dog food for an English Setter will set you back £40 to £60 a month. Other costs to factor in are basic dog supplies such as leash, collars, beds, bowls, toys and more.

Is an English Setter Right for You?

  • The English Setter is an elegant-looking and athletic dog breed.
  • It is originally a gundog used to for upland live games such as bird hunting.
  • It is very sociable and affectionate, with a strong affinity with children.
  • English Setters are often described as gentle by nature.
  • Grooming-wise, it is a little high-maintenance because of its feathering on various parts of its body.
  • It is a very active and highly energetic dog. Thus, it is not ideal for people who lead sedentary lives.

Are you sure the English Setter is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

Dog Breed Selector Quiz

Would you rather get a popular dog breed recognised by The Kennel Club? Try our Pet Finder for other breed suggestions.

The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.

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