Let's talk English Setters

Every day is a Good Hair Day for the English Setter: These gorgeous glossy and dappled dogs have plenty of energy and a sweet, mellow nature. Descended from pointers and spaniels, like their other setter cousins, they were originally bred as hunting dogs. But times have changed and English Setters certainly don’t need a country lifestyle—as long as they get plenty of exercise, they make content and affectionate family dogs.

Official name: English Setter

Origins: United Kingdom

Labrador Retriever adult black and white
 Drooling tendencies


Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level Medium
Suited to apartment living?  Very low
 Energy level (high, low, medium) *: High Family Pet? * 
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets Very high
Can stay alone? * Very low

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed’s specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy, healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socialising your pet as well as covering their basic welfare, social and behavioural needs.

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

Inline Image 15
Illustration of an English Setter
65 - 69 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
29 - 36 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
61 - 65 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
20 - 25 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age:  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age:  2-15 months
 Adult age:  15 months to 5 years
 Mature age:  5-8 years
 Senior age:  From 8 years

English Setter sat on dry grass


Origins of the breed

For many enthusiasts, the Labrador Retriever remains one of the most popular all-round dogs worldwide. It’s thought that Labrador Retrievers originated from the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, where fishermen used dogs of this appearance to retrieve fish. The breed as we know it today, however, was established by the British in the early 1800’s.

The Labrador Retriever Club was founded in 1916 and the first standard followed soon after, predominantly tailored to working Labrador Retrievers who found early fame, having been originally introduced to the U.K. in the late 1800’s by Col Peter Hawker and the Earl of Malmesbury.

Side view of English Setter standing looking to the right


2 facts about English Setters

1. Belton Breed

The word ‘belton’, unique to the breed, is used to describe the English Setter’s beautiful, dappled coat. It is also the name of the English village where Edward Laverack, known as the founder of the breed, used to hunt.

2. On your marks, get set … 

The English Setter, originally a hunting dog, gets its name from the way the breed was developed to “set” or lie low to show it had found birds so hunters could throw their nets on them, without tangling up the dogs. Changing hunting practices saw them trained to stand more upright but they kept the name.


History of the breed

The English Setter as we know it today, all glossy speckled coat and joie de vivre, was developed in 19th century England as a hunting dog.

Edward Laverack, the man who gave the name “belton” to the English Setter’s flecked coat, is considered the founder of this gentle and friendly breed, beginning with his first two dogs, Old Moll and Ponto. Meanwhile, Welshman Richard Purcell Llewellin developed a separate sub-set of the breed, more focused on field performance, known as Llewellin Setters.

The breed’s origins date back even further to crosses with pointer and spaniel breeds and are closely entwined with that of other setter breeds, all of which got their name from their ability to lay down quietly or “set” when they found prey.

In more recent years English Setters, elegant and sweet-natured dogs, have evolved to find their place as gentle and friendly family companions.

Black and white close-up portrait of an English Setter looking left


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of English Setters

1. Coat

Wavy, speckled coat in a wide variety of colours.

2. Head

Well-defined head held high; upright, elegant bearing.

3. Legs

Lean build with strong, muscular legs.

4. Ears

Alert expression and large silky ears.

5. Tail

Graceful curved tail with feathered fur.

Side view of English Setter standing looking to the right


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your English Setter
English Setter running through grassy field


Caring for your English Setter

Grooming, training and exercise tips

English Setters’ silky, lustrous locks are naturally beautiful—but to keep them looking their best, English Setters require regular grooming: Brushing, trimming of their longer “feathered” fur and a bath every six weeks or so. Bred for the great outdoors, modern-day English Setters may be calm home companions but still need plenty of exercise, in the form of long walks, jogs, play sessions or off-the-lead runs in an enclosed space. English Setters need early and consistent training to keep their natural prey drive in check, but they are sensitive souls who take reprimands to heart so training should be patient and reward-focused. You’ll be rewarded with a pet who is as affectionate, devoted and good-natured as they are beautiful.


All about English Setters

Once trained, English Setters get along well with children as well as other animals. They are sociable and affectionate but can suffer from separation anxiety—don’t leave your English Setter home alone too long unless you want them to embark on some rather destructive interior decoration.

English Setters are not known to be aggressive—in fact, they have a reputation for being gentle. English Setters are alert and lively, however, and will bark to let you know if someone they don’t know is approaching the house.

Aðrar tegundir sem þú gætir haft áhuga á


1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/