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Bird Hunting Dog Breeds

English Setter

English Setter Dog BreedWhile they’re often braced with an English Pointer, the English Setter is pretty enough going solo. The field-bred version has shorter hair and less feathering on legs and tail than the bench variety, but they’re still one of the flashiest breeds in the uplands. The “setter” moniker came from the original dog’s behavior, laying down (or “setting”) after locating game, so the hunter could throw a net over the prey without tangling in the dog. And like their smooth-coated counterpart, they cover ground with a floating gait that lasts all day. Llewellin, Belton, and Ryman are some of the famous breeder names associated with Setters, which can come ticked, spotted or patched in lemon, caramel, liver, black, tri-colored black and brown . . . with white underneath. Setters have been around or 400 years, and have seen some rough patches when the show crowd tried to breed out the hunt and it’s naturally-lean look. Luckily, good dogs from pure hunting stock are widely available. English Setters crossed the Atlantic in 1874, where they were embraced by Americans chasing woodcock and ruffed grouse. Originally from crosses of Spanish pointers, water spaniels and even a Springer or two, the mix was refined in large part by Edward Laverack in the early 1800’s. Setters are sweet, mild-mannered dogs that make great companions. They can be soft, taking discipline too personally. Setters seldom require anything but the mildest training methods. And boy do they look good in the puckerbrush. Learn more here:



24-25" at withers




50-75 lbs.




England, early 1800's




Very elegant look



Hunt Style:

Nimble, quick