English Setter

Breed History

English Setter

English Setter is a medium size Gun Dog that is a member of the Setter family. Tall dog that is seen with a slim build known for its stamina and hunting abilities.

Loving dog that enjoys the company of their owners as well as visitors. Easy going personality should not cloud your judgement about them needing a lot of exercise every day.

Bird dog that has been training to hunt down birds for multiple centuries. Member of the Setter family that consists of Irish Setters, Red Setters, White Setters, and Gordon Setters.

Different types of birds such as the quail and grouse. They find these birds and indicate to the hunter where they are. Multiple champion in dog competitions for many decades.

Two separate type of dogs one consists of the show dog and the field dog. One of smaller than the other and the coat looks slightly different in comparison.

Five to six centuries of documentation they show a lot of their trait and feature development in the 18th century. Further refinement of the breed would happen int eh 19th century and little has changed since then.

After coming from England into the United States they are one of the first dogs to enter the American Kennel Club. United Kingdom would already have their breed standard fully established at this time.

Most likely their popularity will continue to maintain their status due to the use of bird hunting and the high-quality personality that makes people love the English Setter.


In 1878, nine dogs would get registration and the beginning of the American Kennel Club would start. One of the originals in the club no other dog has been in the club longer.

Top 100 in popularity they continue to enjoy some of the highest registration in the country. Many dogs are more popular due to movies, looks, or the lap dog obsession. Despite being out of favor regarding those standards they have still been quite popular.

Sporting Group, or Gun Dog Group, due to their hunting capabilities. All major Kennel Clubs show them recognition as a Gun Dog or something that means the same thing.

Here are the major Kennel Clubs and their breed standards for the English Setter.


Male Height: 25-27 inches

Female Height: 23-25 inches

Male Weight: 70-80 pounds

Female Weight: 50-60 pounds

Boy dogs are considerable bigger than their female counterparts.

Litter Size

Average litter size are 5 puppies for the English Setter. Breeders should be aware of the number of puppies that need care for at least eight weeks before selling to a responsible owners.

No known health problems are none and mothers can push the babies out without assistance, unless there is an emergency.


Show Setter – is bigger and has a longer coat in comparison to the hunting Setter. Everything else is virtually the same other than these two distinct differences.

Field Setter – hunters need to be slimmer and have less coat to get through the tough terrain.

English Setter Colors

Belton – Blue, Lemon, Liver Orange, Tricolor


No markings


$1,000-$5,000 is the average price for an English Setter. Prices can range differently depending on championship bloodline, supply, demand, registration, and many other factors.

Dogs with papers will cost considerably more than dogs without papers. Registration will link the England Kennel Club generation to the American Kennel Club.

Without papers there was some point where one parent or both couldn’t receive paperwork. Most likely it is the result of some crossbreeding or the dog not fitting the breed standards at some point. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars for these dogs without papers.


Take the dog on long hour walk or run before you start the grooming session. Setting the dog up for success will happen with a long exercise session and start grooming with the leash on. Removing extra energy and letting the dog feel a nice brush, comb, and bath will help with getting and keeping them calm.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brushing the coat will be a weekly job and you need brush from the skin outward. Getting the correct brush to accomplish that job is key when it comes to brushing.

Yes, you will need to comb the coat as well and weekly. Combing will need to happen from the skin outward and you will again need the proper comb that can accomplish that.

Bathing the dog after a long session will make the dog love getting a bath. Make sure you give them some water because they will be hot from the exercise. There is no better way to introduce or reintroduce this to the dog.

Ears need to be clean once per week to avoid infections. Vet bills will start to add up and you need to avoid this bill because it is preventable.

Trimming the nails will happen when you are exercising the dog, which we recommend. If you’re not exercising the dog, which we don’t recommend, you will need to cut them with clippers.

Professional help is a recommendation with this dog.

Life Span

12-14 years is the average lifespan for an English Setter. That’s a long time for a dog to live and owners should be aware of the commitment they are making when buying or owning one of these dogs.

Great adoption dog option because you can find one as a four-year-old adult and still own them for another decade.

Health Issues

CHIC Certification – Canine Health Information Center has certain tests for the English Setter and these recommendations come from their Kennel Club. It is best to buy a puppy from parents who have this certification.  

BAER Testing – Deafness is an inherited genetic disease that does affect this breed. Although they are known to get hearing disorders from their parents, they can also get them from other sources.

Hip Dysplasia – 24 months is the age that the dog should get this examination. Once the dog starts limping or favoring a leg, they should go to the vet right away. Early treatment of the joints if they have this condition can ease some discomfort but it will be a lifelong process.

Elbow Dysplasia – 24 months for elbow dysplasia check will be the recommended amount of time. Growth outside of the elbow is going to show that they have the condition, but an examination will tell you how severe or mild the conditions are.

Thyroid – every two years should be taken seriously. Dogs suffering from Thyroid issues and they can go untreated for years. When the dog starts to possess a strong appetite, excessive weight gain, and high levels of dehydration will expose this condition in most cases.

Breed Group

Proud member of the Sporting Group, or Gun Dog Group. These dogs help hunters find other animals and can retrieve them after they’re shot in the water or on land.

One of the great qualities is that they can grab another animal without causing significant damage and bring them back. High stamina and endurance is one of the qualities you will find with each of these dogs.

Here are a few of the dogs in the sporting group

Exercise Needs

English Setter needs a lot of exercise every day to meet their exercise requirements. When you fail to exercise your dog every day you will have some undesirable behaviors start to exist and they will persist for a long time.

Bad behavior starting out with too much energy and excitement. Understanding that dogs do this in order to attempt to exercise themselves is key. Digging, barking excessively, nipping and biting can all start to develop over time.

Once you begin to give them the right amount of exercise you will notice that the energy levels are low around the house and the dog is sleep much more throughout the day.

Misbehaving will be a direct result of not getting enough exercise. Two sessions will be better than one if the dog is too energetic or misbehaving too much to get a quick grip on the situation.

Here is a basic exercise recommendation for this breed

Morning: Hour (run, walk, or treadmill)

Evening: 30 min (run, walk, or treadmill)

Youngers dogs need more runs and more multiple session days. If you are not exercising your dog yet and they are a little older they will need this same program for a while to drain excess energy.

Adult dogs, around 3 to 5 years old, will need runs still, but their recovery time will be longer after runs. One session days will start to become apparent during this time and the owner will be able to take days off without getting more issues before the next outing.

Senior dogs will need to least amount of exercise, no runs, and don’t give them two sessions. Going out once for short exercise sessions of 30 minutes max will be all they can handle.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Exercise is the foundation of any training program that aims to teach the dog to behave properly. Commands gets them to perform certain tricks but to get them calm and respectable you need to exercise daily. Homeless people are the best dog owners because they don’t use a leash or treats to train their dog. Only thing they do differently is exercise every day and you can tell by the body language. Ears back, tail relaxed, and mouth open are the key indicators of a great mindset.

Commands are great but a smaller part of training. You will be spending most of your time exercising your dog. Sit, stay and lay are great to teach and have it become reliable by doing it a certain type of way. Performing commands before eating, drinking, coming outside, before you put the leash on and other activities.

Socialization should happen once you put the exercise every day and sometime two times per day in action. Your dog will be in a best condition to socialize when they are not trying to meet their exercise requirements with other animals or humans around for the first time.

Correcting the dog should happen verbally, on leash and off leash. Being physically imposing is not how you should focus on corrections. Focusing on timing and the follow through is the best way to look at corrections. Most of the time you will never touch the dog but rare times they will be needed.

Additional Resources