English Setter

an English Setter looking towards the person taking their picture

The English Setter is a classic and loved dog breed that has been around for centuries. This breed has a long and rich history, having been around since the fifteenth century when they were used to track game in Europe. They were first brought to the United States in the early 1800s, and their popularity quickly spread throughout the country.

The English Setter is known for their friendly, outgoing personality and eagerness to please. They’re an active breed that enjoys running, playing, and socializing with people. They’re also very intelligent and easily trained. This breed is typically good with children and other animals, although proper socialization is important to prevent aggression.

The English Setter has a long, silky coat that can be a variety of colors including white, brown, red, and black. They need regular brushing and grooming to keep their coat healthy and free of tangles.

The English Setter is an active breed that needs lots of exercise and mental stimulation to remain happy and healthy. Daily walks or runs are recommended, as well as engaging in activities such as agility trials or fetching games. This breed is prone to obesity, so an active lifestyle is important.

It’s important to ensure that the English Setter receives plenty of socialization from a young age. This will help them remain friendly with strangers and other animals.

The English Setter is a great breed for families looking for a loyal and loving companion. With proper exercise and socialization, this breed can be a wonderful addition to your family. The AKC lists the English Setter as the 93rd most popular dog in 2022.

English Setter Information

  • Average Height: 25-27 inches
  • Average Length: 23-27 inches
  • Average Weight: 45-80 pounds
  • Coat Type: Double coat
  • Coat Appearance: Long, silky coat that is considered to be medium length
  • Coat Colors: White, brown, red, and black
  • Grooming Needs: High
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Brushing Requirements: Once a week
  • Sensitive to Touch: Yes
  • Excessive Barking: Sometimes
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: No
  • Good Pet: Yes
  • Safe with Children: Yes
  • Good with Other Dogs: Yes
  • Good with Other Pets: Yes
  • Suitable for life in an Apartment: Moderate
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Training: Easy to train
  • Exercise Needs: High
  • Weight Gain: Yes
  • Health Concerns: Hip and elbow dysplasia, eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts, hypothyroidism, atopy (skin allergies), and epilepsy
  • Allergies: Yes
  • Life Span: 12-15 years

Physical Appearance of an English Setter

The English Setter is a medium-sized dog breed that has a long and silky coat. The coat can be various colors such as white, brown, red, and black. This breed has pointed ears and an expressive face that makes them look alert and attentive. Their muzzle is usually slightly longer than their skull and tapers to a point. Their tail is usually set low and can be either docked or undocked. The English Setter has a muscular body with well-defined legs and strong feet. The average height of an English Setter is 25-27 inches and the average weight is 45-80 pounds.

Temperament of an English Setter

The English Setter is known for their friendly, outgoing personality and eagerness to please. They are highly intelligent and can be easily trained, making them a great addition to any family. This breed is typically good with children and other animals, but it is important to ensure proper socialization is provided from a young age. English Setters are very active and need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Without enough physical and mental exercise, they can become bored and be destructive. The English Setter is a loyal breed that will quickly form strong bonds with their family members.

Training an English Setter

Training an English Setter is a relatively easy task due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. Start early and use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats or praises to reward desired behaviors. Be consistent with your commands and always reinforce good behavior. Socialization should also be a big part of the training process, so it’s important to introduce your dog to new people and different situations from a young age. This will help your English Setter remain friendly and confident in new situations. 

They have a strong desire to learn. It’s important to keep training sessions fun and positive. It’s also important to be consistent with your commands and establish a routine as soon as possible. 

The English Setter is a sensitive breed and does not respond well to negative reinforcement. It’s important to use positive reinforcement techniques during training. With patience and consistency, you can easily train your English Setter to be the perfect companion.

Obedience Training Classes

Obedience training classes are a great way to help your dog learn some basic instructions. Obedience training isn’t just for your dog, it also helps owners learn to teach and control their new dog. These classes can teach you as an owner the best ways to teach your puppy. The amount of time you spend trying to stop your English Setter barking at strangers can be a lot less if you know the best way to teach them. Because English Setter love barking at strangers, with or without obedience training you will likely spend a good deal of time teaching them to be quiet.

Early Socialization Training

Early socialization training can help your English Setter become more comfortable around people and other animals. This should be done as early as possible, ideally before they’re six months old. Socialization can involve introducing your dog to different people, animals, environments, and noises in a positive way. It’s important that the environment is one that the pup finds comfortable and safe, so they can learn to associate these new experiences with positive feelings. 

Socialization should be done gradually and in a controlled way to ensure that the pup is not overwhelmed. With early socialization, your English Setter will be better adjusted and more comfortable around people and other animals.

Kennel Training

Kennel training works very well with English Setter. If done right they will see the kennel as their safe space, and a place that they can relax and sleep. Most dogs enjoy small spaces and will find a sense of security while inside it. Getting them comfortable in a kennel early on will save you a lot of headaches. You know that they can’t get into trouble while you’re sleeping or at work if they’re in their kennel. It’s also a great place for them to dry off after they come into the house when it’s wet outside.

Clicker Training

English Setters have a history of being stubborn, especially as puppies. They need to be trained to understand what is good behavior and what is not OK. Clicker training will help them understand what is good behavior. Clicker training has you make a noise with the clicker when the desired action is done. In addition to the click you’ll give them a treat, at least while you train them. Every time your dog hears the click they’ll know they did a good job and you are happy.

If your dog misbehaves, try not to punish them because it can discourage them. Instead, remember the clicker training and divert their attention to something else. You might have to do this several times to help your dog understand that they are not supposed to do the undesired activities.

Their Compatibility with Children

The English Setter is a friendly and gentle breed that can make a great family pet. They are typically good with children, although supervision is always recommended when young kids and dogs are together. With proper socialization at an early age, the English Setter can learn to be comfortable around children of all ages. It’s important to teach children the proper way to interact with a dog, such as not pulling their tail or fur. With patience and understanding, the American Setter can get along great with children of all ages.

Best Climate for an English Setter

The English Setter is a breed that prefers cooler climates, but can thrive in a variety of weather conditions. This breed does best in moderate temperatures and humidity. They are not very tolerant of extreme heat or cold. The English Setter will need some extra protection if living in colder climates with heavy snowfall. They do best when they can spend time outside during cooler days, although they should always have access to a warm and comfortable place indoors.

The Attention an English Setter Needs

The English Setter is an intelligent and friendly breed that needs plenty of attention and interaction from their family. This breed loves to be around their people and can become sad or destructive if they are left alone for too long. It’s important to give them daily exercise, mental stimulation, and companionship. Taking them for regular walks or playing games such as fetch can give them the physical and mental stimulation that they need.

Health Issues

The English Setter is a generally healthy breed, although there are some health issues that could affect them. These include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and allergies. Regular vet checkups and monitoring can help identify any potential problems early on. Feeding the English Setter a high-quality diet and giving them enough exercise can help prevent weight gain and other health issues.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary problem that can make walking, getting up or laying down difficult and painful. When a dog has hip dysplasia, their hip socket fails to fully cover the ball portion of their thigh bone. The looseness between the hip and leg bone leads to partial or complete dislocation of their hip joint and can cause pain and stiffness. In most cases, medication and exercise restrictions are advised by the vet. Over time the condition could become severe enough that your vet might recommend surgery to correct it.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow Dysplasia is a condition that affects a dog’s elbow joint. It’s caused by abnormal growth and development of their elbow joint, resulting in pain, lameness, and arthritis. Elbow dysplasia can be caused by genetic factors or environmental factors such as nutrition or trauma.

Symptoms of Elbow Dysplasia

Dogs can also have a decreased range of motion in the affected joint. In severe cases, dogs will have difficulty walking or running. The symptoms of Elbow Dysplasia can vary depending on the stage of the disease. In the early stages, dogs can have signs of:

  •  Lameness 
  •  Stiffness in their elbow joint

 As the condition progresses, dogs will get:

  •  Increased pain 
  •  Swelling in the joint

In severe cases, dogs can get arthritis in their elbow joint.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a degenerative eye disorder that affects the retina of dogs. It’s an inherited condition, meaning it’s passed down from parent to offspring.

PRA is caused by a mutation in the gene responsible for producing the photoreceptor cells in the retina. These cells are responsible for converting light into electrical signals that are sent to the brain and interpreted as vision. As PRA progresses, these photoreceptor cells die off, leading to blindness.

Symptoms of Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Symptoms of PRA can vary depending on the breed and type of PRA, but generally include:

  • Night blindness
  • Decreased vision in dim light
  • Dilated pupils
  • Eye Cloudiness
  • Head tilt

As the disease progresses, these symptoms could worsen and eventually lead to total blindness.


Cataracts are a common eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness. Cataracts occur when the lens in an eye becomes cloudy or opaque, blocking light from passing through to the retina. This can lead to decreased vision, or even complete blindness.

There are several causes of cataracts, including genetics, diabetes, trauma, and certain medications.

Cataracts can be a serious condition, but with proper treatment, your dog can regain their vision and live a happy life.


Hypothyroidism is a common health condition in dogs that causes weight gain, behavioral changes, skin and coat problems. The condition occurs when a dog’s thyroid gland isn’t creating enough thyroid hormones to regulate their body’s metabolism. 

The thyroid gland is located in their neck, close to the windpipe. The gland is responsible for regulating the metabolism. When the thyroid becomes underactive their metabolism slows down and hypothyroidism occurs.

Hypothyroidism is caused by two diseases. One is lymphocytic thyroiditis, an immune-mediated disease where the dog’s immune system mistakes the thyroid as foreign and starts attacking it. We don’t know why this happens but lymphocytic thyroiditis is the most common reason for hypothyroidism in dogs. 

The other disease that causes hypothyroidism is idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy where their fat tissue replaces the normal thyroid tissue. The cause of this disease is also unknown.

95% of hypothyroidism is caused by these two diseases, and the other 5% by rare diseases like thyroid gland cancer. Whatever the cause, the symptoms and treatments of hypothyroidism are usually the same.


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects dogs and can cause seizures. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of epilepsy so that you can recognize it and get treatment for your pet.

Symptoms of Epilepsy

The most common symptom of epilepsy is a seizure, which can range from mild to severe. Seizures are associated with uncontrolled muscle contractions, loss of consciousness, and sometimes, loss of bladder and bowel control. Other symptoms can include disorientation, confusion, drooling, pacing, trembling, and even aggression.

If your dog has any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to your vet right away for a diagnosis. Your vet will be able to determine if your pet has epilepsy by performing a physical exam and running tests such as an EEG or CT scan.

Once your dog has been diagnosed with epilepsy, your vet will be able to recommend the best treatment plan for them. Treatment can include medications to control seizures, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. It’s important to follow your vet’s instructions carefully in order to ensure that your pet gets the best care possible.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

The English Setter has a thick and luxurious coat that will need to be brushed regularly. This breed doesn’t need frequent baths, however it’s important to keep their coat clean and free of dirt or debris. During bath time, owners should use a mild shampoo designed for dogs and rinse their coat thoroughly. Owners should pay special attention to the areas between their toes and around their eyes. These can be prone to infection. 

Regular nail trims are important for keeping their feet healthy.

A close up of a pile of dog food.

Feeding an English Setter

The English Setter should be fed a high-quality diet that is specifically formulated for their breed. This should be tailored to their individual needs, such as age, size, and activity level. Feeding multiple small meals throughout the day is recommended rather than one large meal. This can help prevent digestive issues. 

Treats should also be given in moderation and should not make up more than 10 percent of the dog’s daily caloric intake. Fresh water should be available at all times. Check with your vet to determine the best diet for your pet.

Related Questions:

What Type of Temperament Does an English Setter Have?

An English Setter is typically friendly and gentle, making them a great family pet. They are intelligent and need plenty of attention and interaction from their owners. With proper socialization at an early age, the English Setter can learn to be comfortable around people of all ages.

How Much Exercise Does an English Setter Need?

The English Setter is an active breed that needs regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks, running, or playing fetch are all great activities to keep them entertained and exercised. Owners should give them mental stimulation through activities such as puzzle toys or training sessions.