English Setter

English Setters are elegant but substantial gundogs known for their beauty and agreeable temperament. The word “belton,” unique to this breed, describes the speckled patterns of the coat, which comes in colors that sound good enough to eat: liver, lemon, and orange among them. Beneath the showy coat is a well-balanced hunter standing about 25 inches at the shoulder. The graceful neck carries a long, oval-shaped head proudly, and the dark brown eyes convey a soft expression that reflects the breed’s sweet soul.

  • Personality: Friendly, merry, and mellow; called the “gentleman of the dog world”
  • Energy Level: Somewhat Active; Game and boisterous at play and work, a joy to live with at home
  • Good with Children: Better with Supervision
  • Good with other Dogs: With Supervision
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Trainability: Eager To Please
  • Height: 25-27 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 45-55 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 years
  • Barking Level: Barks When Necessary

meet theEnglish Setter

Did you know?

English Setters were trained bird dogs in England more than 400 years ago.

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at aGlance

theBreed Standard

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  • General Appearance

    An elegant, substantial and symmetrical gun dog suggesting the ideal blend of strength, stamina, grace, and style. Flat-coated with feathering of good length. Gaiting freely and smoothly with long forward reach, strong rear drive and firm topline. Males decidedly masculine without coarseness. Females decidedly feminine without over-refinement. Overall appearance, balance, gait, and purpose to be given more emphasis than any component part. Above all, extremes of anything distort type and must be faulted.

  • Head

    Size and proportion in harmony with body. Long and lean with a well defined stop. When viewed from the side, head planes (top of muzzle, top of skull and bottom of lower jaw) are parallel. Skull-oval when viewed from above, of medium width, without coarseness, and only slightly wider at the earset than at the brow. Moderately defined occipital protuberance. Length of skull from occiput to stop equal in length of muzzle.  Eyes-dark brown, the darker the better. Bright, and spaced to give a mild and intelligent expression. Nearly round, fairly large, neither deepset nor protruding. Eyelid rims dark and fully pigmented. Lids fit tightly so that haw is not exposed. Ears-set well back and low, even with or below eye level. When relaxed carried close to the head. Of moderate length, slightly rounded at the ends, moderately thin leather, and covered with silky hair.

  • Neck and Body

    Neck is long and graceful, muscular and lean. Arched at the crest and cleancut where it joins the head at the base of the skull. Larger and more muscular toward the shoulders, with the base of the neck flowing smoothly into the shoulders. Not too throaty. Topline-in motion or standing appears level or sloping slightly downward without sway or drop from withers to tail forming a graceful outline of medium length. Forechest-well developed, point of sternum projecting slightly in front of point of shoulder/upper arm joint. Chest-deep, but not so wide or round as to interfere with the action of the forelegs. Brisket deep enough to reach the level of the elbow. Ribs-long, springing gradually to the middle of the body, then tapering as they approach the end of the chest cavity. Back-straight and strong at its junction with loin. Loin-strong, moderate in length, slightly arched. Tuck up moderate. Hips-croup nearly flat. Hip bones wide apart, hips rounded and blending smoothly into hind legs.

  • Forequarters

    Shoulder-shoulder blade well laid back. Upper arm equal in length to and forming a nearly right angle with the shoulder blade. Shoulders fairly close together at the tips. Shoulder blades lie flat and meld smoothly with contours of body. Forelegs- from front or side, forelegs straight and parallel. Elbows have no tendency to turn in or out when standing or gaiting. Arm flat and muscular. Bone substantial but not coarse and muscles hard and devoid of flabbiness. Pasterns-short, strong and nearly round with the slope deviating very slightly forward from the perpendicular. Feet-face directly forward. Toes closely set, strong and well arched. Pads well developed and tough. Dewclaws may be removed.

  • Hindquarters

    Wide, muscular thighs and well developed lower thighs. Pelvis equal in length to and forming a nearly right angle with upper thigh. In balance with forequarter assembly. Stifle well bent and strong. Lower thigh only slightly longer than upper thigh. Hock joint well bent and strong. Rear pastern short, strong, nearly round and perpendicular to the ground. Hind legs, when seen from the rear, straight and parallel to each other. Hock joints have no tendency to turn in or out when standing or gaiting.

  • Coat

    Flat without curl or wooliness. Feathering on ears, chest, abdomen, underside of thighs, back of all legs and on the tail of good length but not so excessive as to hide true lines and movement or to affect the dog's appearance or function as a sporting dog.

  • Tail

    A smooth continuation of the topline. Tapering to a fine point with only sufficient length to reach the hock joint or slightly less. Carried straight and level with the back. Feathering straight and silky, hanging loosely in a fringe.





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