Originally bred as hunting dogs, English Setters got their name from their ability to crouch or “set” low after finding birds, allowing nets to be thrown over the game. Once guns began to be used in hunting, the breed was developed to stand taller like pointers. Today, English Setters are beloved family pets and are loved for their mellow and easygoing temperament and friendly and happy nature.
If you are not sure whether an English Setter will be a good fit for your family or lifestyle, please read on. The breed information in the following paragraphs will help you decide whether an English Setter is right for you.
Belonging to the AKC’s sporting group, English Setters are medium sized dogs, standing 23-27 inches tall and weighing around 45-80 pounds. The average lifespan of an English Setter is 12 years. Elegant and sleek in appearance, English Setters combine good looks with a sweet temperament and loving nature.
In terms of family life and personality, English Setters are very affectionate with family members and quite playful too. They do well with young kids and other dogs provided they receive early socialization with kids and animals in a variety of settings when they are puppies.
English Setters are an adaptable breed that can adjust to changes in schedule. They can adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise. Novice owners can consider this breed. These dogs are quite open with strangers but at the same time they make reasonably good watchdogs. English Setters can be quite mouthy and have a strong prey drive and wanderlust tendency.
English Setters have moderate energy levels and physical exercise needs. A vigorous play session or long walk every day is usually sufficient. However, prospective owners of English Setters should be aware that these dogs are easily bored and need to be kept busy and mentally stimulated to stay out of trouble. English Setters have a moderate barking tendency.
These dogs can be trained with gentle, firm, and consistent guidance. They are sensitive by nature and do not respond well to harsh reprimands. Positive reinforcement rather than punishments work best in training an English Setter.
The English Setter’s double coat is silky and medium in length. The unique speckled pattern on the coat is called “belton” and comes in many gorgeous colors. The coat sheds a fair amount however and requires weekly brushings to stay healthy and tangle-free. While not very heavy droolers, these dogs can drool on occasion.
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