Adopting An English Setter

History and origin: Believed to have been evolved from spaniels, the English Setter was first seen in 16th century England and was perfected as a hunting dog in the 19th century. In function they are almost identical to the Pointer. The major difference is the longer coat, which allows them to hunt in colder weather and gives them added protection against heavy undergrowth.

Description: The English Setter stands 22 to 25 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 50 and 70 pounds. The shedding coat is of medium length, flat and slightly wavy. Daily brushing and combing is required to keep the coat in good condition. The silky hair under the ears should be removed, as well as hair under the throat and below the ear down to the breast bone. The background color is normally white, with intermingled black, lemon, tan, or liver spotting.

About the breed: English Setters are gentle, beautiful, dogs that make for an excellent companion and a reliable gundog. They are very active dogs that needs regular exercise and should be given a job such as hunting or agility work. Their scenting ability is a great distraction to them. They can be quite stubborn and driven because of their strong hunting instinct. This will make the recall command a difficult one to teach. English Setters are usually quite good with children and are generally friendly to strangers after an initial period of investigation. They make excellent jogging partners, given their lithe, athletic build. Early obedience training and socialization are essential. They love the company of humans and can be horrid barkers if left alone for long periods.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for the English Setter is 1 ½ — 2 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal amount or 5 cupfuls of a complete dry food.

Ideal home: A house with a fenced yard is very important for this breed. Children should be taught to respect the dog and should not be allowed to wrestle or chase him. The owner of an English Setter should be an active, patient, firm leader who regularly gives the dog a task such as hunting, agility work, or tracking. Early obedience training is mandatory. The English Setter may be too active for the elderly or disabled. Time to train, exercise, and groom this breed is essential.