Family Pet Guide > Dogs > Sporting > English Setter

English Setter

Quick Checklist
with seniors
with other animals
Training Needs
Grooming Needs
Size: Large (60 to 100+ lbs.)
Lifespan: Medium (8 to 12 years)
Similar Breeds:

The English Setter was originally bred as a type of gun dog, prized for their mix of endurance and agility. Because of their good looks, today's English Setter is most commonly found as a show dog or companion animal. English Setters are distinguishable from the other Setter breeds by their long, silky white and speckled coat, which requires daily brushing or combing. English Setters are excited and hyper outdoors, but inside they turn into couch potatoes. This dog requires long and hard exercise, or will become hyper, bored, and destructive. English Setters are easy to house train, but obedience training takes more work because they become easily distracted outside. English Setters are known for their sensitivity (having almost a fragile disposition), so positive reinforcement works best. Setters love to roam. A very secure fence would need to be in place as they can jump very high fences and love to dig. English Setters are known for being playful, loving dogs that enjoy human companionship as well as other animals. Beware, however: the English Setter is the most vocal of the Setter breeds. Excessive barking should be discouraged early and often. This is an excellent dog for an active family with children.

General Care

English Setters are not apartment dogs, unless you are really active or ready to hire a dog walker or doggie day care for your family pet if you work long hours. Because of their grooming requirements, you should also be prepared to visit a groomer frequently for bathing and brushing, unless you find you enjoy doing this yourself. The most serious health problem among English Setters is bloat and torsion, a dangerous, yet preventable, condition common among many large breed dogs and especially in Bloodhounds, Great Danes, Weimaraners, Saint Bernards, and Setters. Prevent bloat by giving dogs smaller, more frequent meals, soaking dry kibble in water before feeding, and keeping your dog from exercising for at least an hour after eating. Setters are also prone to epilepsy, allergies, skin conditions, hip dysplasia, and eye problems. English Setters generally live to be about 12 to 15 years old, but, while considered healthier than Irish Setters, are still prone to hip dysplasia and tend to gain weight easily.

For more information on English Setter ownership and care, check out the Another Chance for English Setters (ACES) rescue.

Search for a breed:

Looking for Pet Care? We make it safe & easy!

- Mom-reviewed pet sitters
- FREE background checks
- Recorded references
- Post jobs for sitters and walkers

Get Started