The English Setter

By: C.J. Steely

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The English Setter is a premier extreme upland breed of dog. English Setters come in various different strains bred for varying hunting range(s)/distance(s) though different terrains and designed for different upland game. Within the English Setter breed/breed standards itself exist various differing professionally bred strains of English Setters from the long ranging Ta’Koa’s Sunrise strains, the Shamrock breedings, the Ryman English Setters, the Lewellyn English Setter, and other such breeding strain emphasizes.

 

English Setters have a strong-willed character, maintaining a combination of endurance and athleticism. English Setters are an excellent hunting breed for chukars, Sharp-tails, quail, pheasant, and grouse. English Setters hunt methodically seeking the airborne scent. English Setters cover a lot of ground as they hunt.

 

English Setters mainly possess a white body coat of medium length with long feathered fringes on the back of the legs, under the belly and on the tail. The coat features flecks of color and can have multitude of different color varieties. The coat is generally medium length, lying flat with a smooth texture. Accents of orange Belton, blue Belton (white with black markings), tricolor (blue Belton with tan on muzzle, over the eyes and on the legs), lemon Belton, liver Belton exist within the breed.

 

English setters are ideal for hunters seeking a very energetic far-reaching prey driven dog. They have a beautiful point and are innately kind. English Setters can be obstinate, and when pushed too hard, they may simply brace their legs and refuse to walk. A persistent, but never heavy-handed approach is required. English Setters have long memories, and once they learn something, they will remember it. 

 

English Setters move with natural elegant movement, have significant endurance while covering lots of ground very quickly. Our English setters here at eXtreme upland demonstrate long forward reach and with good conformation maintain a strong rear drive. Their tails appear like a bouncing whitetail deer moving from cover to cover and their points should be graceful and beautiful to watch.

 

​The breed is fully capable of warmer and colder climates. As a family companion the breed is overly friendly, innately kind, rarely shy and void of fear or ferocity. A properly bred English Setter, once matured, should maintain a good “off/on” switch when indoors with its family. English Setters, as a whole, are clean animals and will oftentimes perform much of the grooming.

Pros

  • Well-bred field English Setters have excellent noses and prey drive

  • Kind, and affectionate to a fault

  • Spectacular to watch hunt large areas of terrain!

  • The English Setter is capable of hunting both warmer and colder climates.

  • Although not known for their retrieving prowess the English Setter still remains one of my favorite versatile hunting dog breeds

  • Awesome family dog.

  • Easy to have in smaller living conditions so long a they have plenty of exercise time.

  • They are self-groomers, clean, and tidy with an awesome “off/on” switch.

  • Above average intelligence.

  • English Setters are one of the premier consistent hunting dog breeds of North America

 

 

Cons

  • Not a strong instinctual retrieving breed

  • Burs love their coats

  • Rooster Pheasants, not inclined to honor an English Setter’s point, may leave the breed constantly pointing throughout the respective habitat.

  • English Setters require a hunter who is willing to understand the hunting range of the breed which can range from 200 yards to more than 600 hundred yards.

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Listen to our exclusive podcast with Andy Taylor, a professional English Setter trainer!

Summary

 

The English Setter may be your next hunting companion if:

  • You can only have one hunting dog (or maybe two)

  • You are seeking a well-rounded versatile hunting breed where a natural retrieving ability is not a paramount consideration

  • Not an avid waterfowl hunter

  • You are seeking a phenomenal family companion

  • You are willing to commit to regular grooming and exercise

  • You are willing to spend the time on how to properly work with the breed’s hunting range.

 

That is the English Setter in a nutshell!