English Setter

Breed Details


Exercise Requirements:

Grooming Requirements:


21-36 Kg (Approx)

Life Span:

12 years


The modern English Setter owes its appearance to Mr Edward Laverack, who developed the breed during the 19th century. Another Englishman, Mr Llewellin, based his strain on Laverack’s best dogs and outcrossed them to produce the field type known as the Llewellin Setter. In 1902 the Llewellin Setter was given separate strain status in the UK, however, field bred English Setters are often mistakenly referred to as Llewellin. Only purebred Llewellin Setters may be registered as such.

The English Setter gives the immediate impression of being a sporting dog of aristocratic and noble heritage. It is of medium height: dogs are between 65 and 69cm at the withers and bitches are between 61 and 65cm. It projects an image of elegance both in appearance and on the move and exhibits the stamina required to allow it to work all day in the field. With its head carried high, the English Setter has a strong jawline and a long, muscular neck. It has bright, expressive, brown eyes and low ears, hanging in neat folds close to the cheek.


English Setters are one of the oldest Gundog breeds and are traceable to the 14th century. The breed was valued for its hunting ability and unusual characteristic of dropping into a low crouch on finding birds. This was described as ‘setting’.

The breed we recognise today largely developed during the 18th and 19th centuries by careful selection for working characteristics, soundness of limb and temperament, together with a large dose of elegant good looks. Selective breeding produced the medium-sized, distinctively coated and good-natured breed we are familiar with today.


The English Setter has a gentle nature, a friendly manner and an intelligent and alert expression. Keen to please and often referred to as the ‘gentleman’s gentleman’, it is an active, energetic breed with a keen game sense and good scenting powers. It shows great enthusiasm for work and play.

The English Setter enjoys its run in the park or daily walk, but it is equally at home curled up in a favourite chair.


To keep their long, silky coats beautiful, English Setters need to be brushed at least once a week with a soft bristle brush. A long-toothed metal dog comb can also come in handy for gently working through areas where tangles may be beginning to form. Left unattended, tangles and mats are uncomfortable for your dog and can cause skin problems to develop. Regular trimming around the face, feet, and other areas can keep your English Setter looking neat. Nails should be trimmed once a month, and a bath every four to six weeks keeps the English Setter's coat and skin clean and healthy.

An English Setter needs regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. Ideally this could be a daily vigorous run or play session in a large, securely fenced area. Many owners don't have access to such an area, however, so they may ride a bicycle with their English Setter alongside on a leash, jog with him, or take him for long walks or hikes. Because their bones and joints may not reach mature strength until two years of age, it's best to avoid very strenuous or high-impact activity with puppies and young dogs. Even though they are energetic athletes when outdoors, English Setters will usually settle right down as quiet companions in the home after their daily run or walk.


Currently no Breeders in SA for this Breed