English Setter

English Setter At-a-Glance

Although they originated in France way back in the Middle Ages, English Setters were first imported from England, thus their name.

These are elegant-looking dogs, but looks can be deceiving – they are actually a sturdy and durable sporting breed. They were used by British nobility to hunt, primarily bird game. That carried into today, as they are still the preferred hunting dog for game such as quail and pheasants.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 65-80
Female: 45-55
Height (inches)
Male: 25-27
Female: 23-25
Lifespan (years)

Dog Breed Group

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Kid Friendly
  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Friendly to Strangers
  • Likes to Play
  • Handles Change Easily
  • Easy to Train
  • High Energy Level
  • Tolerates Cold Climate
  • High Intelligence

Neutral Rated

  • Low Shedding
  • Low Drooling
  • Protective Nature
  • Low Amount of Barking
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Tolerates Hot Climate
  • Good General Health

Lowest Rated

  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone

General Overview

English Setters are known for their friendliness and gentle dispositions. They are ideal family dogs and love playing with children, for whom they show great gentleness and patience. They are wonderful for families with smaller children.

They are also excellent with other dogs and pets in the house and will display no desire for dominance or jealousy. In fact, they are happy to have a companion.

Their good nature and lack of aggressiveness mean that they are not ideal watchdogs. They view strangers as friends and are more likely to welcome them into the home than to confront them.

English Setters are off-the-chart sociable and as a result, suffer from a high degree of separation anxiety. This is why it’s good to have a second pet that can help reduce their loneliness. This is not the breed to leave alone frequently if you want to avoid damaging behavior.

They are moderate shedders, droolers, and barkers, which makes them relatively low maintenance. The one exception is that their long and thick coat needs daily brushing and combing.

English Setters have a phenomenal amount of energy and require a lot of exercise – and we mean a lot! Playing fetch, catching frisbees, and canine sports, are all things you’ll need to consider. Your English Setter may turn to more destructive activities if they aren’t allowed to burn off all that energy.

This breed is highly intelligent and with the proper training will be very obedient. But until that training is accomplished, you will not see unquestioned obedience. It has to be earned.

English Setters are not as naturally obedient as Border Collies or Aussies. However, patience and good training will be rewarded with an exceptionally intelligent and obedient dog.

From a health standpoint, English Setters are reasonably healthy due to the many reputable breeders who avoid hereditary defects when selecting dogs.

Even so, they are prone to some genetic diseases such as deafness, elbow and hip dysplasia, bone tumors, and certain food allergies.

They tolerate cold climates well due to their thick coats but do less well in hotter climates for the same reason.

Scroll to Top