10 Things You Didn’t Know About the English Setter

English setters are gorgeous dogs that are also known as a “moderate setter.” They make wonderful pets but they’re also highly capable when you ask them to perform certain tasks. These gentle and affectionate dogs are well balanced and they seem to have keen sensibilities. If you’re not familiar with the breed, there are some interesting facts about them you might find interesting. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about the English Setter.

1. English Setters are Sporting Dogs

The breed officially falls under the category of sporting dogs. This is because they are expert hunters. Nature makes them good at hunting but a little training turns them into skilled professionals. English Setters tend to find a bird then assume a stiff pose, and raising one foot in the air. This is the act of pointing and if you’re a hunter, then you know what we’re talking about. They are agile and have a good nose when it comes to sniffing out the fresh trail of a bird.

2. His bark is worse than his bite

English Setters are amazing guard dogs. They’ll let you know the moment that they sense someone is approaching the home. It’s in their nature to kick up a fuss so everyone knows what’s going on. They have a built in auto alert system. While they may sound frightening until you invite the guest in the house, they quickly warm up because they’re social creatures by nature and they’re really dogs with a kind and gentle nature.

3. They’re good for first time dog owners

English Setters make good pets for people who are first time dog parents. What makes them such excellent choices is that they’re not complicated pets by nature. In fact, they’re straight forward and it’s not difficult to figure out what they want or how they’re feeling. They give amazing cues and these dogs have a way of bonding with their owners that makes the relationship special and lifelong.

4. There are two types of English Setters

There is a distinct difference between the show dog variety of English Setters and the members of the breed who don’t meet the standards for inclusion in this unique group, known as field dogs. The show dogs are larger than the field dogs, they have a slightly different coat pattern and their fur is more luxurious.

5. English Setters require positive reinforcement training

The fastest way to ruin an otherwise good English Setter is to use harsh forms of discipline. They are by nature, independent thinkers and if not trained from the time that they are puppies, their will may interfere with training. Starting early will make the process go much easier for both of you. This breed does not tolerate violence, screaming or hitting well at all. Firmness, consistency and positive reinforcement are the most effective methods for training this smart and amazing dog.

6. He’s an athlete

When your English Setter turns about 3 years of age, he may want to become a couch potato. While it’s okay for him to lounge around, it’s important that this athletic dog gets an adequate amount of exercise each day. He does best as an indoor pet with a fenced yard so he can go for a good run and stretch his legs now and then. He needs to get regular exercise to keep his muscles toned and the rest of his body healthy.

7. Your English Setter needs to know the boundaries from day one

English Setters are well mannered kind dogs, if they are properly trained. They also tend to be strong willed so it’s important to set the boundaries with them when they are just puppies or as soon as they come into your home. When they understand what is expected of them and that disobedience will not be tolerated, they are remarkably adept at conforming.

8. They’re not easy to find

English Setters are a rare dog breed. There simply aren’t that many of them circulating around. You can find purebred pups for sale every now and then, but most people end up on a waiting list with breeders until one becomes available.

9. Your English Setter puppy requires toys

English Setter pups are smart and inquisitive. They also have a natural instinct to chew, chew, then chew some more. They’re notorious for shredding shoes, slippers and other household items. The best way to prevent this, aside from keeping everything up is to buy a few tough and durable chew toys for your pup. It will satisfy their instinctual need to chew and any other toys will help to keep him entertained and out of mischief.

10. English Setters have been around for centuries

The English Setter is a dog breed that can be traced back in time in England for 400 years. It’s assumed that the breed was the result of crossing spaniels and pointers. The modern version of the breed was developed by Welshman R.L. Purcell Llewellin and Englishman Edward Laverack. The first English Setters arrived in the United States in the late 1800s.


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