English Setter adult in black and white

English Setter

English Setters are peak performance dogs.

About the English Setter

English Setters are medium-sized, elegant dogs, which has helped the breed win over admirers across the world. These family dogs are mild-mannered, loving and sociable.

Active and highly skilled hunters, they are exceptionally friendly dogs with a very gentle character. They will be happy to take part in almost any physical activity, from long walks to endurance and agility.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Breed specifics

United Kingdom
Size category
Avg life expectancy
10–12 years

Lively / Friendly / Loving

Key facts

  • Needs a lot of training
  • Requires outdoor space
  • Requires a lot of grooming
Breed origins illustration

Origins of the breed

English Setters were developed as the Setting Spaniel as early as the 14th century by hunters that needed a pointer for game birds. Selection for this breed really got going in the 19th century thanks to the efforts of two men.

Edward Laverack is considered to be the father of the breed, while Richard Purcell Llewellin specialised in a separate line known as the Llewellin Setter.