English Setter: Description, Distribution, & Fun Facts

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English Setter: All You Need To Know

An English setter is the domestic dog breed that belongs to the kingdom of Animalia, phylum Chordata, and class Mammalia. Its genus is Canis, and its species is C. lupus. Its length is up to 63 to 69 cm, and it weighs about 29 to 36 kg. It lives in a domesticated habitat and is bred for hunting small game birds on the open plains, with a lifespan of up to 11 to 12 years.

English Setter

What is English Setter?

The English Setter is a medium-sized domestic dog with an attractive appearance. It is a member of the setter group of breeds, which also includes the Irish Setter. It has an oval-shaped head and lengthy nose, as well as big, round hazel-colored eyes. Its ears are tucked behind its head and dangle down to approximately eye level.

English Setters have a medium-length coat that is mostly white with black or brown patterns. Some English Setters have long, wavy fringes around their belly, ears, and tails, while others have short hair.

English Setter

They may reach a height of 27 inches (61 cm) and weigh up to 80 pounds (36 kg). Female English Setters generally produce six puppies, which lack the marks that adults have grown on their white coats. Adults have an average lifespan of 11 to 12 years. Setters are clever dogs with an excellent disposition, despite their tendency to be obstinate and mischievous.

‘Gentlemanly’ and ‘intensely friendly’ have been used to characterise them. English Setters are active and social dogs. As a pet, they are best suited for families that can give them plenty of attention and exercise. They’ve been bred for endurance and athleticism, so they’re well-suited to hunting small game like quail, pheasant, and grouse, which they track down by smell.

English Setter

Fun Facts About English Setter!

Setters have a lengthy and illustrious history that dates back hundreds of years. In fact, English Setters were one of the nine original pure-bred sports breeds recognised when the American Kennel Club was founded in 1878. A male English Setter named “Adonis” was the first animal to be registered.

English Setter

Bred for a Purpose

“Setting” dogs were developed to lie down quietly and point to game birds (known as “setting”). The first setting strains were produced in France about 500 years ago, and this breeding history may be traced back to that time. When prey was discovered, these dogs were known as “Setting Spaniels,” and they would kneel so that hunters could pitch their nets over the birds.

The English Setter is a hybrid of the Spanish Pointer, Water Spaniel, and English Springer Spaniel breeds that emerged later. Instead of crouching, modern Setters prefer to lay down entirely. This is a characteristic that was developed in reaction to the introduction of guns, which hunters were employing at the time.

English Setter: Beauty and Brawn

For decades, modern English Setters have participated in dog shows in addition to being bred as hunting dogs. Show dogs and field dogs, in reality, have unique characteristics. The underbelly, tail, and ears of show dogs usually have long, wispy fringe hair.

‘Feathering’ is the term for this type of hair. Field dogs, on the other hand, lack feathering and seem short-haired, similar to a Pointer. Field dogs are often smaller than show dogs, and they have more pronounced spotting. It’s possible that the breed’s adaptability has contributed to its worldwide appeal.

Close but not Quite

The idea that Irish Setters, Gordon Setters, and English Setters are all variants of the same breed is a popular misconception. Despite the fact that they share some characteristics, they are distinct breeds. Aside from the above-mentioned distinctions between field and show dogs, English Setters come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The colour and frequency of the spots or ‘ticking’ on the dog’s coat are typically referred to as these. Some of the most well-known colour variants are ‘blue,’ ‘orange,’ ‘lemon,’ and ‘liver.’ Puppies may not show these patters, known as ‘belton’ in Setters, until they are fully grown, as explained above.

English Setter: Diversity is Strength

Animal populations interbreed and move to diverse environments in nature. Genetic variety is preserved in this way, allowing populations to be more resistant to dangers like illness. All creatures in a population would be equally vulnerable to such dangers if they were all similar. This is how nature protects the herd in various ways.

However, some species’ genetic diversity has been substantially diminished as a result of human domestication. English Setters, for example, are sometimes referred to as Laverack’s Setters, after a prominent and pioneering breeder of the breed.

In truth, not all English Setters are Laverack; only dogs descended from this lineage are Laverack. Ironically, the extreme inbreeding required to establish such famous lineages resulted in a significant reduction in the animals’ genetic variety.

Many purebred dogs encounter similar difficulties. This has led to a variety of health issues in Laverack English Setters, including congenital deafness, autoimmune arthritis, and hip and elbow dysplasia.

Species are unable to remove genetic flaws from the gene pool without genetic variety. Inbreeding, on the other hand, maintains these qualities as well as the desirable ones that breeders strive for.

English Setter Citations
  • Temporo-spatial and kinetic gait parameters in English setter dogs. Anat Histol Embryol . 2020 Nov;49(6):763-769.
  • The English setter with ceroid-lipofuscinosis: a suitable model for the juvenile type of ceroid-lipofuscinosis in humans. Am J Med Genet Suppl . 1988;5:117-25.
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease in an English setter. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol . 2013;26(3):248-9.
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