The ancestors of the English Setter were known as "Setting Spaniel". This was a breed of dogs that in ancient times, their masters, used to use for the purpose of indicating the presence of game birds. When the 'Setting Spaniel found them, they would sit down. That is why the name of these dogs, «setting», an old word of English origin whose meaning means «to sit». Both the Setting Spaniel and the English Setter have wide and elongated nostrils that allow them to detect their prey at a greater distance than other dogs. Next we will talk about this beautiful breed, the English Setters.
History of the English Setter
Both the English Springer and the Water Springer, as well as the Spanish Pointer have contributed to the ancestors of the English Setter. At the beginning of the 19th century there used to be numerous local varieties of the English Setter which were known by their regional names. Some like the Newcastle Setter reflected the area of the country where they were formed, while others like the Llewellin breed that commemorates the name of its creator. Sir Edward Laverack is considered as the main person in charge of the evolution of the English Setter towards the race that it is today after the passage of half a century. He obtained his first pair of hunting dogs in 1825.
It is known that approximately since the 16th century, these dogs were used to hunt quail and partridges. There are also writings that it was an incredible dog to hunt birds, since it was a very intelligent and silent dog, both with its feet and with its mouth when it went to hunt its prey. In its movements it was a very stealthy dog, something that no matter how much it moved back and forth or left and right, not a sound was heard; once the English Setter found its prey it would remain silent and immobile so as not to alarm the rest of the possible nearby prey.
Near the end of the 19th century, some lovers of the English Setter breed united and agreed to further improve this beautiful dog, both in its country style and its general appearance. So in 1890 the English Setter Club was founded; and the members of this group organized a field test for the year 1892. Neither more nor less than Mr. Purcell-Llewellin himself was one of the judges who was in that field test.
Physical Characteristics of the English Setter
The English Setter is a breed of dog that, due to its physical characteristics and functionalities, belongs to group 7 of the FCI classification, Pointing Dogs, section 2.2, English and Irish Pointing Dogs, Setter. It is also considered a large breed of dog due to its size and average weight. Next we will detail with precision the physical characteristics of the English Setters.
English Setter body
The body of the English Setter is medium in size, has purity of lines and an elegant appearance. The body of the dogs of this breed is moderately long, with a straight and solid back and they have strong, nachos and arched loins. Its tail is straight, does not exceed the hocks and is aligned with the upper line although it can also be shown a little lower than this. The chest of this dog is deep, wide between the shoulder blades and its ribs are arched and protruding. The back ribs are deep. English Setters have outward-set shoulders, sloping backwards and their elbows are low and close to the body. They have upright legs, round bones, and very good articulation. The feet of these dogs are compact with arched toes and thick pads. Its pads are also resistant between which some hair grows. The English Setter's neck is lean, muscular, and quite thin that gradually widens towards the shoulders and is also slightly arched. The transition to the head is clearly defined.
English Setter head
The head of the English Setter is long, quite lean and with a well defined stop. The skull of these dogs is oval in shape, with an obvious occiput. The muzzle is moderately deep, fairly square, and about the same size as the skull. The lips should not be hanging and the relatively long ears should have a low set that always hang in graceful folds against your cheeks. To finish defining the upper area of the English Setter, it remains to talk about its eyes, which are oval but not bulging and its teeth that are always complete in the shape of a scissor.
How tall is an English Setter?
The English Setter has a measurement that ranges between 65 centimeters and 68 centimeters in the adult male and they range between 61 centimeters and 65 centimeters in the adult female. The ideal height is 67 centimeters for the adult male and 63 centimeters for the adult female.
How much does an English Setter weigh?
The weight of an English Setter ranges between 27 kilograms and 32 kilograms for adult males and ranges between 24 kilograms and 29 kilograms in adult females. The ideal weight for the breed is 25.5 kilograms for adult females and 29.5 kilograms for adult males. Their average height and weight define the English Setter as a large breed dog.
Characteristics of the English Setter's coat
The English Setter's coat should be slightly wavy but not curled from the back of the head, more or less at the level of the ears. In most of the specimens the coat is long and soft, it could be defined as silky. The posterior area of the English Setter's thighs and the forelimbs almost up to the area of its feet must have fringes. The legs and tail are densely populated.
Coat colors of the English Setter
The coat of the English Setter can be presented in different colors, it is always white, what changes is the color of the flakes. The most common specimen, or the most classic, is the white with black flakes, also known as the English Setter. blue belton. There is another variety of white with cinnamon flakes, known as orange belton, very common to see too. White with lemon flakes or lemon belton. White with liver-colored flakes also called as liver belton. Finally the tricolor, which can be white with liver and tan flakes or white with black and tan flakes. The eyes of the English Setter can be of two shades, dark brown to hazelnut.
English Setter temperament
The English Setter is a completely smart and affectionate dog. It is not a dog that presents problems of adaptation or coexistence and is highly recommended for families without experience in raising a dog. Next, to define their temperament we will talk a little about how is the character and the habitual behavior of the dogs of this breed.
What is the character of an English Setter like?
The English Setter has a very good character. It is friendly, affable, very affectionate and sensitive, it is an animal that in addition to being intelligent is sociable. He is usually very close to the members of the family, both his master and the rest of the members. He is alert and agile, but at the same time he is not an impetuous dog. He unfailingly recognizes the humor in the house. It could be said that English Setters prefer to live in calm and harmonious environments. They are dogs that have a lot of personality and can therefore be a bit stubborn from time to time. They are not dogs that are used to barking and if they do it will not be often. Despite its attachment to the family, it is a very independent dog that is not very attached to its territory. This indicates that it is a dog that must be controlled when it is taken for a walk and always on leashes and gives us to understand that it is not a dog that stands out for its vigilance instinct.
How does an English Setter behave?
The English Setter is a dog that has a super calm demeanor. They are very sociable dogs by nature and are never aggressive. He gets along wonderfully with other dogs. He will not have a problem with dogs of another breed, of another size and he will even get along with these if they are of the same sex. Nor is it a problem if you live with animals of other species. It is also recommended, as with any dog, that the dog be subjected to an adequate socialization process. He is very docile, patient and tolerant with children. To such an extent that the owners must be more concerned that children do not abuse the animal than that the animal has an inappropriate behavior with them. He loves to be among people and especially surrounded by those whom he considers his family. It is not a dog that barks, but it can do so if visitors arrive as it usually receives them with great enthusiasm. They are known or not. He is not a shy dog at all and has a unique personality that fits perfectly with those without experience in keeping dogs.
General care for an English Setter
If you have an English Setter or are thinking of adopting one, this section will be very important for you as we will name and explain the care you should take with these dogs. We will teach you how to brush an English Setter, how and when to bathe it, how to train it, we will talk about its diet, its exercise and the possible diseases that must be controlled since all breeds are prone to certain conditions.
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How and when to bathe my English Setter?
As for how to take care of the grooming of the English Setter breed of dogs, the coat of hair that these dogs have is important, they must have a shiny coat and good care. It is a point to take into account, so that when they do the hair shedding, it is done in the proper way and not in brujones or with loose hairs all over the place.
If the English Setter has a coat that is dehydrated, it will have a greater tendency to knot. This can happen either because it is not given the frequent baths that the dog of this breed needs or because it is an inappropriate cosmetic. The frequency of the bath is important since if the skin is dehydrated, the body will start to itch and scratch, producing a possible dermatitis; and scratching will tie the hair even more. This being a never ending vicious circle.
To solve this problem, it is highly recommended to bathe our English Setter approximately every 15 days, using an intense hydration shampoo. Using these cosmetics for dogs, you will hydrate the dog's skin well, cleaning all the dirt it may have, especially on its long ears. In this way, it will facilitate the detangling and frequent hair loss of the English Setter.
A tip is to do the bath with hot water, as it will help the dead hair to come off better and easier. This will enhance the skin to support new hair growth.
Additional aspects for grooming the English Setter
Another important aspect is to clean the dog's ears well in each bath. To help in this arduous task, you can use a good quality liquid cleaner to better and more easily dissolve the dirt or wax that our dog has. In addition, the care of the hair of the ears is another issue to take into account, since being long they tend to get dirty and tangled easily. One of the most common is when eating or drinking, you can buy special waterers for dogs with long ears; but also when they go out for a walk and sniff the pavement, all the dirt, leaves and spikes curl into the fur of their ears, so they can use earmuffs for this.
Another advantage is trimming the dog's nails in the bathroom as they have become soft from the hot water. Be careful as it is very important to cut in the right place, since blood vessels run through your nails, so we do not want to hurt you; it is best to pay for this and have it done by a specialist.
What to do with the yellow or red hair of an English Setter?
In general, English Setter fans avoid at all costs that the dog's hair turns yellowish or red, so that it remains white as long as possible, so they follow these instructions to the letter.
The "dirty" white of an English Setter may be due to genetics; however, it is also likely to be due to the use of some acid PH shampoos or synthetic oils.
Unfortunately a dog with hair with these characteristics would be burned hair, and if this is the case, it is irrecoverable. There are many tricks on the Internet to return to the white tone or lighten it a bit; but be very careful, as most of these tricks contain acids. This helps whitening in no time, but burns the dog's hair and skin. So the result ends I feel a beautiful white, but at the same time its tone is closer to a fairly intense yellowish. However, it is always advisable to approach a veterinarian to recommend the specific shampoo or what to do in these cases.
How to keep my English Setter white?
If you have not yet performed the aforementioned actions, and your English Setter has a white coat, one way to maintain it is to bathe it only when it is dirty and with a light-colored enhancing shampoo.
Remember also that the dog does not have to be completely white, but these Shampoos should not be dyed or aggressive with the dog's skin. The most important advice is to take care of the new hair of the dog when it grows after the shedding; This will make you healthier, stronger and whiter still. This is not the fastest solution that one can have to maintain the white color of the English Setter, but it is the most definitive if it is done frequently.
To buy all the Shampoos, always take into account the opinion of the veterinary specialist and the dog's skin. Since there are specimens of this breed with extremely sensitive skin, so they should never use tricks taken from the Internet, without first consulting with an expert.
Why does my English Setter lose hair?
This aesthetic problem is due to the shedding of this breed of dog. One way to avoid hair throughout the house is to use a good shampoo for dogs throughout the year; the key is frequent baths. This will be easier and easier as the dog also enjoys the regularity of these baths and the shedding of the coat will be smoother.
At the time when the English Setter begins with the shedding of its coat, it is important to bathe it more frequently than previously mentioned. That is, once a week would be perfect to help it change its coat better.
Hydration after bathing
For the English Setter to have an incredible coat of hair, shiny and completely detangled for longer, it can be given a hydration boost after each bath or every certain amount. It is a good option to give this extra hydration since they help the growth of new hair; they hydrate, protect, nourish the skin and also help to restore hair if it is damaged. However, you cannot buy just any hydration applicator, it must be a special one for the PH of the skin of each dog; so they should approach the vet to recommend one.
Hydration outside the bathroom
Most likely, you do not want to be bathing your dog all the time, due to the expense of water and shampoo that this action entails, however it is something that cannot be postponed from time to time. However, there is another way to help hydrate their skin and coat. You can spray liberally from the moisturizing applicator onto the English Setter's coat. This will make it hydrate over time and have a better coat. This is necessary since this dog, having so much hair, cannot hydrate only from baths, and it will become a coat that is more easily broken and more prone to knotting.
It is important not to apply it every day, if not when you really need it. They will see that on the windiest days, you will need 2 or 3 applications per day. It is best to use one that does not require rinsing for use.
How and when to brush an English Setter?
Brushing for the English Setter breed of dogs is extremely essential, along with the bath and the hydration spray liquid; These are the pillars of proper grooming for this dog. The use of the brush for this breed must be very frequent. The optimal number of times for seasons in which it is not shedding is between 1 and 2 times per week. When it is molting, it is recommended to double brushing. We must also remember from time to time the old hair, excess that is on end and extract it. Excess hair that may grow between the pads of the feet and in the folds of the ears must be trimmed so that the ear canals do not become clogged and inflamed. English Setters who are going to appear in contests or competitions need more excessive grooming and generally have their hair cut at least twice a year.
Once the dog is brushed, spray the hydration liquid, and carry out this action whenever it is needed. For the spine, use a rubber brush, either the latex glove or a brush; In the case of the legs, ears and tail, you can use a special brush, which is soft and with a metal bristle.
In order to dry the dog's coat after bathing, it will be easier to use a soft bristle to separate the coat, another option is the extra soft double brush with flexible mobility.
How to train my English Setter?
The English Setter is an easy dog to train as long as it is taken into account that in addition to having a docile nature, it also has a lot of personality and the dog can show a more stubborn and stubborn side. When this happens, you have to be firm, clear and loving. If we act like this when our Setter becomes stubborn or stubborn, we will be able to carry out the training. It is a good method for the breed to reward good behavior. Too much severity is usually counterproductive, since it will lead the animal to be more stubborn and to ignore the orders of the master. If we do not take the latter into account and our English Setter closes with us, it may take a long time before he is willing to open up to his owner or trainer again. Therefore I recommend that you have patience to speed up the process and obtain better results.
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What exercise should an English Setter do?
The English Setter is a dog that needs a lot of physical activity. We must take him for long walks. As a puppy, it is recommended to start small with activities and not overstress the dog. Therefore the walks are usually done on foot. When the dog has matured enough, these long walks that are recommended can be walking, running, with a bicycle and the dog following us. It is not an animal very attached to its territory; so we must make sure that the garden is well fenced. Nor can it be left loose in areas where it is not safe and when you take it for a run or walk it should always be on a leash.
The English Setter should have an activity level of approximately 2 hours a day. If one day he cannot be taken out for a walk or played with, he will not present major problems but he will look restless. It is ideal for families who adopt these dogs that have large patios or grounds where they can burn energy playing with other pets or children.
Food and diets for English Setters
Food for dogs is vital, as it is what will determine their growth and proper development, but also a good quality of life and a beautiful coat. Keep in mind that the English Setter is a dog that likes to eat; so you have to keep it well watched, otherwise it could tend to gain weight and in case of not exercising, obesity. It is important that you do not eat too much, and in case you leave food, remove it immediately.
It is best to eat 2 times a day with the amount determined by the vet based on his age, size, weight and health. Regarding quality, it is always better to give him a food that is good in protein and vitamins so that he develops his muscles well, but also his coat. Usually 400 grams per day of dog food are given, since it is not advisable to give homemade food to this breed. That said, it is recommended that the animal expert can determine which is the most suitable food for the dog and how many grams per day.
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Possible diseases in the English Setter
Although the English Setter is a dog that is in good health, like any other dog or living thing, it has certain tendencies to have some frequent diseases. The most common that this intelligent and skillful dog usually suffers are hip dysplasia, some carpal injuries and otitis. Another frequent problem for these dogs is tail breakage, which is caused by the constant movement and tapping of the tail against other things, luckily it is easy to cure. However, despite these diseases or problems, they are dogs that are in good health, they tend to be quite long-lived dogs as far as their life expectancy is concerned.
How long does an English Setter live?
This great breed of dog has a fairly long life expectancy despite being a large dog. Always depending on the care given to the dog, they can live between 10 and 14 years of life. However, essential care is vital for good health and therefore, the dog can live longer.
We always recommend that in case you have symptoms of any anomaly or inability to perform any action, approach a trusted specialist to treat the problem.
How many puppies can an English Setter have?
In general, a good gestation of offspring for an English Setter bitch is between 62 and 64 days approximately. During this entire period, this dog will not change at all the energy level it has at any other time in its life, until the long-awaited moment of labor arrives. At that moment, is when the mother's behavior will change to be prepared and ready to nurse and take care of her little cubs.
It is important that at that time, you do not eat a lot of fat, but you do eat foods with a lot of calcium, vitamins and phosphorus. Since this food will give you what is necessary for your puppies to be born stronger and healthier when they come to life.
In general, the English Setter dog breed can have litters of puppies of between 8 and 10 pups. However, the number of children can vary depending on some factors, such as the size of the parents, their age, the mount and the eggs.
Uses of the English Setter breed
Although the English Setter is a breed traditionally used for hunting, it is rare these days to see it performing this role. However, it has become more common to find him in canine beauty contests and competitions, in which he stands out for his easy walk and elegant appearance. He does not usually excel in dog sports mainly because of his stubbornness.
The English Setter: A breed that needs space
The English Setter is a graceful dog that has an unmistakable spotted appearance. Usually known as "Belton", these dogs are very attentive and receptive to training although they can present problems when you are not firm with them. As pets they get along well with everyone. Here we refer to animals of the same race, of other races and even of other species. In that aspect it is a dog that will adapt perfectly to the family, like the Labrador retriever. The most important aspect of their care is the need to give them enough space to exercise. This is the most demanding aspect of these puppies. Apart from this they can be prone to boredom and even restless and even destructive in a domestic environment. A large garden or a country house will be the ideal recreational areas for English Setters. If you do not have a garden of adequate dimensions, being able to take them for a walk daily is the best solution. He has a calm temperament, characteristic of Pointer and that they probably inherited in their lineage and are affectionate by nature.