English Setter running across the grass

English Setter Training, Grooming and Care

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The English Setter may be just the breed for you, but only if you’re looking for a loyal and loving companion dog. Before you make your decision though, find out more about English Setter training, grooming and care to discover if this breed is the right fit for your family.

English Setters are famous for their friendly and affectionate ways. They make great family pets and, with their beautiful coats and elegant appearance, they’ve become a popular choice for big dog shows (think Crufts or Westminster.

Modern English Setters were bred for hunting game birds in England in the 1800’s. They have a keen sense of smell and are especially programmed for flushing out wild game birds and tracking them. They are a valuable asset to bird hunters because of their strong hunting instinct.  But, English Setters are primarily kept today as family pets and owner companions.

English Setters are a medium-sized breed. These dogs usually weigh between 45 and 80 pounds, with males being a bit heavier than females. English setters are noted for their long, silky coats which are typically a mix of colours including white, orange, and black. They are high-energy and very playful dogs that need a lot of regular exercise and playtime to keep them physically and mentally fit.

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History of the English Setter 


You might be surprised to read that the English Setter is a unique breed that has been around for over 400 years. It really has — the breed is thought to have originated in England in the 1500’s. The English Setter was specifically bred to “set” small game so hunters could shoot or live capture their prey.


Over the centuries since the breed has developed into the beautiful dog we know today. As early as the 1800’s, dog breeders began to breed for the English Setter’s appearance and temperament.  This selective breeding led to the development of the modern English Setter breed standard. The English Setter has been a popular dog show breed throughout the 1900’s, and the breed has won many top awards over the years.


The English Setter is still a very popular breed for its beauty, grace, and hunting skills. The English Setter has also been frequently trained as a therapy dog and as a search and rescue dog.  These duties are due to its keen nose, remarkable intelligence, and training ease.

The English Setter is a breed with a fabulously rich history and a remarkable legacy. From its beginnings as a hunting dog to its current status as a beloved personal pet, the English Setter is a personal favourite as an all-around great dog breed.

Physical Characteristics

The English Setter is a breed famous for its stylish beauty and grace. They have a distinctive appearance that stands out from the crowd of sporting dog breeds. In the next section, we will briefly discuss the well-known physical characteristics of English Setters.

Size and Weight

As stated before, English Setters are a medium-sized breed of dog. They usually weigh between 45 and 80 pounds and stand between 24 and 27 inches tall at the withers. Males are typically larger than females.

Coat and Colour Pattern

The coat of an English Setter is long, silky, and feathered. It is usually a random mix of white peppered with black, liver, or orange markings. The coat must be groomed regularly to keep it looking its best.  

Note: English Setters will shed moderately, so regular brushing is recommended to maintain a healthy coat.


English Setters are well known for their friendly and gentle nature. They are quite affectionate and loyal to their owners. But, they can be cautiously reserved when strangers come around.

They are an intelligent breed making their training quite easy.  English Setters are a good choice for new dog owners. And, English Setters are quite popular these days because of their human loyalty and their love of exercise and outdoor activities.  This is a great breed choice for active individuals and outdoorsy families.

English Setters are a beautiful and friendly kind of dog. They have a distinctive appearance and a gentle temperament that makes them a great choice for young families. If you are thinking of getting an English Setter, be prepared to give him or her plenty of exercise, grooming, and fun! 

English Setter sitting in a greenhouse

English Setter Training

Training an English Setter is needed because they won’t necessarily be well-behaved and obedient without it. These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, but they will become brats without correct positive reinforced training. They are easy to train but they can be stubborn and skittish at times.  Consistent training and positive reinforcement are key.

An English Setter should be trained as soon as possible. Always begin training with basic commands such as sit, stay, down, come, and heel. Using only positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and playtime encourages learning and good behaviour. Do not use any kind of negative or punishment-based training methods, including shock collars.

English Setter Exercise

English Setters are very active dogs that need and love plenty of exercise. Exercise is great because it helps the dogs stay healthy and happy. This breed has a really high energy level and they love to run and play. Give English Setters at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, but give them more if possible.

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English Setters need to be taken for daily walks or runs.  Providing plenty of exercise and letting them play and run around in a safe, enclosed dog park or enclosed garden is great. Active owners can also enjoy shared activities with these dogs like hiking, swimming, and playing fetch.

English Setters are prone to getting fat, so be sure to feed a balanced diet correctly and exercise regularly to prevent obesity. Regular exercise helps these dogs maintain their weight properly.  Another exercise benefit is that it helps prevent behavioural problems resulting from boredom. 

Training and exercise are necessary for the well-being of an English Setter. Consistent, positive reinforcement training methods and plenty of exercise will help ensure that your dog is well-behaved, happy, and healthy.

Health and Care

Taking good care of an English Setter is mandatory for anyone wanting to give their best friend a long, healthy, and productive life. 

Here are a few tips for an English Setter’s health and care:

English Setter Grooming

English Setters have naturally beautiful coats that need routine grooming to keep them healthy and shiny. Some tips for grooming an English Setter include:

  • Brush the coat at least once a week to remove any tangles and to prevent mats.
  • Bathe as needed, but don’t overdo it because too much bathing can dry out their skin.
  • Trimming the dog’s nails prevents them from getting too long and causing discomfort.
  • Check carefully for any sores, bruises, scrapes, etc. that may become infected.
  • Look closely all over for fleas, ticks, and ear mites.
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English Setter Feeding

Feeding your English Setter a healthy and balanced diet is critical for their overall health and well-being. Here are some tips for feeding your Setter:

  • Choose a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for your Setter’s age and activity level.
  • Feed your Setter at regular intervals during the day to prevent excessive gulping, overeating, flatulence, and obesity.
  • Avoid giving your dog any table scraps or human food since this can lead to allergies, digestive problems, and obesity. By following these tips for health and care, you can help ensure that your English Setter stays happy and healthy for years to come.
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Health Matters

Like all dog breeds, English Setters are susceptible to certain health problems. Some of the more common health problems that English Setters may experience are:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Ear infections
  • Allergies
  • Bloat

Keeping an English Setter healthy means regular veterinarian check-ups. During these visits, the vet will look for any clinical early signs of problems and then recommend preventative steps

We have covered English Setter training, grooming and care in this article and we hope this has given you a good introduction to the breed. You now know that English Setters are a friendly, energetic, and intelligent breed that makes an excellent companion for anyone who is willing to give them the love, attention, training, and exercise they need.  Provide the English Setter with plenty of exercise and attention, and you will have a loyal and loving best buddy for many years to come.

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