The English Setter is a beautiful, elegant, slim setter with a unique speckled coat. The specking may be more or less heavy and the markings may be of any size. The long hair is flat, silky and a bit wavy. The coat comes in white with blue, lemon, orange, or brown speckling. Some dogs are tri-color (blue, white & brown). The head is long, with a pronounced frontal stop. The muzzle is approximately half the total length of the head, and is fairly square. The eyes are large and brilliant, with a sweet expression and they are hazel in color. The nose is dark. The moderately long pendant ears have a velvety tip. The tail, ears, legs, and underside are all heavily fringed. The tail is straight and tapers to a small point. The chest is quite deep, but not wide.
The first rudimentary setter was developed in France in 1500, obtained from the Spanish pointer and the French pointer. Three centuries later it was brought to Great Britain where its true developer was an extremely intelligent breeder, named Sir Edward Laverack who developed the English Setter from early French hunting dogs in the early 1800's. Laverack was so instrumental in establishing the breed that the English Setter is often called the Laverack Setter. Laverack's dogs were known for their great beauty, and are therefore foundation stock for many of today's top show dogs. Another English breeder, Llewellin, created a second famous hunting strain of English Setters. These are often called "Llewellin Setters." The word "setter" comes from the almost "sitting" position the dog exhibits when he has discovered game. The English Setter is a vigorous, quick and very quiet worker with an excellent nose. His coat keeps the dog comfortable in both hot and cold weather. The sweet personality of the English Setter and his gentleness with children make him a fine family companion dog. The English Setter's talents include hunting, tracking, retrieving, pointing, watchdogging and agility.
The English Setter is a very gentle, placid, friendly dog. Excellent with children. Mild mannered and sensitive. He loves affection. Enthusiastic and lively outdoors, but relatively inactive indoors. They are somewhat willful and can be difficult to housebreak. Training should start early to prevent development of bad habits, but should never be harshly treated. It needs lots of companionship and enjoys playing with other dogs. English Setters are adequate watchdogs. They like to roam and are diggers and good jumpers. There are two types of English Setter: field and show. The field types are generally a bit smaller and lighter, and very active so they need more exercise than the show types. Both types need daily exercise to stay healthy and happy and must have a fenced yard. The English Setter tends to be quite vocal and can become a nuisance barker if not discouraged early in life. Some English Setters may drool, although not obsessively like some of the Mastiff type dogs.