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English Setter

Tags: Sporting, Large-sized, Kid-friendly, Calm temperament

Sit a spell while I tell you about setting -- because we're the oldest British setter type, far back to the 16th Century. Bird hunters didn't use guns then -- they captured birds by throwing nets over them. Without scaring off the birds, a dog's job was to point from a low position -- either a half-crouch or lying flat on the ground. That is setting, and that's how we continue to do it, even though the bird-hunting rules have changed. In the 1800s we were known as Laverack Setters, for a breeder of that name in Shropshire County. He introduced some pointer and terrier genes into the mix. The North American side of the family, and the Llewellin Setter strain in particular, is represented by one of my forefathers, Count Noble, mounted and on display in Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum. Now there was a dog that knew how to set.

Rave review

  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Busy is better than bored
  • Calm as a clam
  • Even-tempered, good-natured
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Loves kids and vice versa
  • Outdoor enthusiast
  • Outgoing extrovert
  • A welcomer, not a watchdog

Report card

  • Independent thinker
  • Never aggressive
  • Caters to country, tolerates town
  • Socialization and training should start early

What to expect

Please start my obedience training early (puppy kindergarten for starters) because an English Setter can have mind of his own. Once I have your wishes in mind, keep the training firm but gentle, consistent and patient. Also please plan to give me plenty of exercise -- on leash or off -- and bear in mind my tendency to wander (when I see a gate left open). And my ability to get along with kids and other household pets comes naturally -- as long as I am socialized to whomever and whatever -- while my puppy mind-of-its own is still open.

Watch for

Possible hip dysplasia, PRA, deafness as well as blood disorders and reproductive problems.

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