One of the oldest hunting breeds, the early ancestors of the English Setter were believed to have been developed from crossing various Pointers and Spaniels by English countrymen. These determined hunters, formerly known as Setting Spaniels, work by crouching, or setting, to indicate the presence of game birds and have even been mentioned as far back as the 14th century. These field dogs are also referred to as Llewellin Setters, named after one of the developers of the modern-day breed, R. Purcell Llewellin, while the more show-type dogs with a long and flowing coat were developed by Edward Laverack. Today, the English Setter is known for their beauty and distinctive appearance, gaining popularity in both Britain and the United States as reliable gundogs.
An elegant, graceful-looking gun dog, English Setters are known for their distinctive flat, feathered coat that comes in a variety of colored spotted patterns. Their eyes are dark brown, rounded, fairly large, and do not protrude. The ears are a medium-long length, slightly rounded on the ends, and are covered in silky hair. The muzzle is long and square-shaped with a black or brown nose. The tail is tapered and is covered in long silky hair.
English Setters are best known for their companionship and efforts as a great gun dog. They are considered to be good-natured and friendly. Due to the large size of some dogs, young children and some dogs may need to be supervised, but they can get along well with both of them if properly socialized. They are a strong-willed breed that also has an outgoing attitude. Setters are an active breed and require plenty of exercise outdoors and may not be the best choice for apartments.