Species Canis lupus
Subspecie Canis lupus familiaris
English Setter Basics
The English Setter is a medium-sized domestic dog with an exquisite appearance. It belongs to the setter family of dogs, which also includes the Irish Setter. It has an oval-shaped cranium and a lengthy nose, as well as big, round hazel-colored eyes. Its ears are tucked behind its head and dangle down to around eye level. English Setters have a medium-length coat that is mostly white with black or brown patterns. Long, wavy fringes surround the belly, ears, and tail of some English Setters, while others have short hair.
They may reach a height of 27 inches (61 cm) and weigh up to 80 pounds (36 kg). Female English Setters normally produce six pups, which lack the marks that adults have grown on their white coats. Adults have a lifespan of 11–12 years.
Setters are bright dogs with a fantastic disposition, despite their tendency to be obstinate and mischievous. ‘Gentlemanly’ and ‘intensely friendly’ have been used to characterise them. English Setters are active and social dogs. They are excellent pets for families who can give them plenty of attention and exercise. They’ve been bred for endurance and agility, so they’re well-suited to hunting small game like quail, pheasant, and grouse, which they track down by smell.
Fun Facts about the English Setter!
Setters have a rich and illustrious history that dates back hundreds of years. English Setters were one of nine initial pure-bred sports breeds certified when the American Kennel Club was founded in 1878. A male English Setter called “Adonis” was the first animal to be registered.
Bred for a Purpose
“Setting” dogs were developed to lie down quietly and point to game birds (known as “setting”). The earliest setting strains were established in France, and this breeding history stretches back over 500 years. These were known as “Setting Spaniels” because they would stoop when prey was sighted, allowing hunters to cast their nets over the birds. The English Setter is a hybrid of the Spanish Pointer, Water Spaniel, and English Springer Spaniel breeds that emerged later. Instead of crouching, modern Setters prefer to lie down totally. This is a feature that was developed in reaction to the introduction of weapons, which hunters were utilising at the time.
Beauty and Brawn
For years, modern English Setters have participated in shows in addition to being bred as hunting dogs. Show dogs and field dogs, in reality, have unique characteristics. The bottom, tail, and ears of show dogs usually have long, wispy fringe hair. ‘Feathering’ is the term for this kind of hair. Field dogs, on the other hand, lack feathering and seem short-haired, similar to a pointer. Field dogs are often smaller than show dogs, and they have more prominent spots. It’s possible that the breed’s flexibility has contributed to its worldwide appeal.
Close but not Quite
It is a popular misconception that Irish Setters, Gordon Setters, and English Setters are all varieties of the same breed. Although they share similar characteristics, they are distinct breeds. Aside from the distinctions between field and show dogs mentioned above, English Setters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The colour and frequency of the spots, or ‘ticking’ on the dog’s coat are referred to as these. Blue, orange, lemon, and liver are some of the most well-known hue variants. As previously stated, pups may not show these patterns, known as “belton” in Setters, until they are fully grown.
Diversity is Strength
Animal populations interbreed and move to diverse environments in nature. Genetic diversity is preserved in this way, allowing populations to be more resistant to threats like disease. All species in a population would be equally vulnerable to such hazards if they were all similar. This is how nature protects the herd in numerous ways.
However, some species’ genetic diversity has been significantly diminished due to human domestication. English Setters, for example, are sometimes referred to as Laverack’s Setters, after a notable and pioneering breeder of the breed. In actuality, not all English Setters are Laverack; only dogs descended from this lineage are Laverack.
Ironically, the intensive inbreeding required to develop such prominent lineages also limited the animals’ genetic variety. Many purebred dogs experience similar difficulties. This has led to a variety of health issues in Laverack English Setters, including congenital deafness, autoimmune arthritis, and hip and elbow dysplasia. Species can not eradicate genetic flaws from their gene pool without genetic variety. Instead, inbreeding retains these features as well as the desirable ones that breeders strive for.