English Setter Breed Information

English Setters are a member of the ‘Gundog’ breed group. Dogs in the Gundog group were originally trained to find live game and retrieve game that had been shot and wounded. The group is divided into four categories: Retrievers, Spaniels, Hunt/Point/Retrieve, Pointers and Setters.

English Setters are lively, happy, easy-going dogs that tend to get on well with everyone. They love children and other pets, making them perfect for families. As with all breeds, early socialisation and training is still important to ensure they grow up into confident, sociable dogs – for more information on how to socialise your English Setter and training using reward-based techniques, take a look at our dog behaviour page.

They’ll need grooming 2-3 times per week, and occasional clipping and trimming.

Breed-related health problems:

Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that English Setters are prone to include:

  • Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
  • Elbow dysplasia - elbow joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
  • Atopy – hypersensitivity to certain allergens, causing itching and skin trauma.
  • Ectropion – outward turning eyelids
  • Cancer
  • Skin problems
  • Hypothyroidism – a condition in which there’s a decrease in thyroid hormone production.

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.

Exercise requirements:

Known to have high energy levels, English Setters will need over 2 hours of exercise per day to keep them physically and mentally fit.

Estimated lifetime cost:

 The likely lifetime costs for an English Setter are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:

The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your English Setter with PDSA:

1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like English Setters that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.

By insuring your English Setter with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.

Energy levels
 
Overall grooming needs
 
Compatibility with other pets
 
Easy to train
 
How much exercise
 
Suitability for children/families
 
Tendency to bark
 
Average lifespan 12-14 years
Size Large
Coat length Medium
Possible health problems Cancer, Skin problems
Average price £300-£500
Estimated cost over lifetime £27,100-£30,800
Average weight Male: 27kg-29.5kg. Female: 22.5kg-25kg
Breed group Gundog
Minimum garden size Large

Not sure if the English Setter is the right pet for you?