Setter is a fairly old breed, since similar dogs existed at the end of the 16th century, and were used as hunting dogs. However, a person deliberately participated in its formation, and for crossing were used pointers and spaniels. Moreover, work on improvement was carried out over several hundred years.
The English setter that we know today was created in the 19th century by the Englishman Edward Laverac and the Welsh R.L. By Purcell Llewellyn. Laverac acquired his first two dogs, Ponto and Old Mall, from Rev. A. Harrison in 1825, and they served as the basis for the entire future breed.
It is important to understand that both of these people in the future will play an important role in the development of the breed, since each of them will develop certain qualities. For example, Laverac paid great attention to friendliness, openness and tried to create a dog with an affectionate temperament.
He used Irish setters and pointers (the pointer, as you can see, was used twice – in the early stages of breed development and in closer times to us). His dogs were excellent home companions, showed themselves excellently in the ring, but when it came to field trials – everything was not so good.
And here Llewelyn intervened. He took the dogs of his colleague Laverac as the basis of the dogs, but tried to improve the dogs by adding Gordon setters and other breeds to the breeding program to increase speed and flair. As a result, both lines developed in parallel, and came to the United States at the end of the 19th century. The Laverac line became the basis for the show, and the Llewellyn line is field dogs, and this division is still present today.
So what is the difference in practice? – you ask. But here’s the thing – show dogs are friends of man and family, although they are able to hunt, but field dogs have a sharper sense of smell, more developed reflexes and superior speed. Externally, show dogs are usually slightly larger than field dogs. Also, they have a greater variety of wool patterns. A thoroughbred English setter is a rarity in many countries; it takes 98th place among the breeds of the American Kennel Club.
The English Setter is a large dog with a muscular, athletic physique and thick coat. Ears are hanging, chest is pronounced, limbs are medium, proportional. The tail is slightly longer than average. Color can be two-color or three-color, but small color is required for any color (large spots are not desirable).
The English Setter dog breed is a very friendly and loyal dog that was originally developed as a faithful companion for humans. These pets are very attached to their family and owner, and are ready to help them wherever possible. On the other hand, sometimes they may be inherent stubbornness, especially when they see an unfair and rude treatment in their favor.
The English setter has a high level of energy, although it cannot be rated at 10 on a ten-point scale. Rather, the energy level will correspond to eight. In other words, the dog will be happy to participate in all active games, long walks, travels and hikes, but if you decide to rest after a walk, she will have the same joy to rest with you.
Despite its large size, the breed is highly adaptable and can very well live in a city apartment. However, this can cause discomfort due to the large amount of wool, which it will certainly leave on upholstered furniture, so here you are going to make a kind of compromise.
If you live in a private house, then the dog will be able to perform the functions of a guard. But you should not expect that the English setter will be as furious as, for example, the Caucasian Shepherd. He will bark at the approach of strangers, maybe even try to stop the intruder, but nevertheless, these dogs have a love for people.
In general, tenderness, love, affection are very inherent in this breed, and this can be manifested not only in relation to the owners, but also to your friends and guests of your house, to whom you show friendliness. The dog sees this, and itself also opens. Setter aggression is not peculiar.
This breed has hunting instincts, and, most likely, will hunt small animals, including cats. If the cat lives in your home, you need to train the dog to its presence from a very young age. Although the rest of the cats, on the street, can still remain enemies. With other dogs, conflicts are possible, but not more often than usual.
The English setter perceives children perfectly, these are his little friends with whom he is always happy to spend time. He can also be a good nanny. In general, the breed has a very high intelligence and understanding of the person. Since the English setter mainly worked together with the hunter, he was often away from him, the breed developed a high degree of independence in decision-making, and this should be taken into account.
The English setter can learn a lot of teams, but the basic ones are required.