English setter

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The English Setter was originally bred to set or point upland. From the best available information, it appears that the English Setter was a trained in England more than 400 years ago. There is evidence that the English Setter originated in crosses of the Spanish, large Water Spaniel, and, which combined to produce an excellent bird dog with a high degree of proficiency in finding and pointing game in open country. The modern English Setter owes its appearance to Mr. Edward Laverack (1800-1877), who developed his own strain of the breed by careful breeding during the 19th century in England and to another Englishman, Mr. R. Purcell Llewellin (1840-1925), who based his strain upon Laverack's and developed the working Setter. Today, you still hear the term Llewellin Setter, but this is not a separate breed, they are however a completely separate and pure bloodline. Field-bred English Setters are often mistakably referred to as "Llewellin", but only DNA can tell the difference. With time, Laverack bred successfully to produce beautiful representatives of the breed. The first show for English Setters was held in 1859 at Newcastle upon Tyne. The breed's popularity soared across England as shows became more and more widespread. Not long after, the first English Setters were brought to North America, including those that began the now-famous Llewellin strain recorded in the writing of Dr. William A Burette. From this group of dogs came the foundation of the field-trial setter in America, "Count Noble," who is currently mounted in the Carnegie Museum at Pittsburgh. At present, the English Setter is one of the most popular and elegant sporting breeds, often grouped with its cousins, the Irish and Gordon Setters. The field type & show type English Setter look very different, even though they are the same breed. Field type setters are often smaller and are seen without the coat than the show type.

Standard F.C.I. N°2 / 07.09.1998 / F

ORIGIN : Great Britain.


UTILIZATION :           Pointing dog.

CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. :         Group                  7                   Pointing Dogs.
                                                       Section               2.2               British and Irish Pointers and Setters, Setter.
                       With working trial.

GENERAL APPEARANCE :  Of medium height, clean in outline, elegant in appearance and movement.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Very active with a keen game sense.  Intensely friendly and good natured.

HEAD : Carried high; long and reasonably lean.

Skull : Oval from ear to ear, showing plenty of brain room; occipital protuberance well-defined.
Stop : Well defined.

Nose : Colour of nose black or liver, according to colour of coat.  Nostrils wide.
Muzzle : Moderately deep and fairly square, from stop to point of nose should be equal to length of skull from occiput to eyes.
Lips : Not too pendulous.
Jaws/Teeth : Jaws strong and of nearly equal length, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.  Full dentition desirable.
Eyes : Bright, mild and expressive.  Colour ranging between hazel and dark brown, the darker the better.  In liver beltons only, a lighter eye acceptable.  Eyes oval and not protruding.
Ears : Moderate length, set on low, and hanging in neat folds close to cheek, tip velvety, upper part clothed in fine silky hair.

NECK : Rather long, muscular and lean, slightly arched at crest, and clean cut where it joins head, towards shoulder larger and very muscular, never throaty nor pendulous below throat, but elegant in appearance.

BODY : Moderate length.
Back : Short and level.
Loin : Wide, slightly arched, strong and muscular.
Chest : Deep in brisket, very good depth and width between shoulder blades.  Ribs good round, widely sprung and deep in back ribs, i.e. well ribbed up.

TAIL :  Set almost in line with back, medium length, not reaching below hock, neither curly nor ropy, slightly curved or scimitar-shaped but with no tendency to turn upwards : flag or feathers hanging in long pendant flakes.  Feather commencing slightly below the root, and increasing in length towards middle, then gradually tapering towards end; hair long, bright, soft and silky, wavy but not curly.  Lively and slashing in movement and carried in a plane not higher than level of back.


Shoulders : Well set back or oblique.
Elbows : Well let down close to body.
Forearms : Straight and very muscular with rounded bone.
Pastern : Short, strong, round and straight.

HINDQUARTERS : Legs well muscled including second thigh.  Long from hip to hock.
Thighs : Long.
Stifles : Well bent.
Hock : Inclining neither in nor out and well let down.

FEET : Well padded, tight, with close well arched toes protected by hair between them.

GAIT / MOVEMENT : Free and graceful action, suggesting speed and endurance.  Free movement of the hock showing powerful drive from hindquarters.  Viewed from rear, hip, stifle and hock joints in line.  Head naturally high.


HAIR : From back of head in line with ears slightly wavy, not curly, long and silky, as is coat generally, breeches and forelegs nearly down to feet well feathered.

COLOUR : Black and white (blue belton), orange and white (orange belton), lemon and white (lemon belton), liver and white (liver belton) or tricolour, that is blue belton and tan or liver belton and tan, those without heavy patches of colour on body but flecked (belton) all over preferred.

SIZE   :
Dogs : 65-68 cm (25,5-27 ins).  Bitches : 61-65 cm (24-25,5 ins).

NOTE OF THE STANDARD COMMITTEE : « Belton » is the customary term used for the description of the distinctive coat-ticking of the English Setter.  Belton is a village in Northumberland.  This expression has been created and spread out by the book about the English Setter written by Mr. Edward Lavarack, breeder who has had a preponderating influence upon the actual appearance of the breed.

FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.