The English Setter is a hunting breed, originally bred nearly 400 years ago to point upland game birds. Its endurance and athleticism make it proficient for hunting. The English Setter is a cross between the Springer Spaniel, Water Spaniel and Spanish Pointer.
The English Setter stands 24 to 27 inches tall and weighs 60 to 80 pounds. The coat of the breed is flat, feathered, and long. It is predominantly white with specks of other colors. The colors include blue belton, orange belton, lemon belton, liver belton, or tricolor belton. The field type setter greatly differs from the show type. The field type is often smaller and has more distinctive spotting and less feathering in their coat.
The breed is energetic and subservient. It is best suited for a family who can give it a job and plenty of attention as well as keep it active. The English Setter can be calm and cuddly, yet it needs plenty of exercise to stay happy. The breed is very intelligent, but it is not always easily trainable, due to its strong will and ability to become easily distracted. It is very sensitive, and should be trained gently, not harshly. Positive reinforcement works best for the breed.
The English Setter has very few known genetic problems; they do sometimes experience hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, congenital deafness and hypothyroidism. The breed typically has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.