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English Setters - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
English Setter


The AKC standard describes the English Setter as, “an elegant, substantial and symmetrical gun dog suggesting the ideal blend of strength, stamina, grace, and style.” They are slim, athletic dogs with a trademark speckled coat that comes in blue, lemon, organe or brown. English Setters have long heads and pronounced stop. Their muzzles are square, their eyes and nose are dark and their long, pendant ears have a soft tip. They sport feathering on the ears, legs, tail and undercarriage.

Size and Weight

The average height for male Setters is 25 inches and the average weight is between 60 and 70 pounds. The average height for females is 24 inches and average weight is 50 to 60 pounds.

Coat and Color

The English Setter sports a distinctive coat that is a trademark of the breed. Their hair lies flat and has no curl. There is feathering on the ears, chest, belly, thighs, backs of the legs and tail. This feathering creates a pretty silhouette, but doesn't interfere with the Setter's work in the hunting field.

English Setters come in blue belton, orange belton or lemon belton, blue belton and tan, or liver belton. They are white with darker colored hair intermixed through the body. Puppies are born white and then grow into their color, though some puppies are born with colored markings.

The English Setter's attractive coat is one of his charms. The coat lies flat without any curl or woolliness. It's embellished with feathering--a longer fringe of hair--on the ears, chest, belly, underside of the thighs, backs of the legs, and on the tail: just enough to be pretty but not so much that it would impede the Setter's progress in the field.

Grooming Needs

The English Setter needs to be brushed at least three times per week to maintain coat and skin health as well as to remove tangles and mats. This breed is an average shedder and regular brushing will keep loose hair from landing around the house. Setters should be bathed every six to eight weeks to keep them smelling fresh, and bath day is also a good day for a trim, to keep the hair looking neat. It's easy to do at home, but some owners prefer to use the services of a professional groomer.

The ears of the English Setter do not circulate air very well, and this breed is prone to ear infections. Check the ears once per week for signs of wax buildup, redness, or irritation. Use only a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser for the ears. Weekly brushing of the teeth will keep the Setter's breath fresh and promote good gum health. If the dog does not wear his nails down naturally outdoors, monthly nail trimmings will be in order.

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