General Appearance:
Of medium height, clean in outline, elegant in appearance and movement.

Very active with a keen game sense.

Intensely friendly and good natured.

Head and skull:
Head carried high, long and reasonable lean, with well defined stop. Skull oval from ear to ear, showing plenty of brain room, with a well defined occipital protuberance. Muzzle moderately deep and fairly square, from stop to point of nose should equal length of skull from occiput to eyes, nostrils wide and jaws of nearly equal length, flews not too pendulous, colour of nose black or liver, according to colour of coat.

Bright, mild and expressive. Colour ranging between hazel and dark brown, the darker the better. In liver beltons only, a lighter eye is acceptable. Eyes oval and not protruding.

Moderate length, set low, and hanging in neat folds close to cheek, tip velvety, upper part clothed in fine silky hair.

Jaws strong 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.

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.

Shoulders well set back or oblique, chest deep in brisket, very good length and width close to body, pasterns short, strong, round and straight.

Moderate length, back short and level with good round widely-sprung ribs and deep in back ribs, i.e. well ribbed up.

Loins wide, slightly arched, strong and muscular, legs well muscled including second thighs, stifles well bent and thighs long from hip to hock, inclining neither in nor out and well set down.

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

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

Set almost in line with back, medium length, not reaching below the hock, neither curly nor ropy, slightly curved or scimitar-shaped but with tendency to turn upwards; flag or feather hanging in long pedant flakes. Feather commencing slightly below the root, and increasing in length toward middle, than gradually tapering towards the end, hair long, bright, soft and silky, wavy but not curly. Lively and slashing in movement and carried in a plane not higher than the level of the back.

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.

Blue belton ( black and white), orange belton ( orange and white), lemon belton  (lemon and white), liver belton (liver and white) or blue belton and tan or liver belton and tan (tri-colour), those without heavy patches of colour on body but flecked (belton) all over preferred.

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

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.

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


Sissi Sundberg
copyright and all rights


The history of the ES can be dated back as far as the 14th century when which it was called Setting Spaniel, a dog mostly used on the mores. The man who is said to be the first to train setting dogs was Mr Robert Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. He lived in the mid 16th century.
Even in the late 17th century people still used among others,
Spaniels for setting dogs.
It's known that from the 16th century setters was used in hunting quails and partridges, the name of the breed then was "Index". According to what I've read the word Index shall in a Latin/English lexicon mean: one that informs or indicates, an informer. This makes it easy to understand why it was called Index at first I think.
In an addition of Sportsman's Cabinet from 1803 a great deal of it was about Setters so it's commonly accepted that the Setter by then was recognized as a breed of its own.
The real background to today's English Setter is uncertain, but at the end of the 19th century there where already several different distinct lines all traceable back to different Setting dogs. Following 2 gentlemen though are to be known as the founders of the modern Setter.

The one mentioned first is Mr Edward Laverack, born 1798 in Westmoreland. From the beginning he was a shoemakers apprentice but he inherited money which gave him the life he wanted with lots of hunting.
He came to breed setters for over 50 years and to corner stones in his lines where Ponto and Old Moll. He claimed to very strict follow the rules for in-breeding and his method quickly was a success. His type of the breed
is known as the Laverack Setters.
When dog shows got popular Mr Laverack was already over 60 years old so he only got time to make up 2 dogs as champions. He also exported some Setters to America where they did very well on shows. Mr Laverack died 1877 and he had then only 5 dogs left, but even today what he did for the breed is important

Mr Edward Purcell-Llewellin, born 1840 and a friend to Mr Laverack got to be equally important for the modern breeds American Setters and the Swedish hunting type. He continued Mr Laveracks work and made even more success abroad. His type of the breed is known as the Llewellin' Setters.
He mixed pure Laverack lines with lines from Sir Vincent Corbet and Mr Satter's kennel and by that got his own type which had both quality and looks for shows. His lines got very popular in America and some dogs from his lines where later imported back to England to help widening those  lines again.
Mr Llewellin died in 1925.

From the first official dog show 1859 there where classes for pointers and Setters. From 1861 there where special classes for English Setters and from then until 1892, 25 ES where made champions and of those 11 where pure Laverack lines. Many for the future important breeders started with pure Laverack lines in their breed programs.
As curiosa I can mention that Benito Mussolini (Italian fascist leader) had an ES kennel in 1930, unfortunately I haven't been able to find out its name.

English Setters are often referred to as "gentlemen by nature" due to their kind and beautiful looks and sweet personality. It is a breed, although  its hunting capacity, that is very suitable for family life. An ES actually prefers indoor life with the family. It has to be said though that the breed do need activities, exercise and company to be completely happy.
The breed is known to be very child loving and for, when they are young, doing quite a bit of mischief like chewing on different things or eat what ever is left in reach. This is funny enough things you quickly forget as all ES owners agree on, their small and/or large mischief's are nothing compared to their enormous and great love, devotion, kindness and 'joie de vivre'!
The ES is a relatively large dog but they doesn't feel like that when being around you, they have a way of fitting in every where.