The English Setter
"Laverack Setter"

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English Setter
Laverack Setter
Weight Male: 60 — 65 lbs
Weight Female: 50 — 55 ;bs
Height:Male 23” — 25”
Height Female: 22” —- 24”
AKC Rank 2008 #84
Lifespan: 10—12 yrs
Group Sporting

Dog Breed Info - The English Setter

A handsome Laverack Setter
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Breed Overview

Origin: England, 1300’s. Original function: Bird setting, retrieving. Today, Pointing, pointing field trials.Colors: Orange, black, lemon, liver… all with dark spots.

The English Setter’s ancestors probably include the Springer Spaniel and Water Spaniel, among others. It is the oldest known of the setters, going back to the fourteenth century. They were developed to locate game on the moors, and then to stand still until the game was disposed. Much later in the 19th century, an Edward Laverack and later a man named Purcell Llewellin, through serious breeding, developed the breed known today. In some circles the breed became known as the "Laverack Setter." These dogs finally came to America where they found only moderate popularity.


Yes, does quite well with obedience training. The breed has a stubborn streak and it may show up in training. Anything to do with hunting comes easy. This breed was made for clicker training and positive reinforcement. Try it.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your English Setter puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Some English Setters and puppies can be difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

English Setter "flying" after game.
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The English Setter is an energetic breed that can travel over a lot of real estate in a day while hunting birds. The portion of the name “setter” came from the fact that early on, when the dog saw game, it would sit down or approximate sitting down and the hunter knew the dog had located the prey. This is a breed that loves to run and hunt in the field. Given enough exercise, the English Setter is calm, quiet and easy to control in the house. This is an easy-going, peaceful dog that gets along well with children and in general makes a fine family pet.

If you happen to get a Setter with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Yes, generally, she does well with other dogs. She’s not very aggressive.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes, does fine with other house pets. She’s friendly with most.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes, very friendly with people. Bring on the friends, relatives and neighbors.


Fairly playful. Maybe not as playful as a child would like, but they will chase balls and that sort of play.


Somewhat affectionate. Not a "lapdog" type affection, buy loyal.

Good with children?

Yes, especially older kids 6 and up.

Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Needs too much exercise.

Living environment

Apartment, house, farm okay. Apartment is fine as long as your Laverack Setter can get out for plenty of exercise. The house is fine as long as there is a securely fenced yard, as these dogs can jump pretty high. If the yard is big enough, she can play fetch with you and get some exercise.

English Setter waiting to
go hunting in the field.

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Energy level

High energy.

Exercise needs, daily

High. The English Setter needs an hour of heavy jogging OR hard-core fetch OR long walks on leash every day. If it’s walks, they should be broken up into two or three a day to keep her busy. If she gets bored or is under exercised, she’ll provide her own entertainment which is not good,.


Good. Loves to bark anyway so this is her chance to let go.

Guard dog

Not really. Just not aggressive enough.


Yes, some.


Brush and comb the white coat every two days. Clipping is needed maybe monthly to keep the shape looking good. Use a stiff bristle brush from a pet store.


Suggested Reading For The English Setter
Click on the cover photo for more book information.

  • 2nd book from left is "Best Way To Train Your Gun Dog" and pertains to hunting dogs such as the English Setter. The book is quite informative.

  • 3rd book from the left is "50 Games To Play With Your Dog" and will give you a variety of easy activities to teach and play with your Setter. There's enough variation to keep his life interesting.

  • The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross ans deals with dog emergencies, illnesses ans injuries. It is a valuable reference manual for all dog owners. This is Vol 2, 2008 and includes a DVD.

English Setter Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for English Setter puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training. It's not often that Setter puppies turn up in dog pounds and shelters but you might check anyway.
English Setter Breeders with puppies for sale.

English Setter Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for an English Setter Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - English Setter RescueI just checked and Petfinder is showing only 326 English Setters in the country available for adoption at this time. Of course, that number will change. If you adopt one, try to locate any dog health records available for possible future reference.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but there are likely more of these dogs in England than here. Search online for English Setter Rescue groups or kennels.

Dog Health Issues For The English Setter
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Laverack Setter by various vets.

Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Deafness—Hereditary or caused by: Excessive loud noise, Intolerance to anesthesia, drug toxicity, and Otitis (middle ear infection), In some cases, one ear can have no hearing from birth and the other ear can be losing the ability to hear over time, undetected, then suddenly one morning the hearing is totally gone. There is no reversing once that happens.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—PRA An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Ectropion—A hereditary medical problem. The lower eyelid grows outward leaving a gap between the eye and the eyelid. Excessive tearing and conjunctivitis are common signs of the disease but some dogs will have no symptoms. Blunt trauma and/or nerve damage can also cause the problem. If the cornea becomes damaged or if the conjunctivitis becomes chronic, surgery will be necessary.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain, lameness and difficulty walking for the English Setter. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Osteochondritis dissecans—A common type of elbow dysplasia except it can occur in any joint. Flaps of cartilage run against tissue causing irritation, pain, lameness and in time, joint degeneration disease. Pieces can break loose and float around limiting movement, or getting lodged or wedged inside the joint itself. Look for lameness, pain and swelling in joints in the English Setter. Treatments include Non-steroid anti-inflammatory meds, weight loss, confinement to rest the joints, and dietary supplements for joint health. Surgery is the last option for very severe cases.

  • Malassezia dermatitis—A highly itchy skin infection, usually around the ears, muzzle, inner thighs, eyes or feet. The dog may become frantic, chewing and scratching the ears and feet. If an ear infection, there might be a waxy discharge and smelly odor. The dog will be rubbing and pawing at the ear. Look for Malassezia in the summer, humidity and allergy seasons. Your vet will treat this with appropriate medications and bathing after a diagnosis.

  • Elbow Dysplasia—This, as with hip dysplasia, is something the dog is born with. Wear and time in the front legs (elbow joints) cause lameness by the time the English Setter is roughly a year old. If your dog is prone to this disease, have an early x-ray to see if surgery to the joints will stave off further damage to the joints. Typically, there has been no cure, but recently doctors have come up with some ideas. 1) Keep the weight of your dog down. 2) Use anti-inflammatory medication. 3) Look into injections of stem-cells to help regenerate bone-covering cartilage to cause the bones to line up properly again. (This is new research and some vets may not know about it so ask around.)

  • Otitis externa—Ear infections—Inflammation and infection of the outer ear, especially dogs with long, floppy ear flaps. Dirt and moisture collect and breed yeast and bacteria. Ear hair and wax contribute to the infection environment. If left untreated it can become a serious infection. If at home treatments with cleaning and meds don't work and the problem worsens, surgery might be the last resort.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the English Setter's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your vet right away.

  • Atopic dermatitis's—Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

  • Epilepsy - A serious seizure disorder that develops at around 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in the dog.

Other health problems could occur with your English Setter. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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