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In 1485 in consideration for the sum of ten shillings of 'lawful English money' a Mr John Harris was covenanted to keep for six months and break a certain spaniel to set partridges, pheasants and other game.

Although this 'certain type of spaniel' was most likely not as glamorous or elegant as today's setters the advent of breach-loading guns led to an increasing demand among sportsmen for this type of dog.

The English Setter's development as a breed is credited to Mr Edward Laverack who, in 1825, bought a dog and bitch from a recognised pure line and from them developed a strain of elegant yet efficient gundogs. For fifty years the 'Laverack' setters were the most sought after but their popularity was eclipsed by the 'Llewellin' strain bred by Mr Purcell Llewellin.


Today, this setter is known as the English Setter and is more likely to be found as a family pet or in the show ring, though some are still very capable working dogs.

Among the most beautiful of all breeds the English Setter gained public recognition when in 1964 one was awarded Supreme Best In Show at the world's largest dogs show, Crufts in London, beating over 8000 dogs.

The English Setter is intensely friendly and good natured but very active and best suits homes which can provide it with exercise. It is very responsive to training - a heritage of its working gundog background.

A large dog, with males measuring up to 68 cms it is never heavy or cumbersome and is always elegant in movement and appearance.

Its crowning glory is a silky coat with longer 'feathering' on the ears, breeches and forelegs.


Its tail is scimitar shaped with the long, bright, silky and wavy coat hanging in long pendant flakes and when the dog is trotting the tail slashes from side to side.

The term 'belton' is used to describe the colouring of the English Setter and means that the body is flecked all over with colour. Blue belton is white flecked with black and orange belton, lemon belton, liver belton are other permissible colours . Tri-colours (blue or liver beltons) with tan markings are also allowable.

Whatever the colour, the English Setter is one of dogdom's most glamourous breeds.

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Last Update: 15/05/07 21:22 Views: 4728

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