English Setters were trained bird dogs in England more than 400 years
ago. The first show for English Setters was held at Newcastle-On-Tyne
on January 28, 1859. The English Setter's usefulness and beauty have helped
maintain its popularity since its introduction into the U.S.
The English Setter's need for considerable exercise makes it best suited
for ownership in the suburbs or countryside. His adaptability makes him
comfortable in the show ring, at home or in the bird field, but all English
Setters need some regular grooming and discipline. Below is the breed standard
as recorded by the
An elegant, substantial and symmetrical gun dog suggesting the ideal
blend of strength, stamina, grace, and style. Flat-coated with feathering of
good length. Gaiting freely and smoothly with long forward reach, strong rear
drive and firm topline. Males decidedly masculine without coarseness. Females
decidedly feminine without over-refinement. Overall appearance, balance,
gait, and purpose to be given more emphasis than any component part. Above
all, extremes of anything distort type and must be faulted.
Size and proportion in harmony with body. Long and lean with a well
defined stop. When viewed from the side, head planes (top of muzzle, top of
skull and bottom of lower jaw) are parallel.
Skull oval when viewed from above, of medium width, without
coarseness, and only slightly wider at the earset than at the brow. Moderately
defined occipital protuberance. Length of skull from occiput to stop equal
in length of muzzle.
Muzzle: long and square when viewed from the side, of good
depth with flews squared and fairly pendant. Width in harmony with width of
skull and equal at nose and stop. Level from eyes to tip of nose.
Nose: black or dark brown, fully pigmented. Nostrils wide
apart and large.
Foreface: skeletal structure under the eyes well chiseled
with no suggestion of fullness. Cheeks present a smooth and clean-cut
Teeth: close scissors bite preferred. Even bite acceptable.
Eyes: dark brown, the darker the better. Bright, and spaced
to give a mild and intelligent expression. Nearly round, fairly large,
neither deepset nor protruding. Eyelid rims dark and fully pigmented. Lids
fit tightly so that haw is not exposed.
Ears: set well back and low, even with or below eye level.
When relaxed carried close to the head. Of moderate length, slightly rounded
at the ends, moderately thin leather, and covered with silky hair.
Neck and Body
Neck: long and graceful, muscular and lean. Arched
at the crest and cleancut where it joins the head at the base of the skull.
Larger and more muscular toward the shoulders, with the base of the neck
flowing smoothly into the shoulders. Not too throaty.
Topline: in motion or standing appears level or sloping
slightly downward without sway or drop from withers to tail forming a
graceful outline of medium length.
Forechest: well developed, point of sternum projecting
slightly in front of point of shoulder/upper arm joint.
Chest: deep, but not so wide or round as to interfere with
the action of the forelegs. Brisket deep enough to reach the level of
Ribs: long, springing gradually to the middle of the body,
then tapering as they approach the end of the chest cavity.
Back: straight and strong at its junction with loin.
Loin: strong, moderate in length, slightly arched. Tuck up
Hips: croup nearly flat. Hip bones wide apart, hips rounded
and blending smoothly into hind legs.
Tail: a smooth continuation of the topline. Tapering to a
fine point with only sufficient length to reach the hock joint or slightly
less. Carried straight and level with the back. Feathering straight and
silky, hanging loosely in a fringe.
Shoulder: shoulder blade well laid back. Upper arm equal in
length to and forming a nearly right angle with the shoulder blade. Shoulders
fairly close together at the tips. Shoulder blades lie flat and meld smoothly
with contours of body.
Forelegs: from front or side, forelegs straight and parallel.
Elbows have no tendency to turn in or out when standing or gaiting. Arm flat
and muscular. Bone substantial but not coarse and muscles hard and devoid of
Pasterns: short, strong and nearly round with the slope
deviating very slightly forward from the perpendicular.
Feet: face directly forward. Toes closely set, strong and well
arched. Pads well developed and tough. Dewclaws may be removed.
Wide, muscular thighs and well developed lower thighs. Pelvis equal in
length to and forming a nearly right angle with upper thigh. In balance
with forequarter assembly. Stifle well bent and strong. Lower thigh only
slightly longer than upper thigh. Hock joint well bent and strong. Rear pastern
short, strong, nearly round and perpendicular to the ground. Hind legs, when
seen from the rear, straight and parallel to each other. Hock joints have
no tendency to turn in or out when standing or gaiting.
Flat without curl or wooliness. Feathering on ears, chest, abdomen,
underside of thighs, back of all legs and on the tail of good length but not
so excessive as to hide true lines and movementor to affect the dog's appearance
or function as a sporting dog.
Markings and Color
Markings white ground color with intermingling of darker hairs
resulting in belton markings varying in degree from clear distinct flecking to
roan shading, but flecked all over preferred. Head and ear patches acceptable,
heavy patches of color on the body undesirable.
Color orange belton, blue belton (white with black markings),
tricolor (blue belton with tan on muzzle, over the eyes and on the legs),
lemon belton, liver belton.
Movement and Carriage
An effortless graceful movement demonstrating endurance while covering
ground efficiently. Long forward reach and strong rear drive with a lively
tail and a proud head carriage. Head may be carried slightly lower when moving
to allow for greater reach of forelegs. The back strong, firm, and free of
roll. When moving at a trot, as speed increases, the legs tend to converge
toward a line representing the center of gravity.
Dogs about 25 inches; bitches about 24 inches.
Gentle, affectionate, friendly, without shyness, fear or viciousness.
This standard was approved November 11, 1986
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