The Setters group is rightfully considered the most popular breed line of dog dogs. Once, in 1995, a sad English setter met an Irish fellow on a walk and shared with him the hardships of life: “The owner does not understand and feeds from the table” - this was a high-quality and thoughtful (at that time) advertisement for “Chappi” dry food. Marketers did their best, the appearance of the spotted starving Setter and the red-haired bouncer firmly climbed into the "subcortex" of viewers. It was in 1995 that everyone became interested in Setters, even those who were not "dog-lovers by nature."
Naturally, hunters appreciated the ability of the cops long before 1995. The roots of the English setter go to France, from the XVII-XVIII centuries. Before the advent of hunting weapons, or rather, before its mass distribution, people mined meat by catching wild birds with nets. Finding a duck in the reeds or partridge in the thicket is quite a difficult task for humans, however, the dog coped with this work very successfully. The French used small dogs that looked very much like modern spaniels, a four-legged dog tracked a bird and gave a sign to a hunter, then it’s a matter of technique.
Having received weapons, hunters increased the volume of game, however, small dogs were exhausted from swimming after a dead duck, cut their paws on reeds and fell from exhaustion long before sunset. People desperately needed a larger, hardy, quick assistant and got it. As mentioned above, for the derivation of Setter, the gene pool of the old-format Spaniel was taken as the basis. To increase the size, Poynters imported from Spain were used, large representatives of the Irish Water Spaniel gave Setter water skills. The English Sprinter Spaniel has been used to increase stamina and speed. Given the “amateur approach” and the lack of DNA technology, the results can be considered stunning. Rigid selection and testing by work greatly simplified the screening of the best breed producers. As a result, the hunters got a tall, agile and tireless dog with a beautiful stance and excellent mental abilities.
Now a few words about why the “French Setter” became English. The dog of the English Setter breed is an improved version of the French hunter, which appeared not so long ago, in the second half of the XIX century. Englishman Eduard Laverac, who developed his own program for improving the breed by inbreeding (breeding dogs with a kinship). The breeder has invested in improving the breed soul and 50 years of his life.
It is interesting! Dogs bred under the Laverac program are still considered the best representatives of the breed.
The next breeder who left a significant mark in the history of the English Setter is Purcell Lewellin. Having bought several small dogs from Laverac and added fresh blood of lightweight European Pointing Dogs, Lewellin received a field-type breed line. Fans of four-legged admired not only the working qualities of the English setters, but also their appearance. In the wake of popularity, by the 1990s, Tom Steadman introduced the world to "his own kind" of the English setter, irresistible and impressive, however, having lost its hunting skills.
Ubiquitous work, lack of full coherence and uncertainty in the final goal led to the fact that the breed of dogs of the English setter was divided into two branches - show-class animals and working dogs. Unfortunately, the confusion did not end there, it so happened that the cynological clubs of different countries compiled the breed standards that had differences:
- ESAA (American Association of English Setter) became part of the Kennel Union of America (ACS). Both organizations approved one, “basic” breed standard.
- The United Cynological Union of America (UKC) introduced the English Setter with a standard that was slightly different from the base, although it corresponded to the main "canons." There is one, but very serious error in UKC registration - tail set. By standard, working dogs can lift their tail vertically. Naturally, show and working class dogs are registered as a single breed, which leads to the degeneration of both species with permitted but illiterate breeding.
- The International Kennel Federation (FCI) also adjusts the breed description "for itself", however, upon closer examination, the standard does not have critical differences from the "base" one. Worker dogs and show classes are combined into one breed.
- The English Setter Club of Canada (ESCC) registers the breed as purely hunting. Almost all items describing the parameters of the animal do not contradict the ESAA, however, the position of the tail is described rigidly - continues the line of the spine, not bent, not raised.
- The Norwegian and Australian Cynological Club are part of the FCI, but have two more separate breed standards for the English Setter.
- The standard adopted in Russia, after importing the first English setters into the territory of the USSR, is very similar to the basic one, however, there were some errors - inaccuracies in growth, the shape of the skull, and color. To match UKC, Setter is not required to have a job.
The conclusion is simple - a person acquiring a puppy for an exhibition career should be guided by the registration documents of the parents, even if you look at the photos of the champions, among them there are dogs that do not meet the ESAA standard. However, unpleasant surprises do happen, for example, English Setter puppies born from breeding dogs registered according to the AKC and UKC standards can suddenly raise their tails and lose prospects for most international shows. The best option is to buy a puppy with the registration of a club that is part of the AKC program. Most of them are medium-sized dogs with well-developed hunting data and proper tail set-up.
The English Setter is a very proportionate and beautiful working dog that has developed hunting skills. A four-month-old puppy instinctively becomes a stand, having seen a sparrow or a dove, he still does not know why to do this, but he can not overcome the desire to stretch out, and then fall to the ground. The dog is covered with luxurious light and long hair, which protects delicate skin from the effects of the external environment. English setters differ markedly by gender, males are larger and more courageous, bitches are graceful and aristocratic. The standard defines the allowable height and weight of dogs:
- Male: 65-68 cm; 25-36 kg.
- Bitch: 61-65 cm; 20-32 kg.
Important! Despite the average size, the dog should not look sophisticated, even the young Setter gives the impression of a strong and hardy animal.
- Head - is strictly proportional to the body, from small to medium size. The muzzle is elongated, “dry”, the transition from the frontal part to the bridge of the nose with a pronounced “stop”. Seen from the side, the line of the forehead and lower jaw are parallel. The frontal part is wide, oval, the nape of the neck is neat, convex. The nose is even, the length of the frontal part. The mouth is deep, rectangular format. The jaw box is slightly narrower than the head. Cheekbones, eye sockets and cheeks pronounced, "dry", without folds. The lips are of medium thickness, the upper one hangs over the lower one.
- Teeth and bite - a scissor bite is preferred, however, if a dog older than 6 years of age has a change in bite on the line, this is not considered a defect. The teeth are large and strong, complete. Violation of the dentition (curvature of the incisors, lack of teeth) is considered a serious drawback.
- Nose - wide, evenly colored, pigmentation black or dark brown. The nostrils are open, wide.
- Eyes - set harmoniously wide and deep, round shape, small size. Pigmentation in a palette of brown colors, saturated colors are preferable. Look calm, thinking, many experts pay attention to the brilliance of the eyes. The eyelids are dense, pigmented in a dark palette (harmonious with the color of the nose and coat).
- The ears - set flush with the eyes or below. The shape is rounded (not triangular). The ear cartilage is thin and soft, the tip of the ear is adjacent to the cheekbones. Too long ears reaching the nose are considered a vice. On the outside, the auricle is covered with embellishing wool.
- Body - The muscular and flexible neck smoothly bends toward the back of the head and thickens toward the shoulder girdle. The back line is strong, with slight, graceful bends in the transitions to the shoulder blades and croup. The chest is proportionally wide and deep, a dry structure is allowed in a young dog, however, upon reaching 3 years of age, the muscles must be pronounced and developed. Ribs are flexible, medium depth, significantly elongated. The line of the abdomen and groin is tightened. The croup is wide and almost flat, the transition to the paw is smooth, without a bevel.
- Limbs - smooth, flexible, "springy". The gait is smooth, elegant. The elbows are parallel to the body, the hips are elongated and strong. In a rack, hind legs are extended back. Round brush, collected, arched. The fingers are rounded, the nails are strong and short. The paw pads are moderately convex. Between fingers straight hair (haircut is allowed before the show).
- Tail - Continues the line of the back, flattening from the base to the tip. The lowered tail should reach the hocks.
Type of coat and color
Few people know that the English setter can boast of a luxurious fur coat only by the age of 2-3. In an adult dog, a wavy coat on the ears, tail, keel and groin line grows. Grooming of show dogs is prohibited, the exception is the coat between the fingers (the brush should look neat).
In the coloring, preference is given to white wool with black spots. Colors should contrast and look harmonious, preference is given to an even mottled color. In the color palette, tricolor or bicolor is allowed - white primary and black, red or brick color marks. For representatives with red marks, the main coat may be beige or yellow.
Character and training
Setters are born and tireless hunters. Timely training of cop dogs is the primary condition for pet safety. The young English setter is inclined to get involved in the game or pursue prey without listening to the owner's commands. Up to 100% mastering the call and establishing interpersonal contact, the dog walks exclusively on a leash. However, the breed is smart and has a good memory, which greatly simplifies the training and education of the ward.
The only occupation where the breed can fully reveal its character and abilities is hunting with the English setter. If you get a dog as a friend and companion, you should evaluate your capabilities and the availability of free time. A temperamental hunter requires very serious loads and long walks, a working dog overcomes 10-15 kilometers in difficult terrain.
Maintenance and care
Proper maintenance and full physical development affects life expectancy, on average, dogs live 10-12 years. The English setter needs careful grooming, in order to maintain cleanliness in the autumn-spring period, it is recommended to use waterproof overalls. The breed is suitable for both an apartment and a house with an adjacent fenced area. The most important moment of maintenance is the nutrition of the English Setter, an improperly raised dog suffers from violations of the structure of the skeleton, as a result, the quality of life of the animal decreases.
A properly grown and well-groomed Setter does not know what a disease is. An important point in maintaining good health is the regular prevention of the appearance of blood-sucking parasites and worms, especially for working dogs.