Setters are thought to have originated in different parts of UK and Ireland. They were bred for hunting game birds like grouse and pheasant.
The setter is a good-natured dog, and fits in well with the family. Regular brushing and trimming helps to keep the coat tidy.
Setters are classed as gun dogs.
Irish setter breeders
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The Gordon setter was bred in Scotland by the Duke of Gordon in the 1800's. There may be some collie in the ancestry as the breed was used to herd sheep as well as hunt on the country estate. The dogs pointed to birds or game and crouched while hunters threw a net over the birds and caught them.
Gordon setters are easy to train. They love to go for runs in the country and are not suited to being kept in a small yard.
Gordons are the heaviest of the setters. They are big, lively dogs and not suited to life in a small flat.
Height at shoulder: males 66 cms, females 62 cms
Colour: Coal black with tan markings of rich chestnut or mahogany, colour lines clearly detailed.
Red and White Setter
The red and white setter is thought to be the original Irish setter. The head is broader than the Irish setter. The colour is white with red patches on head and body. The legs are spotted.
Setters are energetic dogs and need firm handling. A training class will help. Owners need to be consistent with laying down the rules.
Height at shoulder:
The English setter has a long, silky, slightly wavy coat. Regular grooming is needed.
English setters are good with children and love to play.
Height at shoulder: males 65 - 68 cms, females 61 -65 cms
Colours: black and white, orange and white, lemon and white, liver and white, or tricoloured. The word "Belton" originally referred to the town of Belton in England. It now refers to the colour of the dog. There are 3 Belton colours: orange Belton, blue & tan Belton, & blue Belton.
Irish setters developed in Ireland from hunting dogs. In the 18th century, they were red with white markings, but by selective breeding the white was discouraged leaving the mahogany colour we have today.
Irish setters are friendly dogs, and not considered watchdogs. They love a romp in the country.
The dogs have a long, lean head with a kind expression. The coat is long with graceful feathering.
An Irish setter can be any height, but they are normally around 61 - 65 cms at shoulder.
Llewellin setters are named after a nineteenth century Welshman - R. L. Purcell Llewellin - who developed the breed. At the time of writing, April 2008, Llewellins are not recognised as a breed and cannot be registered with KUSA. They are seen as a sub-type of the English setter. But a few have been imported.
They make good bird hunters and loyal pets. The colour and markings can be the same as any English setter.