The English Setter is a medium size breed of dog. It is part of the Setter family, which includes the red Irish Setters, Irish Red and White Setters, and black-and-tan Gordon Setters. It is a gun dog, bred for a mix of endurance and athleticism used to hunt for game such as quail, pheasant, and grouse. It is sometimes referred to as the 'Laverack' or 'Llewellin' Setter as these were famous strains of the breed.
The English Setter is a medium sized dog which should have an elegant overall appearance. Its size can range from 24 inches (61 cm) for females up to 27 inches (69 cm) for males. The field or hunting type can be finer in build and construction than those from bench or show lines. The breed was designed to hunt game such as quail, pheasant, and grouse so should be able to cover a lot of ground when seeking the airborne scent of the birds, carrying its head high. The head should be slightly domed with a muzzle of good depth and show chiselling under the eyes, which should be dark in colour with a kind, gentle expression. The top of the ears (sometimes the ears are referred to as 'leathers') are positioned in line with the eyes and lie in an elegant fold. It has a long muscular neck, well angled shoulders and a brisket of good depth. The body is of a moderate length proportionate to its height and it has strong powerful hindquarters. It carries its tail in line with its back and the tail should be long enough to reach the hock.
The main body coat is short to medium length, lies flat and has a silky texture. Long silky coat – usually called 'feathering', forms fringes on the outside of the ears, neck, chest, down the back of the front legs, under the belly and on the back legs. The tail is also feathered with long coat. The body coat and feathering should be straight and flat but not profuse and never curly although a slight wave can be seen.
The bench or show type has a long, flowing coat that requires regular grooming. The field or hunting type has a shorter coat that requires less grooming.
The base colour of the coat is white with differing coloured ticking also called flecks or speckling. The various speckled coat colours when occurring in English Setters are referred to as belton; valid combinations are white with black (blue belton), white with orange flecks (orange belton), white with orange flecks and lighter nose (lemon belton), white with liver flecks (liver belton), or 'tricolour' which is blue or liver belton with tan markings on the face, chest, and legs. The flecking should not form large patches on the body and the flecks should be distributed all over the body. The use of the word 'belton' was first coined by Laverack to describe his ideal for flecking and is also the name of a village in the extreme north of England.
Puppies' coats may not have all the markings that they have as adults.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Setter
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