My Smart Puppy

with Dog Expert, Sarah Wilson

Understanding Your Setter


Irish, English, Gordon, Red and White

Another athletic gun dog group, Setters share a similar history with Pointing Breeds, but tend to be a bit more pliable and a lot more clownish. They were not expected to be guards. All these breeds require grooming time.

The English and the Gordon need daily runs, particularly when young. But neither is especially prone to hyperactivity unless they come from field-lines. If they do, expect them to be kinetic, hard-muscled running machines. The Irish Setter is another matter, needing several long runs daily and even then, do not expect long periods of calm behavior.

Softer than many of the Pointing Breeds
Most setters are owner-sensitive, they desperately want to please you. Gordons can be determined and strong-willed, but most come around with training.

Common Problems: Same as the Pointing Breeds but with less aggression in their ranks.

The Good Home: People of all ages who have the time for the grooming, training and exercise critical for these dogs. People aggravated by constant activity in the house may find the Irish or some field-bred setters annoying. On the whole though, we don’t see many setters in for training, which usually means they are relatively problem-free.

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