Yes, they do require exercise. "Plenty" depends on the dog. Some are more of a coach potato, some seem full of energy after a long physical exercise.Setters are gun dogs, they are happiest while running freely in natural habitat. If you cannot provide such exercise they will be content with some agility training, jogging or biking along your side too. Owning a garden does not mean the dog will use it to fulfil his needs for a physical exercise.
Do English Setters require advanced grooming sessions?
This breed requires some basic combing every 3-4 days to keep the long, silky coat free from mats and dirt. Every 5-6 weeks it is good to trim the top body parts to avoid the top coat turning into a wooly fur. This can be made by a professional groomer. If you want to take part in dog shows, well, that's a different story!
Are English Setters easy to train?
English Setters are intelligent and gentle with a strong or moderate hunting passion. This makes it a little bit tricky and a bit more challenging than training a Golden or Lab. They are not a difficult breed to deal with for sure. Setters love to please. With consequence and patience you can train your setter as good as other breeds. Setters take part in obedience, agility and hunting contents. Everything is achievable.
I like English Setters with plenty of white. Can you predict the puppy's adult colour at 8-9 weeks of age?
Most popular coat colours in ES are: orange belton, blue belton and tricolor. Oranges are born always solid white, Blues and Tris white with some black markings already visible after birth. Tricolors are revealed after couple of days when the brown markings appear on a black and white dog. The spots usually show up as soon as 5-6 week of age and very rapidly they cover up the face, later also the rest of the body. The process of pigmentation may not be finished until 1 year of age. That is why we can only estimate what he will look like later as an adult based on the markings we see already on a young puppy and the coat of his parents. Generally speaking very white pups usually do not turn into a heavy spotted dog and a dark puppy will continue to get darker with age.
Male or female?
There is no right answer. No sex is "better". Some prefer girls and you will never convince them for adopting a boy and all the way round.
Bitches tend to be more time consuming in the heat period unless spayed. Dogs on the other hand can be more stubborn and challenging while training in the "teenage period". There are many stereotypes - girls are sweeter, more gentle, less active, more shy. Boys are braver, bigger, stronger, outgoing.
I can tell you it is all nonsense. I met hyperactive and bossy bitches and very gentle and shy males. All depends strongly on the character of each individual, not always the sex.
Do English Setters have health problems?
It is a generally healthy breed, created to run effortlessly for several hours in search for birds. English Setters rarely catch a cold and are quite "weather proof". However, similarly to all breeds, English Setters do have some genetic predisposition for: hip and elbow dysplasia, deafness, thyroid problems, gastric torsion, PRA-rcd-4 and skin problems. We try to do our best to avoid these diseases in our breeding programme. All our bred dogs and bitches are health tested towards dysplasia, thyroid, pra and deafness.
Do English Setters shed a lot?
English Setters shed normally as all long haired dogs do. When groomed regularly a significant amount of old fur is removed and may cause less shedding.
Nevertheless if you love clean floors and carpets - this breed is not for you. English Setter owners have usually a good quality vacuum cleaner and a big dose of patience to clean the home regularly in order to maintain a clean environment.
Are English Setters good guarding dogs?
No. English Setters are far away from guarding or any sort of aggression towards strangers. They are goofy, energetic and love the whole world. They will greet happily any family member, postman or... robber too :)
Are English Setters good with children?
When raised thoughtfully - yes. English Setters are very gentle and never aggressive. They are still dogs, so please never ever leave them alone without supervision with your child. Older children should be informed about the rules the dog must obey in the home. English Setters make great family pets.
Will my English Setter befriend a cat?
Setters may have a strong prey drive, which can be dangerous for other smaller animals when not addressed in time. That means you need to accustom the dog from the youngest age to other animals, e.g. cats. Puppies raised with cats usually after some time make friends with them or just ignore them.
Remember, that the cat also needs some time to feel comfortable with the dog - especially when the dog is the "new member" of the family. This may take even couple of months.
If you have a very old cat not used to dogs - rethink adopting an English Setter.
Who are English Setters not for?
1. People who want a calm lap dog to cuddle with in the evening after their return home following several hours of absence.
2. People who have never raised a dog before and are not willing to put extra effort in training and grooming.
3. People who live alone and work long hours
4. People not interested in any sort of physical activity
5. People who do not have patience and money for long grooming sessions/grooming services for their dog.
6. People who want just "a pretty dog".
7. People who want their apartment to be sparkling clean all the time.
8. People who do not understand the chance of transmitting a hereditary disease (even after careful breeding) and consequenses of dealing with it.
9. People who cannot afford quality vet care - ES are big dogs and vet expenses can be high.
10. People who are lightweight - ES can be too strong for them to handle.
11. People seeking for an "instant" dog - already trained, smart, easy to maintain.
12. People who want their dog to spend most of the time in the yard, looking after the property.
13. People who want to buy an ES as a birthday or Christmas present.