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Gun Dog Breeders: What Characteristics Do Breeders Look For in an English Setter?

By    |   Friday, 26 February 2016 05:15 PM

English setters have many characteristics – including speed, athletic ability, boundless energy, and natural knack of finding prey – that make them exceptional gun dogs.

In particular, animals in the Llewellin line of English setters stand out in working with hunters. Gun dog breeders said one characteristic that makes the Llewellin line a must-have among hunters is that ability to cooperating with hunters as partners in the hunt instead of hunting for its own satisfaction, according to Gun Dog magazine.

"You know, one of the best parts about hunting over these Llewellins is that they hunt 'with' us, rather than us hunting 'for' them out in the field," a hunter told Gun Dog. "Compared to some other kinds of setters I've hunted over, Llewellins tend to stay close to the gun, check in with the hunters and generally can be seen nearby in open country or easily found when hidden in heavy cover."

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According to Animal Planet, Llewellin English setters tend to be smaller, swifter, and hold their tails straight up when on point.

Dennis Dorfman told Gun Dog magazine that he has owned Llewellin English setters for about 30 years, and said characteristics prized in the Llewellins are great noses for prey, an intense drive during the hunt, a natural prey search pattern, and a cooperative temperament.

"Most of my dogs, compared to other types of English Setters, are a little smaller with males in the 40- to 50-pound range and females at 35 to 45 pounds," Dorfman told Gun Dog. "All of them are fast in the field with above-average stamina and a high level of tolerance for warm-to-hot temperatures. And most of my dogs have been natural retrievers. I do, however, personally take them through a trained retrieve course, just to be sure they fetch anything I shoot down and send them for."

English setters, in general, are considered excellent hunting dogs, especially those from field lines, Animal Planet said. “The English setter is an elegant and athletic hunting dog with the ability to run tirelessly at a good pace. Its trot is ground-covering and effortless, with the head held proudly and a lively tail,” the website reported.

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DogTime wrote that since English setters
have been developed into master hunting dogs, they tend to inherit an independent streak, meaning a breeder must be aware of this characteristic and stay on his or her toes in training.

"He's been bred for centuries to work at a distance from the hunter — means you must find interesting ways to hold his attention and teach him what you want him to know," the website said. "Because they're so athletic, English setters excel at activities such as agility and rally obedience."

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English setters have many characteristics - including speed, athletic ability, boundless energy, and natural knack of finding prey - that make them exceptional gun dogs.
gun dog, characteristics, English setter
Friday, 26 February 2016 05:15 PM
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