English Setters have a mild disposition. They are affectionate and posses beauty and intellegence. The English Setter is one of the most popular and serviceable gun dogs. He is a cover dog supreme whether hunting the grouse woods or searching for pheasants or hunting thickets and swamps for quail. He will find birds and handle them with elegance.
Some speak of the decline of the Setter, but it has been more the rise of the Pointer. The Setter doesn’t seem to mature as fast as the Pointer and doesn’t take rigid professional training as well. The Setter tends to range less than a Pointer. As a shooting dog, he will hold his own any time, any place, against any dog.
The Setter has a great personality. He will jump up and down and bark when he sees his master, almost stand on his head when he thinks he’s going hunting. He has a strong desire to please, more so than in any other pointing breed. He will hunt to the gun, check with you often, go where you direct him. The Setter is usually a natural retriever. He can take briars and difficult terrain very well. If he discovers a grouse under a hemlock or a covey of quail in a patch of honeysuckle, he soon hunts those spots persistently.
The Setter doesn’t have the seriousness of the Pointer, nor is he the hunting machine. The Pointer will hunt for anybody but the Setter is more of a one man dog who will hunt his heart out for his master. For the person who wants a real companion at home, in the field and at a trial, the English Setter is hard to beat.
Additional information on the English Setter can be found here at the AKC website.