The English Setter is a very old breed (around 400 years ago it began to appear in literature and paintings) that was developed in England. In the beginning of the XVI century in France the breed called “Setting Spaniels” was developed from the Spanish pointer and the French pointer. In the early XIX century these dogs were brought to Great Britain where Sir Edward Laverack developed them into the English Setter using early French hunting dogs. The English Setter is sometimes called the Laverack Setter, or simply the Setter. The word “setter” comes from the way the dogs appear to almost be sitting down when they discover game.
Another Englishman, Mr. R. Purcell Llewellin decided continue the breeding. He took the best of Laverack’s dogs and crossed them with a male setter named Duke. These dogs were among the first English Setters imported to America in XIX century. Other breeders began to standardize their dogs based on Laverack’s and Llewellin’s lines. The English Setter was first shown at a dog show at Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1859. Laverack’s dogs were especially popular in these early shows due to their beauty. The Llewellin’s were especially favoured by American hunters.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 1884; the United Kennel Club (UKC) followed it in the early XX century. The English Setters are used for hunting, tracking, retrieving, pointing, watchdog and agility.