English Setters are a popular breed of hunting dogs known for their athleticism and friendly nature. One question that often arises among potential owners is whether or not English Setters have a double coat. The answer to this question is not as straightforward as one might think, as there are variations within the breed that can affect coat type.

Are English Setters Double Coated

Generally speaking, English Setters do have a double coat, which is made up of a soft undercoat and a longer, coarser topcoat. However, the thickness and texture of the coat can vary depending on the individual dog's genetics and environmental factors. Some English Setters may have a thicker or more wiry coat, while others may have a softer, more silky coat. It is also worth noting that English Setters are known for their feathering, which is the longer hair on their ears, legs, and tails.

Understanding the English Setter Coat

Coat Characteristics

The English Setter is a breed of dog that has a long and silky coat. This coat is one of the breed's most defining features and is often a source of pride for English Setter owners. The coat comes in a variety of colors, including white with black, blue, liver, lemon, or orange markings.

The English Setter's coat is also known for shedding, especially during the spring and fall months. To keep the coat healthy and looking its best, regular brushing is essential. This helps to remove loose hair and prevent matting. It also helps to distribute the natural oils in the coat, which keeps it shiny and healthy.

Double Coat Explanation

English Setters have a double coat, which consists of a longer, silky topcoat and a shorter, dense undercoat. The topcoat is what gives the breed its characteristic long and silky appearance, while the undercoat provides insulation and protection from the elements.

The double coat also helps to protect the English Setter's skin from sunburn, insect bites, and other irritants. It also helps to regulate the dog's body temperature, keeping them cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

While the double coat provides many benefits, it also requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and looking its best. This includes regular brushing to remove loose hair and prevent matting, as well as occasional bathing to keep the coat clean and free of dirt and debris.

Overall, the English Setter's double coat is a defining characteristic of the breed. With proper grooming and care, it can be a source of pride for owners and a testament to the breed's beauty and health.

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Breed Overview

English Setters are a medium-sized dog breed that originated in England. They are known for their distinctive feathering and elegant appearance, and are often used as show dogs or hunting companions.

Origin and History

The English Setter is believed to have descended from a combination of Spaniel and Pointer breeds. They were originally bred to assist hunters in locating and flushing game birds, and their keen sense of smell and excellent athleticism made them a popular choice for this purpose.

Physical Characteristics

English Setters are a medium-sized breed, typically weighing between 45 and 80 pounds. They have a distinctive feathered coat that is either white or a combination of white and one or more other colors. The coat is double-layered, with a soft undercoat and longer, coarser guard hairs.

Color Variations

English Setters come in a variety of color variations, including belton (a speckled pattern), blue belton, lemon belton, liver belton, orange belton, and tricolor. The belton pattern is the most common, and can be seen in a variety of colors including black, blue, liver, lemon, and orange.

Overall, English Setters are a beautiful and athletic breed that is well-suited for both hunting and companionship. Their distinctive appearance and gentle temperament make them a popular choice for dog lovers around the world.

Health and Care

English Setters are generally healthy dogs with a lifespan of 10-12 years. However, they are prone to certain health problems that owners should be aware of. Proper care and attention can help prevent or manage these issues.

Common Health Problems

English Setters are prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and hypothyroidism. These conditions can cause discomfort and pain for the dog, and may require medical treatment. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help identify these issues early on.

Exercise Needs

English Setters are active dogs that require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy running, hiking, and playing fetch. Owners should provide at least 60 minutes of exercise per day to meet their needs. Lack of exercise can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

Diet and Nutrition

English Setters require a balanced diet to maintain their health. Owners should provide high-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs. Avoid overfeeding, as English Setters can easily gain weight. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help maintain a healthy weight and metabolism.

Overall, English Setters are a healthy and active breed that require proper care and attention. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian, regular exercise, and a balanced diet can help prevent or manage health problems.

Grooming and Maintenance

English Setters have a double coat, which means they require regular grooming to keep their coat healthy and shiny. Here are some tips for grooming and maintenance:

Regular Grooming Practices

English Setters should be brushed at least once a week to remove dead hair and prevent matting. A slicker brush or comb can be used to remove tangles and mats. It is important to brush the entire coat, including the ears, legs, and tail. If the coat is particularly dirty or matted, a bath may be necessary. However, frequent bathing can strip the coat of its natural oils, so it is important to only bathe when necessary.

Managing Shedding

English Setters shed moderately throughout the year and heavily during seasonal changes. To manage shedding, daily brushing during shedding season is recommended. This will help to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Using a deshedding tool can also be helpful in removing loose hair.

Are English Setters Double Coated

Nail and Ear Care

Nail care is important for English Setters. Long nails can cause discomfort and even pain, so they should be trimmed regularly. It is important to use a sharp nail clipper and avoid cutting the quick, which is the blood vessel inside the nail. If the nails are black, it can be difficult to see the quick, so it is recommended to trim small amounts at a time.

Ear care is also important for English Setters. The ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge. If any of these signs are present, it is important to consult a veterinarian. To prevent infection, the ears should be cleaned regularly with a gentle ear cleaner and cotton ball. It is important to avoid using cotton swabs, as they can push debris further into the ear canal.

Overall, regular grooming and maintenance is important for the health and well-being of English Setters. By following these tips, owners can help keep their English Setter's coat healthy and shiny.

Temperament and Behavior

English Setters are known for their friendly and outgoing temperament. They are affectionate and love to be around their family. They are also intelligent and eager to please, which makes them easy to train.

Personality Traits

English Setters are known for their playful and energetic nature. They have a high prey drive and love to run and play. They are also sensitive dogs and can be easily affected by harsh training methods or negative feedback. They thrive on positive reinforcement and respond well to praise and rewards.

Training and Socialization

Training and socialization are important for English Setters. They are intelligent dogs and can easily become bored if not given enough mental stimulation. They need regular exercise and playtime to keep them happy and healthy. They also need to be socialized from a young age to ensure that they are comfortable around other dogs and people.

Behavioral Considerations

English Setters are a great family dog and are kid-friendly. However, they can be sensitive and may not do well in households with a lot of noise or chaos. They are also known for their stubborn streak and may require patience and persistence during training. It's important to note that English Setters have a high prey drive and may not do well with small pets such as cats or rabbits.

Overall, English Setters are a great choice for families who are looking for an affectionate and intelligent dog. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation, as well as patience and positive reinforcement during training. With proper socialization, they can be a great addition to any household.

Are English Setters Double Coated

Adoption and Breeding

Choosing a Breeder

When looking for a reputable breeder, it is important to do your research and find someone who is knowledgeable about the breed and follows ethical breeding practices. A good breeder will be able to provide you with information about the health and temperament of the parents, as well as any potential health issues that may be present in the breed.

It is also important to visit the breeder's facility and meet the puppies and their parents in person. This will give you a better idea of the conditions in which the puppies are raised and their overall health and well-being.

Adopting From Shelters

Adopting a Setter from a shelter or rescue organization can be a great way to give a loving home to a dog in need. However, it is important to keep in mind that many shelter dogs may have unknown backgrounds or behavioral issues that need to be addressed.

When adopting from a shelter, it is important to ask questions about the dog's history and behavior, and to spend time with the dog before making a decision. Some shelters may also require a home visit or reference check before allowing an adoption to take place.

Raising a Setter Puppy

Raising a Setter puppy requires patience, consistency, and plenty of socialization. Puppies should be trained using positive reinforcement methods, and should be exposed to a variety of people, animals, and environments to help them develop into well-adjusted adults.

It is also important to provide puppies with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, as Setters are an active breed that require plenty of physical activity to stay healthy and happy.

Whether adopting from a shelter or purchasing from a breeder, raising a Setter puppy requires a commitment to providing a loving and supportive home for the dog. With proper care and training, a Setter can make a wonderful companion for many years to come.

Lifestyle Considerations

English Setters are a breed that requires a moderate amount of exercise, making them ideal for active families. However, their double coat can make them less suitable for apartment living, especially in warmer climates.

Living Conditions

Due to their high energy levels, English Setters thrive in homes with access to a yard or open space. They are not recommended for apartment living, as they require regular exercise and may become restless or destructive in confined spaces. Additionally, their double coat can make them sensitive to heat, so they may struggle in warmer climates.

Exercise Requirements

English Setters require regular exercise to maintain their health and happiness. They enjoy long walks, runs, and outdoor activities such as hiking or swimming. Daily exercise of at least 30 minutes is recommended to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

Family Compatibility

English Setters are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them great family dogs. They are patient and gentle with children, making them an ideal addition to households with kids. They are also quiet dogs, which can make them a good choice for families living in close proximity to neighbors.

Overall, English Setters are a great choice for active families who have access to outdoor space and are able to provide them with regular exercise. They are friendly, family-friendly, and quiet, making them a great addition to any household. However, their double coat can make them less suitable for warmer climates and apartment living.

Participation in Dog Sports

English Setters are a versatile breed that can excel in various dog sports. They are highly trainable and have a keen desire to please their owners, making them a popular choice for sporting events. In this section, we will explore some of the ways that English Setters can participate in dog sports.

Training for Sports

Training is essential for any dog sport, and English Setters are no exception. They require consistent and positive training to develop their skills and excel in their chosen sport. Agility is a popular sport for English Setters, and they can perform well in it with proper training. They have a natural athleticism and love to run and jump, making them ideal for this sport.

Another sport that English Setters can participate in is the sporting group. This group includes activities such as hunting, tracking, and retrieving. English Setters have a natural instinct for setting, which makes them excellent hunting companions. They can also excel in retrieving and tracking with proper training.

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Mental Stimulation Needs

English Setters are intelligent dogs that require mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Dog sports provide an excellent opportunity for mental stimulation, as they challenge the dog's mind and keep them engaged. Fetch is a simple game that can provide mental stimulation for English Setters. It requires them to use their problem-solving skills to retrieve the ball and bring it back to their owner.

In addition to fetch, English Setters can participate in setting trials. These trials challenge the dog's ability to locate and point at game birds. They require the dog to use their sense of smell and problem-solving skills to find the birds. Setting trials provide an excellent opportunity for mental stimulation and can help keep English Setters engaged.

Overall, English Setters are a versatile breed that can excel in various dog sports. They require consistent training and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. With proper training and care, English Setters can become excellent sporting companions and excel in their chosen sport.


In conclusion, the distinctive double coat of English Setters is a vital aspect of their well-being and appearance. Understanding the characteristics, benefits, and care requirements associated with these coats ensures that owners can provide the best possible care for their furry companions.


  • Q1: Do all English Setters have double coats?
    • A: Not all English Setters have double coats. While the breed generally exhibits this feature, individual variations may occur.
  • Q2: How often should I groom my English Setter?
    • A: Regular grooming is essential, at least two to three times a week, to maintain the health and appearance of an English Setter's coat.
  • Q3: Are there specific grooming products recommended for English Setters?
    • A: Gentle, breed-specific shampoos and conditioners are recommended to keep the coat clean and healthy.
  • Q4: Can I shave my English Setter's coat during hot weather?
    • A: Shaving is not advisable, as it can interfere with the natural insulation and protective functions of the coat.
  • Q5: Are there any health concerns related to English Setter coats?
    • A: While generally healthy, English Setters may be prone to skin issues if grooming is neglected. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are essential.