The English Setter is a large size breed with a fine, glossy coat and feathering. Formerly a working breed but now usually a handsome companion dog. Ideally he needs to live in a house with a garden and should have plenty of exercise, including opportunities to run free. His coat will need daily grooming to keep it at its best.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 14.5% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS29.79
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- Hip dysplasia: breed mean score 15.6 (parents should be lower)
- Elbow dyplasia: ideally O:O
- Eye disease: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (annual testing)
Identified by the UK Kennel Club as part of their Breed Health and Conservation Plan.
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : EBVs for Hip Dysplasia are available for this breed
DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)
- Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 8 (NCL 8)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA-rcd4)
Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test. Good breeders will have followed the recommendations of the appropriate breed clubs, Kennel Club and/or other qualified experts.
Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Malassezia dermatitis
- Shoulder osteochondrosis
- Symmetric lupoid onychodystrophy
- Cancer: intestinal adenoma; mast cell tumour; brain tumour
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: