Showsight Presents the English Setter

JUDGING THE ENGLISH SETTER

by MELISSA NEWMAN

Dog A

T he English Setter is an upland bird hunting dog. Although they originated, in England they became popular in the U.S. as an important hunting dog in the South and later a competition field trial dog. In addition, there were dogs imported to be shown as well. The English Setter has been a great upland bird dog originating in England. It is extremely important when judging this breed that we remember they were bred to be hunting dog and they should retain these qualities.

The word Setters comes from the word Set. English Setters were bred to ‘set’ birds. To ‘set’ means to crouch down on point (pointing at a bird). Con- sequently, structure is important not only for endurance but also for crouch- ing down for long periods of time. A dog often will stand on point for twenty minutes while the hunter works their way up to flush the bird that is being pointed. The balance of a pointing/hunting dog is of utmost importance as they must cover vast terrain in pursuit of game (birds). Balance in structure

help reduce fatigue and break down of joints and muscles. Often you will see a less angulated dog be quicker for short periods of time, but not be able to outlast the endurance of a dog with proper angulations and balance. Cor- rect balance and angulations create effortless movement. In addition, you will gain much more effective move- ment with correct muscling. It is important that they have good rib spring to be able to breathe, as a great hunting dog may hunt for eight hours a day for weeks at a time. Their movement should be easy, effortless,

“THE BALANCE OF A POINTING/ HUNTING DOG IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE AS THEY MUST COVER VAST TERRAIN IN PURSUIT OF GAME (BIRDS).”

322 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ANUARY 2019

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