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Pointers & Setters

English setter

A closer look at one of the rarer working breeds, the English setter. 

History of the English setter: Developed over hundreds of years, the English setter is one of the oldest breeds of gundog with its roots back in the 14th century as a descendant of the ‘setting spaniel’. Typically worked on moorland to hunt gamebirds and small mammals, its hunting style and characteristics remain much the same as its ancestors, quartering the ground in front of the hunters in an attempt to scent their quarry. Once they have caught wind of their prey they ‘set’ –...

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Style and substance on the moor

Author: Jon Kean

After a long career with pointers and setters, Jon Kean explains the unique appeal of these majestic grouse dogs.

Photographers / SARAH CALDECOTT, ANGUS BLACKBURN and STEPHEN WARD Shooting over pointers and setters has always been a passion of mine ever since I became involved in gundogs and shooting. In the 1970s, I spent a great deal of time on the grouse moors of Perthshire, the Scottish Borders, Aberdeenshire, Caithness and Sutherland (up to a month in some years). Many of the moors in the far north of Scotland used large teams of pointers and setters for grouse shooting. In Caithness and...

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A touch of class

Author: Patrice Fellows

The Gordon Setter is a handsome and stylish dog with a characteristic black and tan coat. Tough and hardy, this breed is noted for its intelligence, bold nature and stamina.

It is believed that setters descend from ‘setting spaniels’ developed in the Middle Ages. The first reference to the setting spaniel was written by the French sportsman Gaston de Foix in his work ‘Livre de Chasse’ in the late 1300s. These gundogs were used to hunt wide open terrains for game birds. Once a bird was found the setting spaniel crouched and crawled towards it, allowing the sportsman to throw a net over the dog and quarry. Although modern setters descend directly from these...

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