Is an English Setter a dangerous dog?

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but have you ever considered applying that to dogs? There’s a lot of talk these days about which dogs are the most dangerous, and the English Setter often comes up in these discussions. But wait, before you dismiss this historic breed as a hazard to your home, hear us out.

The English Setter, with its flowing coat and distinctive markings, is far more than just an amusing dog breed. It’s actually one of the oldest gundog breeds, with a rich and storied history. Tracing its lineage back to the 14th century, this dog was primarily used for hunting, specifically for finding and retrieving game. They were bred to ‘set’ or crouch low near birds, directing hunters to their location with their keen senses.

Now, you might think that a dog bred to hunt game might be, by its very nature, a dangerous breed. But in reality, this breed’s training to be supremely sensitive to its surroundings, which empowers them to work so effectively in the field, also makes for a gentle and attentive house pet.

Simply put, the English Setter isn’t inherently dangerous, not by a long shot. They’re generally friendly, gentle, and calm. Living with one, you’ll be struck by their characteristic good temper and charm. They are known to be incredibly affectionate and fantastic with kids. They’re also fantastic sporting companions and excellent in competitive events.

Like with all dogs, the disposition depends a lot on its upbringing, including its breeding and training. How an English Setter is raised will ultimately determine its temperament. An English Setter that’s treated kindly and trained properly can be one of the most loyal, loving dogs you’ll ever know.

However, it’s worth remembering that the English Setter is an active breed. They have a lot of energy and require regular exercise. A bored setter can be prone to behavioral issues such as chewing or barking. They enjoy being part of family activities and are happiest when they have a job to do.

Remember also, English Setters are ‘people dogs.’ This isn’t the breed for you if you’re out of the house frequently or for extended periods of time. Leave them alone too long, and they’re likely to become anxious or even depressed. It’s also worth noting they’re not the best watchdogs. They’re more likely to welcome a stranger with a lick than a growl!

No breed of dog is completely without risk, of course. English Setters are prone to certain health issues like deafness, thyroid problems, and hip dysplasia. They also have a high risk of developing allergies, which can lead to skin and ear infections if left untreated. Regular check-ups and a good relationship with your vet can help keep your English Setter healthy.

If this majestic and friendly breed is in your plans, here are some quick tips for raising an English Setter:

1. Start early: Begin training and socializing your English Setter as early as possible to instill good behavior.

2. Stay active: Ensure they get plenty of exercise – a couple of walks a day, coupled with some playtime, should do the trick.

3. Consistent feeding: Feed them high-quality dog food and keep it consistent. Changing their diet frequently can cause stomach upset.

4. Regular grooming: Their coats need regular brushing to prevent matting, and regular bathing helps their skin stay healthy.

5. Routine checks: Keep a close eye on their ears and skin, as they’re prone to infections and allergies.

6. Be patient: Patience is the key. As with people, all dogs are individuals. They progress at their own individual pace.

So, is the English Setter dangerous? Far from it. Provided they’re kept properly stimulated and well cared for, English Setters are gentle, affectionate, and loyal companions. With appropriate training and socialization, they can make a wonderful addition to any family household, providing you have the time and energy to attend to their needs. Like any family member, they deserve love, care, and respect.

Remember, every breed is uniquely beautiful in their own right and has lots of love to offer. It’s important we emphasize responsible dog ownership and correct breed information. It’s the owners that define the pet, not the breed. A well-trained, loved dog makes for a happy home, regardless of breed. Let’s dispel breed myths and embrace them all for the individual characteristics they bring to our homes and hearts.

So, read, research, and understand the breed fully before bringing one into your home. The dog you choose should match your lifestyle and living situation, and you should be willing to commit to its needs. Afterall, a pet isn’t just a possession; it’s a family member. Choose wisely and treat kindly.