3 Reasons English Setter Hunting Dogs Are So Good at What They Do

Alpha Dog Nutrition was born and bred in the name of English Setters—it’s true! An English Setter named Trigger inspired the whole thing, and so you can only imagine how much we love English Setters around here. But we know we aren’t the only ones.

A good hunting dog that also makes a good family dog—what more could anyone want? As a people-oriented breed, English Setters tend to be friendly and love to curl up in your lap. They’re usually great with kids and are just as happy to hang out at home with the fam as they are to go out on a wild bird hunting adventure. Here are three more reasons English Setters make some of the best hunting partners for upland game birds.

1. They’re Bred for It

Their very name subtly highlights the beauty of this breed’s origins. Long before guns, English Setters were used as loyal hunting partners. The term “setter” comes from the practice of setting or getting low to the ground when they find birds. Going back pre-guns, this allowed humans to easily throw nets over birds. Today, English Setters use the same stamina and stealth to successfully hunt alongside gun-toting humans all over the world.

English Setters make such great hunting dogs because they are energetic with the stamina to power on for long stretches of time.  Plus, their superpower noses help assist in the hunt—they can smell birds from miles away. Evidence suggests English Setters originated from crosses of the large Water Spaniel, the Spanish Pointer, and the English Springer Spaniel, resulting in all the right qualities for a great bird hunting dog. 

Read: 10 of the Best Hunting Dog Breeds

2.  They’ll Make You Work for It

Although a good-natured breed, many English Setters have a taste for the mischievous side of life. If you become a Setter fan, you will eventually meet one that tests you and pushes your buttons in every which way. Take it with a smile because it’s sure to make you a better handler, trainer, and all around hunter.

Consistency and positive reinforcement training are commonly cited as the keys to breaking through hard-headed or testy English Setter hunting dogs.  Whilst far from raining ducks and donuts in the moment, challenges like these make us better over time.

3. English Setters are Overall Healthy Dogs

Some dogs have more health problems than others due to genetics, body composition, and so forth. Any dog can develop health problems, but English Setters are considered overall healthy dogs. The average lifespan for a healthy English Setter hunting dog is between 11 and 12 years, but it’s not uncommon for them to live older.

One of the most common health problems that impacts English Setters is deafness, impacting a little over 12% of the population. Additionally, studies confirmed by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals found an increased risk of elbow dysplasia in English Setters. As with other athletic sporting dogs, English Setter hunting dogs are at risk of putting excess wear and tear on joints and surrounding tissues. This increases the risk for arthritis and other joint issues. 

How to Help Protect Your Dog's Joint, Paw & Bone Health

Your dog’s diet plays a crucial role in the development of arthritis and other health issues. While there’s no cure for arthritis, there are certain natural ingredients that help your dog’s body bounce back by sparking the production of materials necessary to rebuild cartilage and joint tissues. So, what are these magical ingredients and where can you get them?

Give Your English Setter Hunting Dog the Joy of Free Range

Meet the first line of dog supplements and nutrients made especially for hunting dogs by hunters who know and love them firsthand.

There’s nothing like freedom of motion! Don’t let early onset joint pain and inflammation get in the way of your dog’s best years. Free Range is packed with the leading natural ingredients used to combat arthritis: Glucosamine, MSM, and Chondroitin sulfate. This specially formulated supplement contains the nutrients hardworking dogs need to stay on top of their joint health. 

Don’t wait for the limp! Joint inflammation and degeneration begin long before your dog shows physical signs of it.  Try Free Range--risk free, 100% money-back guarantee!


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