Four varieties are recognized: English, Irish, Gordon and the Red and White setter. Setters are medium/large dogs weighing between 45-65 pounds. The origin of the setter is obscure most likely originating out of the spaniel line, his pointing nose was presumably obtained by a cross on the early pointer or pointer hound. A very handsome, affectionate dog, fearless of the water, which traits are from the spaniel in him, and a keen intelligent hunter, standing point as well as the pointer himself.
Should hunt with high head and wind his birds, thus getting directly to them without the excessive roaming indulged in by the pointer. His long coat is an aid to him in water work, in thick thorny cover and in cold weather, making the setter a pre-eminently northern hunting dog, while the pointer does better in the south.
Of the four kinds, the English tend to be easier to train, most agile, and of the keenest intelligence. The Irish is a hardier dog, headstrong and hard to train, not so quick to size up a bird field, but a better dog for salt-water work. The Gordon Setter is heavy and slow but a thorough worker and will find the most birds when they are lying close.
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