The Llewellin Setter is a medium sized breed of bird dog that is part of the Setter family. This group consists of Irish Setters, Irish Red and White Setters, and Gordon Setters (which are black and tan in color). The Llewellin Setter is noted for being gentle in its temperament, but also mischievous and sometimes strong willed. They were bred for the purpose of hunting game birds over four hundred years ago in England, and it is thought that this bird dog breed contains originates from crossing of the Spanish Pointer, Large Water Spaniel and also the English Springer Spaniel.
Trainability & Hunting Style
These hunting dogs are lively and sometimes prone to mischief As a result of their strong-willed nature they can try to become dominant over meek or less authoritative owners. Due to this fact it is recommended that this bird dog be introduced to clear rules, structure and training from an early age so as to prevent any unwanted or challenging behaviors from arising in the future and bad habits from forming. Owners of these hunting dogs should adopt calm, firm and authoritative demeanor when handling and training. The Llewellin Setter responds well to confident and consistent owners, and although they need firmness and structure it is not recommended that harsh discipline or treatment be implemented when training this hunting dog. If the right style of training is adopted by their owners or trainers then this bird dog can pick up commands and concepts quickly. They hunt by scent, and do this by covering large distances in a methodical manner, seeking out game birds with their excellent sense of smell. Upon finding the scent – this bird dog will not give chase but rather will freeze and ‘set’ (pointing towards the direction of the prey).
Llewellin Setters have soft, flat, medium-length fur that is easy to maintain and care for (usually only requiring a brief brushing a couple of times a week). The field or hunting type of this breed of bird dog (as opposed to the show type) has a shorter coat that requires less grooming. Their coats can vary in color – each different type having a base color and then different colored ticking, known as belton. They are classed as a medium sized hunting dog, and can grow up to twenty-seven inches for males and twenty-four inches for females. Males can weigh from 55lbs to 79lbs and females can weigh from 44lbs to 70lbs. The field or hunting type can sometimes be slighter in build than those which come from lines of the bird dog breed which have been specifically bred for show.
Due to the fact that these are hunting dogs, it goes without saying that they possess a lot of energy and intelligence. They need a long, brisk walk every day otherwise they will become agitated, restless and difficult to control. It is not recommended that this hunting dog be kept in an apartment or flat, or a small house with no outside space, as they ideally need a place where they can run freely (unless their owners are extremely active and have the capacity to take the bird dog outside for long periods of time every day). Although they are a friendly, amicable breed of hunting dog it has been noted that they do hold a leadership mentality, so it is important that, while out walking, the Llewellin Sitter always be made to heel or walk behind the owner, never in front. The leader in the mind needs to be the human, otherwise these hunting dogs will assume that role for himself.
The life expectancy for a Llewellin Setter is generally considered to be between ten and twelve years although reaching between thirteen to fifteen years is not uncommon. They are generally healthy hunting dogs but as with all pure bred hunting dogs there are certain defects and health problems which have been discovered. The Llewellin Setter has been known to carry genetic problems – and these include deafness, autoimmune thyroiditis, canine hyperthyroidism, elbow dysplasia and also allergies. Some of these allergies do include sensitivity to certain food ingredients and also skin allergies. This Llewellin Setter has also been known to develop cancer in later years.