Top English Setter Breeders

Setters Unlimited was established to help Setter enthusiasts find the top English Setter breeders.  Litters posted here represent some of the finest English Setter puppies for sale across the US.  Over the years we added Gordon Setter breeders and specialty type English Setters.  For example, Llewellen Setter Breeders are now represented.  Breeder participation is by invite only. Participating Breeders were chosen based on years of experience, breeding practices, results, and reputation. We can’t guarantee the results of any litter.  However, the English Setter puppies for sale on Setters Unlimited are the product of breeding practices that typically produce superior results.

Content

The individual sites have numerous photos and some of the participants provide videos as well. Setters Unlimited is a great resource to learn about the top breeding programs and different types of Setters. All of the participating English Setter breeders have a “Our Setters” page.  Each site also has dog photos and descriptions.  You can also find photo galleries and/or videos. Most importantly, participating breeders provide a synopsis of their breeding practices, experience, and results.

Available Dogs & Services

Setters Unlimited participants offer English Setter puppies for sale. S/U is also a great resource if you are looking for a started english setter for sale or finished dogs. You can also find stud dogs and services such as training or guide services. Keep in mind, all of the participating breeders have experience shipping English Setter puppies all across the country.  Therefore, you need not limit your search to a specific geography.

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English Setter Breeders

Setters Unlimited was established to help Setter enthusiasts find the top English Setter breeders.  Litters posted here represent some of the finest English Setter puppies for sale across the US.  Over the years we added Gordon Setter breeders and specialty type English Setters.  For example, Llewellen Setter breeders are now represented.  Breeder participation is by invite only. Participating Breeders were chosen based on years of experience, breeding practices, results, and reputation. We can’t guarantee the results of any litter.  However, the English Setter puppies for sale on Setters Unlimited are the product of breeding practices that typically produce superior results.

Content

The individual sites have numerous photos and some of the participants provide videos as well. Setters Unlimited is a great resource to learn about the different types of Setters and breeding programs. All of the participating English Setter breeders Have a “Our Setters” page.  Each site has dog photos and descriptions and most also have photo galleries and/or videos. You will also find pages describing breeding practices, experience, and results.

Available Dogs & Services

Setters Unlimited participants offer English Setter litters for sale, Gordon Setters, started dogs, and occasionally finished dogs. Some of the breeders also provide stud dogs and services such as training or guide services. All of the participating breeders ship puppies all across the country.  Therefore, you need not limit your search to a specific geography.

Breeder Criteria

All S/U breeders have at least 15 years of experience.  They have also built a lifestyle around dogs.  This is important because years of experience is not necessarily indicative of ability in this case.  Dedicated breeders immerse themselves in many aspects of hunting dogs.  They associate with many trialers, hunters, and other breeders.  This experience and these relationships provie an education into breeding hunting dogs. It’s also hard to demonstrate a consistent ability to produce great hunting dogs in a few years. There are many ways by which to demonstrate results. Some are more formal and we looked for breeders with a track record of success in recognized formats. For example FDSB or AKC trials, NSTRA and NAVDA. However, this was not a hard requirement.

Next, we looked for English Setter breeders with exceptional breeding practices as opposed to breeders who produce a specific type of dog. The goal was to find discerning breeders as opposed breeders who all produced the same type of dog. Consequently, you will find different types of dogs among the English Setter breeders participating on S/U. Here is what we looked for when inviting breeders to S/U.

Good Setter breeders will ...

Ask you several questions about your preference, lifestyle, family situation, and specifics about how and where you hunt. Good English Setter breeders want to make sure there is a good fit. Different types of hunting demand slightly different attributes in a pointing dog. For example, grouse dogs must be exceptional at handling game. Grouse dogs also need to be extremely agile to get through the woods efficiently and without being injured. Of course, they should also make sure their dogs are a good fit for your family situation.

Be happy to provide references. The best English Setter breeders are happy to provide references. They know their clients are extremely happy. Perhaps the best measure of a breeding program is to get references on culls. In other words, get references from the people who bought started dogs. If those owners provide a very positive or better yet great reports it would be a good indication of the breeding stock being retained is exceptional. Ask for a list of people that have bought started dogs in the past 10 years. The breeder should not offer contact information for every one of them. Just ask them to provide names. Then, pick 3-4 random names and call those people. This avoids the breeder picking a couple names they know are the most satisfied. This is also a good way to verify the relative degree of selectivity discussed in the previous section.

Provide help and guidance with hunting development. A little guidance from the breeder can be very helpful if you have not developed numerous English Setters. Even if you have, the breeder should have insight that will help you to get the most out of your new English Setter puppy. Ask the breeder how they feel about you calling for advice.  Their response should be they want to take that call because they want the best result for you and the dog. The best English Setter breeders know the ancestry of their dogs. Understand the specific traits and tendencies in the ancestry is generally valuable.  That knowledge helps to understand what to loo for and how to handle various aspects of the development / training process.

Good Setter breeders have ...

Extensive knowledge of the breed. Producing exceptional pointing dogs requires considerable knowledge of their ancestry. Each line has different strengths and weaknesses. Two nationally known studs might produce considerably different traits. Quite often, great individuals don’t produce as well as other great individuals. Acquiring this knowledge requires an enormous amount of exposure to other dogs.

Generally speaking, that breeders that compete or have competed have more exposure than most. Competition also forces a more unbiased evaluation of our dogs. Another common trait among the best breeders is that they communicate and even collaborate with other English Setter breeders. Ask breeders about their practices where these things are concerned.

Many Years of Experience. The type of knowledge described above is cumulative.  Therefore, experience is a good indicator when searching for an English Setter breeder. Anyone can put two dogs together and presume to get great results. Understanding pointing dog performance is something that evolves over time and exposure to great dogs. Of course, learning how to retain or improve innate ability is even more difficult. Ask questions that provide a general sense of the breeder’s knowledge and experience.

Replacement /return policies. Some states even have Pet Lemon Laws. The breeder should be willing to replace your English Setter puppy has a serious genetic flaw. Good English Setter breeders should also pay for vet bills if the animal becomes sick soon after coming to your home. In addition, if you are not able to keep your pet, a good English Setter breeder will gladly take the pet back or help you find a new owner.

Click on these links to read read about how to identify the best breeders from some other sources.

CBS New – How to tell a good breeder 

Pet MD – How to choose a dog breeder

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