The English Setter is one of the oldest breeds of gun dogs whose history goes back to the 14th century. One of the first recorded breeders was Mr. Edward Laverack, whose pedigrees go back to mid 1800, two decades before the Kennel Club was founded.
M. Purcell Llewellin, another early breed enthousiast purchased Laverack's original stock and developed his own type of Setter experimenting with outcrosses. Although both types were developed from the same original Laverack stock, differences in type have led to two different Setters, a show-type Setter and a field-type Setter. The Llewellin setter is considered a separate breed in the United States.
The most important cross in the development of the Llewellin Setter was the Duke/Rhoebe outcross, which added boldness, stamina and pointing instinct not previously common in this breed. To be considered a Llewellin Setter according to the Field Dog Stud Book dogs have to be exclusively Duke/Rhoebe-Laverack, with the exclusion of any other blood.
The coat should be long, silky and slightly wavy. Specimens that are evenly flecked all over are preferred over those with heavy patches of colors.
Photo: Callalloo Twisty
One of the most appealing aspects of the breed is the variety of speckled coat patterns, referred to as 'belton'. Coat colors include blue belton (white and black), orange belton (white and orange) or liver belton (white and liver). White with orange flecks and a lighter nose is referred to as lemon belton. Tricolored setters are blue or liver belton with tan markings on the face, chest and legs. See also: bluetick dogs. 'Belton' refers to the ticking or roaning of the coat and was coined by Laverack from the name of a village in Northumberland, one of the places where he went hunting.
Photo: Steve Tugwell
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