English setter, breed of large sporting dog developed over hundreds of years in England. It stands about 25 in. (63.5 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs about 60 lb (27.2 kg). Its flat or slightly wavy coat of medium-length, silky hair forms fringes of longer hair, or feathers, on the dog's underside, ears, chest, legs, and tail. Its coat may be colored black, tan, and white; combinations of lemon, liver, orange, blue, or black with white; and solid white. A coloration composed of white flecked with another color is called belton. Although setters were originally trained to crouch down, or set, in front of game to allow the hunter to capture it with a net, the increasing popularity of shooting game birds on the wing led to the training of setters to point. They are so trained today. See dog.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.