This section is from the book "All About Dogs - A Book For Doggy People", by Charles Henry Lane. Also available from Amazon: All About Dogs: A Book For Doggy People.
The elegant family known by the above title, are divided into three branches, called respectively English,Gordon and Irish; each have their body of supporters, and many very beautiful specimens of them all are to be seen at out best shows. Perhaps Birmingham lays itself out most for the sporting dog classes, but now, when there are so many large exhibitions held in various parts of the United Kingdom, the same dogs are more often seen at the various places. The following descriptions of each of the three branches of the family, are taken from notes communicated by a well known gentleman in the doggy world, to a work on dogs published some seventy-five years since. "The head of the English Setter should not be so heavy as the Pointer's, nor so wide across the ears. There should be at least four inches from the inner corner of the eye to the point of the nose. In many first class dogs, there is half an inch more. The nasal bone should be rather depressed in the centre and slightly raised at the nostrils. The nose and nostrils large, the nose dark liver coloured or black, moist and shining.
The jaws should be level and the teeth exactly level in front, as nothing detracts more from appearance than the 'snipe nose.' There should not be that fullness of lip, allowable in the Pointer, but, at the angles of the mouth, the lips should be rather pendulous. The ears, which are usually about six inches in length, should be set low on the head, larger where they are attached, than at the tips, which should be round, not pointed. They should never be pricked, or carried forward, even when the dog points. The eyes should be large and sparkling, not protruding, as in the King Charles Spaniel, but well set and full of intelligence. The neck, long, thin, slightly arched at crest, and clean cut where it joins the head, this last a most important point. The shoulders should be well set back, the blades long, the muscles well-developed throughout. Ribs not so widely sprung as the Pointer's. The back ribs deep and fairly near to the hip bone. The chest deep and moderately wide. The loins broad and arched slightly and the hips wide. The hind quarters square, strongly made and the stifles well bent.
Catlike feet are preferable to the 'hare' or 'spoon ' foot The round foot, with toes well arched, distributes the power of the toes more evenly, and is best suited for every description of shooting ground, in fact, the Foxhound foot, and leg with it. The feet should be straight, neither turned in or out. The toes should be well furnished with hair, which, in the best breeds, forms a tuft between the toes and protects the sole, being replenished as fast as it wears away. The pasterns should be nearly upright and large, knees large, forelegs upright, and in a standing position, the legs should be like good forelegs in a Horse, the feet slightly in advance of straight, the hocks strong, set a little in, if any deviation from a straight line. The stern of a Setter, like that of a Spaniel, should be carried as much as possible in a line with the backbone. The undulating sweep upwards, if exaggerated, would become a serious fault. A Setter's stern cannot well be too straight, and it should never be too long or it cannot be carried handsomely. The stern looks better when the 'feather' commences near the root of the tail and goes off gradually to nothing at the tip. A tail blunt, or clubbed, is very objectionable.
The coat should be of the finest silky texture, moderately waved, but devoid of curl. There may be an inclination in the coat to part down the back. Colours in order of merit: I. Blue mottle, or Belton greys, which stand work and are better than; 2. Orange and white and lemon and white; 3. black and white; 4. pure white; 5. pure black; 6. fawn or yellow; 7. liver colour or liver and white, which last too often indicates a cross with the Pointer or Water Spaniel.
ENGLISH SETTER, CH."ROCK". J. FLETCHER .OWNER .