English setters, originally trained as elite bird dogs in the United Kingdom, combine the best qualities of spaniels and pointers. After silently tracking down prey with their excellent sense of smell, setters crouch down and wait for the hunter's approach rather than flushing the birds out of hiding.
Like all good hunting dogs, English setters can be trained easily and have lots of energy. Their well-muscled legs carry them quickly and effortlessly across the terrain, and they don't tire easily. Hunting is the perfect way to entertain their enthusiasm and intelligence; without it, the dogs need another comparable outlet such as frequent walks or playtime spent in a large, fenced yard.
The medium-sized English setters, as well as the closely related Gordon and Irish varieties, are always well-represented at a number of hunting field trials.