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Setters and Pointers

irish red setterSetters and Pointers are typically grouped together. They provide the same function but just go about it differently. Both types locate the prey and alert their owners to it either by sitting near it or standing rigidly near it.

A setter silently searches for game by scent. When prey is encountered the dog freezes rather than chasing after the game. Setters get their name from their distinctive stance; a sort of crouch or "set" upon finding their quarry.

The oldest setter known today, the English Setter is likely descended from crossbreeding between the Spanish Pointer, Springer Spaniel, and other water spaniels. The English Setter has been used as a hunting dog for a very long time, perhaps as far back as the 13th century.

The Irish Red and White Setter is another very ancient breed, native of Ireland, it's origins going back to the Spanish Pointer, to the days of the Tudors, if oil paintings of the time are to be believed.

Like many breeds, the history of the Pointer is not entirely clear. The name pointer comes from the dog's instinct to point, by stopping and aiming its muzzle towards game. This demonstrates to the hunter the location of his or her quarry.

In the past they were sometimes used in combination with a retriever, to point out game for the hunter. Pointers were also used as falconer's dogs. As early as the 17th century, sportsmen used Pointers to locate hares and then employed Greyhounds to chase them.