Llewellin Setter

Height: 18-24 inches
Weight: 35-65 pounds
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Colors: Blue Belton, Orange Belton, Lemon Belton, Chestnut Belton, Liver Belton, Tricolor
Suitable for: Active families, outdoor enthusiasts, hunters, families with active children
Not Suitable for: Apartment living, city life, sedentary lifestyles, inexperienced dog handlers
Temperament: Focused, active, playful, social, sensitive, mild-mannered (as an adult), intelligent, alert

English Setters are a popular type of Setter, but there’s a specific bloodline that stands out from the rest: Llewellin Setters. Bred solely off of their abilities in the field while on hunts, Llewellin Setters are highly intelligent and reliable gun dogs. Though some argue that they’re their own breed, they are DNA-tested to uphold their Llewellin Setter status. Sensitive and affectionate, Llewellin Setters can be great for families that enjoy being outside. Let’s take a closer look at Llewellin Setters, their characteristics, and how to care for them:

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Llewellin Setter Puppies – Before You Buy…


What’s the Price of Llewellin Setter Puppies?

Llewellin Setters are purebred English Setter dogs with premium lineage, so their price range can be higher than other English Setters. Llewellin Setters have a price range of around $1,000 to 4,000, with an average of around $1,800. Llewellin Setters must come with the proper documentation that can prove they are from the Llewellin lineage, so it’s crucial to find a professional Llewellin Setter breeder.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Llewellin Setters

1. Llewellin Setters are always purebred English Setters.

Although not all English Setters are Llewellin, all Llewellin Setters are English Setters. Llewellin Setters are English Setters with bloodlines coming from two specific dogs by the breeder, R. Purcell Llewellin. Llewellin Setters have been selectively bred not by physical characteristics but solely based on field performance, which makes it impossible to distinguish by mere appearance alone.

2. Llewellin Setters are companionable hunting dogs.

Llewellin Setters are notably in tune with the hunters, making them more reliable in the field. Tend to stick closer to the hunter when in the field compared to English Setters of other bloodlines. Although bred for hunting purposes, they will seek out human companionship and enjoy spending time with their handlers. They can be great family pets and are friendly with most people.

3. Llewellin Setters are based on Laverack Setters.

Llewellin Setters may be popular as a bloodline, but they are based on the hunting abilities of the Laverack Setters. Edward Laverack was an English Setter breeder that inspired breeding Setters based on their field workability. Some Setters still come from Laverack’s dogs, often called Laverack Setters.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Llewellin Setters

Llewellin Setters are similar in temperament and intelligence to English Setters, but there are slight differences that separate the two. Llewellin Setters have been selectively bred for hunting and field skills, so they’re going to act and behave differently than companion English Setters. However, they’re both friendly towards people and are somewhat inactive indoors. Llewellin Setters are said to be calmer than English Setters, which is probably due to the selective breeding. This makes them more trainable and reliable as a gun dog, which is comparatively different than English Setters.

Llewellin Setters and English Setters are playful and energetic dogs that enjoy being around people, making them a popular choice for families with children. They are affectionate companions that need daily human interaction, especially for Llewellin Setters. These gun dogs do well with people that have active lifestyles and rural, spacious land to roam. They’re trainable and eager to learn, but they can sense weakness in new dog handlers.

Because of their well-mannered temperaments, Llewellin and English Setters can make excellent service or therapy dogs. While their daily exercise needs may be difficult for some, their affectionate and loving personalities can bring a healing touch to those in need. They’re friendly and polite with strangers, which is crucial for any service or therapy dog. Llewellin and English Setters are highly intelligent, so they’ll also be able to learn more than basic obedience for service work.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Yes, they can be excellent family pets. Llewellin Setters are active dogs, however, and will need ample exercise to stay content. While they’re mild-mannered and nonaggressive, Llewellin Setters will test their boundaries with an inexperienced dog handler. If your family spends a lot of time hiking and being outdoors, Llewellin Setters can be the ideal family dog.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Yes! Llewellin Setters are social and amiable dogs with other pets, even with cats and smaller animals. They do best when they’re raised with the other pets rather than entering an established home, but they’re rarely dog or animal aggressive. As long as your Llewellin Setter is socialized early, there shouldn’t be any issues with other pets in the home.

Llewellin Setter
Image Credit: Ginger Livingston Sanders, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Llewellin Setter:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Llewellin Setters are working dogs that need diets to support their activity levels, which can be hard to find. Their diets should have at least 25% crude animal protein with multiple sources of fats and carbohydrates. We recommend a dry dog kibble that is fortified for large breeds or working dogs that contains vital nutrients in each portion.

Exercise 🐕

Llewellin Setters are active dogs when they’re outdoors, so they must be given plenty of time each day for exercise. They especially enjoy running and roaming around off-leash, which is essential for their wellbeing. At a minimum, a few long walks a day and at least a couple hours of off-leash running in an enclosed area are recommended. However, this may not be enough for your Llewellin Setter each day.

Since they’re agile and athletic dogs, Llewellin Setters are great candidates for competitive canine sports. Consider taking up agility or field trials to keep your Llewellin active and busy, while also establishing a close bond. They’re excellent swimmers as well, so sports like dock jumping is another great option. These dogs are eager for a challenge and will excel if they’re given the chance to.

Training 🎾

Training Llewellin Setters should not be a big challenge, but they’re still hard to work with due to their energy levels. These dogs are eager to please and can pick up basic obedience easily, so it will come down to consistency and repetition. Llewellin Setters are sensitive just like English Setters, so it’s best to avoid harsh tones when asking them to do something. If you’ve never owned a dog before or have never trained a Setter to be a gun dog, we recommend hiring a professional dog trainer that specializes in Setters.

Training your Llewellin Setter puppy should start immediately to establish boundaries. These dogs will sense weakness if you’re not firm and consistent with your training, so it’s crucial to start obedience training as soon as your puppy is home. Consider taking your puppy to group obedience classes for basic obedience and a chance to socialize with people and other dogs. Since Setters are quite smart, your Llewellin will quickly pick up basic obedience commands.

Llwellin Setter running
Image Credit: Ryan Alexnder, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Llewellin Setters have long, silky, feathery coats that will need moderate grooming. They should be brushed out and combed at least every other day to remove mats and tangles. We recommend getting a set of brushes to keep their coats healthy and free from snarls. Trimming the coat will also need to be done once a month for upkeep. In addition to brushing, the occasional bath will be needed for more difficult snarls. Lastly, their nails need to be trimmed at least once every 4 weeks, or on an as-needed basis.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Llewellin and English Setters are large dogs, so they’re more prone to serious health conditions. In addition to their size, Llewellin Setters have been bred solely by performance and not truly by genetics, which can make them even more susceptible to serious health problems. Planning ahead financially for your Llewellin’s future is crucial as some of their health conditions can be incredibly expensive. Pet insurance may be a necessity for this breed, but it’s not a requirement to own a dog. Here are the most common conditions that Llewellin Setters are prone to:

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Digestive Issues
  • Skin Allergies
  • Food Allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Epilepsy
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Deafness
  • Hypothyroidism

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Male vs Female

Llewellin Setters are similar in training and temperament, regardless of whether they’re male or female. However, there is a sizable difference between the two, with males weighing 10+ pounds more than females. Aside from their size, the choice of female or male is a personal one. It’s more important to pick a healthy puppy rather than based off of gender.

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Final Thoughts

Llewellin Setters are one of the purest lines of English Setters, known for their fieldwork and friendly demeanors. They’re active dogs with lots of energy, but they tend to calm down once indoors. Llewellin Setters are an excellent choice for a family dog since they enjoy spending time with people and can play with kids for hours. These happy dogs do well with active lifestyles where they can run around or go hiking deep in the woods, so they’re not suitable for apartment or city living. Although they’re relatively easy to train, they can be a handful for people new to the breed. However, if they’re given the time to exercise and learn, Llewellin Setters can easily become a great companion and household pet.

Featured Image Credit: Ginger Livingston Sanders, Shutterstock