English Setter

How Much Exercise Does An English Setter Need?

In Sporty Dog Tips by ToddLeave a Comment

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English Setters are graceful, intelligent dogs noted for their silky, feathered coat and beautiful markings.

They are beloved for their gentle, affectionate nature and being especially good with children.

English Setters – like other members of the Setter family – were bred to hunt. They have a nose for birds and love being outside, running and working through the fields and woods. For a Setter, there’s no better day than one spent running afield.

But it’s not necessary to hunt with an English Setter to have an active and happy dog.

English Setters are eager to please and make great family pets – as long as they get plenty of exercise.


How Much Exercise Does An English Setter Need?

English Setters will thrive in an energetic family environment that provides the physical and mental stimulation the breed requires.

Because they are very active dogs, English Setters do best in a home setting with a yard big enough to roam. They are not well suited for apartment living or being stuck in a kennel for hours on end.

Just like with people, regular exercise can help stave off a number of issues with an English Setter. Inactivity often leads to weight gain, boredom and possible destructive behaviors.

An hour of exercise each day, broken into two, 30-minute segments will be sufficient for most individual dogs. English Setters benefit most from vigorous activity, so off-leash exercise is the best.

Here are some ways to make sure your Setter gets the exercise he or she craves. Mixing things up will keep your dog entertained, engaged and happy.

How Much Exercise Does An English Setter Need

Daily Walk

A brisk 30-minute walk everyday is a great way to keep your English Setter active and alert. It’s also an excellent way to train your dog to heel and form a deep and lasting bond. The faster you can walk, the better.


Hiking can be a gentle activity or as strenuous as you make it. Setters love being outdoors and keying in on the numerous sensations around them. Find a trail that offers some degree of rise and fall in elevation to give you and your dog a good workout. The more difficult, the better.


If you’re a jogger, an English Setter makes a fine running partner. But make sure your dog is trained to heel before you start any running routine. You want to run “with” your dog, not run “after” your dog!

A 20 – to 30-minute jog will go a long way to work off your dog’s energy. Running on grass or other soft surfaces is preferable to running on pavement because it’s easier on your dog’s paws and joints.

Regardless of where you run, always check your dog’s feet before and after to ensure their are no cuts or abrasions.


Canicross offers the best of both worlds for exercising you and your English Setter.  This combination of cross-country running and mushing gets you out in the fields and woods, where Setters thrive, and lets your dog run in front of you, while safely tethered to a jogging harness.


Because they are natural athletes, English Setters make great agility dogs. Set up a simple agility course in the backyard and start with the basics. Teach your dog to weave through poles, jump a hurdle and duck through a tunnel. From there, you can work on speed and increase repetitions as your dog gains more confidence.

Watch how skillfully these English Setters navigate through different agility courses.


A spirited game of fetch with a dog-safe ball is a great way to work off your English Setter’s energy. If you have a fenced-in yard to throw a ball or other retrieve toy, then all the better.

Jump In A Lake

English Setters are strong swimmers and enjoy playing in and around the water. A lake with a safe beach and/or dock access makes a great jumping-off point for your dog. You can also bring along a floating retrieve toy to toss into the water to keep your dog engaged.

Visit a Dog Park

English Setters usually get along great with other dogs, which makes dog parks terrific places to let them run off leash. They get to romp, play and socialize with other canines. You get to meet and hang out with others who love dogs as much as you. It’s a win-win for you and your pooch. Dog parks are also great for those with limited mobility or yard space.


The bones and joints of young English Setters can take up to two years to mature. Therefore, the American Kennel Club advises limiting strenuous and high-impact exercise with puppies and younger dogs.

Also, be sure to always have plenty of clean drinking water on hand for your dog no matter what the exercise.


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