The English Setter is a breed of dog that is simply happy to be wherever its owner is. While they can cope with apartment living as long as they are exercised daily, the Setter is much better off in environments that allow them plenty of opportunity to roam freely. The English Setter is anything but enthusiastic when it comes to crating or extensive kenneling; this makes a secure, fenced in area that affords plenty of room the best way to keep them healthy, both mentally and physically. Unsurprisingly, their strong hunting instinct will always have them yielding to the urge to follow their nose and investigate. The English Setter is always happy to go for long meandering walks and is even found proficiently competing in agility competitions.
To be truly content, the English Setter will need an environment that will foster not only physical but mental stimulation as well. The owner who expects to be able to leave their Setter for long periods of time is likely to find him or herself dealing with the destructive end of separation anxiety issues. Those who have careers or the type lifestyle that makes room for a canine companion would do well to opt for the English Setter. Their mellow temperament makes them accepting of new environments, people and even other animals. With an owner that respects the breed's intelligence and need to be included a strong, healthy and memorable bond can be created.
The English Setter is also a good family dog, even for those with the youngest of children. They are more than able to handle the high energy level that naturally comes with kids, as well as the liveliness of everyday family life. In fact, the Setter is likely to be found right in the middle of wherever the action is. It should also be noted, however, that the English Setter is a sensitive animal that will not do well in homes where tension or the slamming of doors is commonplace. This type of environment can make for an insecure Setter who communicates its unease with destructive behaviors such as digging or excessive barking.
Though it is not a requirement of an owner to hunt, there is nothing that makes an English Setter happier than a chance to get out in the field. The dog has been masterfully bred over hundreds of years for this exact purpose. Any chance to put their natural instincts to use will not only make them content but also keep them in top form. Hunting is an activity that combines all of the English Setter's essential needs, such as physical and mental stimulation plus interaction with its owner, all into one. In addition, the breed very much enjoys taking on the challenge of training for field trials.