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The Setter is a type of gundog used most often for hunting game such as quail, pheasant, and grouse. A setter silently searches for game by scent. When prey is encountered the dog's behavior defies nature, and the dog freezes rather than chases after the game. Setters get their name from their distinctive stance; a sort of crouch or "set" upon finding their quarry. Most setters are born with a natural proclivity to hunting. Dogs which show excitement and interest in birds are described as being "birdy", and trainers look for puppies that show this particular trait. Training is usually done with domesticated pigeons.
The ancestors of modern setters probably originated in Spain in the 1500s and evolved from spaniels. Later these dogs were exported to France and England where the breeds were developed into today's varieties.
Most setter breeds have long, silky coats that require maintenance. Setters have a tendency to be happy, playful dogs and are usually very friendly both to people and other dogs. They have a great deal of energy and require daily exercise.
Setters include the following breeds:
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