DIET Dogs like and are able to digest some foods better than others, so one has to start by offering a balanced diet. When you bought your puppy from the breeder you should have received a diet sheet similar to the one listed below:

Breakfast 1/2 pint of full cream milk with cereal (Weetabix, cornflakes, etc try a few) or 3 eggs scrambled or 1/2 pint of rice pudding.

Lunch 3/4 to 1 lb of meat or tripe and whole meal biscuits (Soak biscuits to help digestion in small pups).

Tea-time as for lunch.

Supper time 1/2 pint of milk with raw egg beaten in and a few dry biscuits.

I have kept to this with a few adjustments and find it most successful with English Setters, but as we know there is always one! (Ed)

VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS You should give a puppy a good quality vitamin supplement every day such as STRESS at the recommended dosage (available from your Vet). Calcium for good bone growth is also recommended or Bone Meal.

NEVER give bones that splinter - a marrow bone is fine. ALWAYS have fresh water available. DO NOT let your puppy eat stones.

English Setters are not a 'greedy' breed. Encouragement may be needed to ensure sufficient food is eaten. Do not work on the assumption - it will eat when it is hungry. This will not promote good eating habits which are essential for growth and future well being. A large dog will eat more than a small puppy bitch. For the first few days, whilst settling into its new home, your puppy may not eat the full amount stated on the diet sheet but you should always offer the full amount at every meal.

Give enough food to keep your setter well covered, in good muscular condition, with a shiny coat and healthy skin. Your diet sheet may recommend that you feed four times a day but after a few weeks you may find that three meals are all that he requires.

From six months to one year he should have two meals a day and some people prefer to maintain this regime throughout the Setters adult life.

Once the permanent teeth are through, large dog biscuits can be given for chewing, but only really large uncooked beef bones for gnawing at. Never feed cold food straight from the freezer. Small pieces of cheese or liver are invaluable aids as a reward when training and most Setters love a piece of raw carrot or an apple to chew.

INOCULATIONS Follow the vaccination programme as recommended by your Vet.

UPSET TUMMY If your puppy appears healthy and lively but experiences an upset tummy where the bowel motion is loose try the following remedies.

Arrowroot mixed with egg white or arrowroot with his food. Stop all milk for 24 hours and put on a light diet of rice with chicken or fish. Kaolin & Morphine 2ml X 2 daily.

Live Yoghurt. Should your puppy appear hot and under the weather or there is blood in his motion consult your Vet. Puppies are very vulnerable.

WORMING Your puppy has been wormed and now requires worming every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old. Thereafter every 4 to 6 months but your Vet will advise you. Again worming preparations obtained from your Vet are preferred as they are gentler on the dogs system than pet shop preparations.

EXERCISE Until vaccinations have been completed your puppy will get all the exercise needed playing at home, fetching sticks or playing with a ball, make sure that the sticks and ball are large enough not to be swallowed . Exercise regularly in moderation and do not overtire. Start with just a few yards, going a little further each day. The same applies to car journeys when you eventually take him to a field or park for a run, so that he associates the journey with something pleasant. This will help to overcome any tendency to dribble or be car sick . From about five months onwards, road walking with a certain amount of free running in an enclosed grass or scrub area is the ideal way to develop a firm muscled dog. However it should be stressed that on no account should any dog whatever its age be taken on a roadway without a collar and lead. Choose a regular route to begin with, whistling occasionally to 'come' for a reward.

Finally decide on a place which marks the lead putting on time at the end of a run, giving praise as usual even if you have had to shout 'come' more than you really thought necessary.

Eventually will come the day that 'rebellion' will set in and he decides that 'come' does not apply to him , he has more important things to do. DO NOT lose your temper, shout or chase after him. Sometimes if you crouch down and whistle he will come trotting up quite happily, if not walk away in another direction, then whistle and wait for him to come. NEVER punish him when he decides not to come back as he will think that punishment is a reward for returning.

Remember that Setters are fond of water and muddy places and will often come back wet and muddy. Always wash mud away from under the chest, stomach and back legs and between the toes and rub with a dry towel. If a bath is required then keep the insides of the ear flaps as dry as possible.

Build up exercise gradually, over-exercise can have an adverse effect in the long term.

 HOUSE TRAINING Your puppy will not be in complete control until 6 months of age, although some may be 'clean' before this age. Always try to put the puppy outside soon after it wakes and always after eating a meal. Stay with the puppy to see its movements are firm (an indication it is in good health). If you have problems getting your puppy clean do not leave food or water down overnight and if possible confine your puppy to its bed.

TRIMMING Regular light trimming around feet and between toes will be more comfortable for your dog and less dirt will be carried into your home.

NAILS Nails should be cut in accordance with puppy growth rate which will differ depending on whether or not your puppy is exercised on grass or hard surfaces.

Use suitable nail clippers and take great care not to cut the quick. Your Vet can also provide this service.

If your puppy's nails grow too long and pointed, the tips will have to be cut off carefully with nail clipper, so that the nails can wear down naturally and allow the feet and pasterns to develop correctly. If when cutting your dogs nails your are unfortunate to cut the quick making it bleed, baby powder or even flour can be used to cover the nail and stop the bleeding. Better still always keep a tin of Sterzac powder in your medicine chest.

When your Setter puppy requires trimming, when feet and ears look untidy, ask the breeder of your puppy to put you in touch with a local owner who is experienced with trimming Setters.

 EARS Keep a weekly check on ears, gently wipe inside with cotton wool moistened with surgical spirit. For an ear infection use ear drops available from your Pet Shop, however should problems persist the consult your Vet. Never push anything down inside your dogs ears as they are very delicate organs and can be easily damaged.

EYES Eyes can be cleaned with cotton wool moistened with Optrex.

TEETH Teeth can be cleaned with a toothbrush and smokers toothpaste or toothpaste available from your Vet.

Finally your puppy enjoys your company and needs your love and care for its social adjustment. Treat your puppy as one of the family and all will be well.


Setters coats can vary in thickness and length but all types benefit from good food and exercise in the fresh air (sun and rain) enhanced by brushing and combing. A bristle brush is best and a metal comb with long fine teeth so that when combing with the thumb pressed against the back of the comb all the dead hair can be combed out, especially the areas behind and under the ears, down the neck and chest, under the forearm and the legs and tail feathering, thus avoiding the necessity of cutting out matted tangles after years of growth.

Similarly, the thick hair between the toes should be kept trimmed out, otherwise mud, seeds and matting can accumulate and cause cysts between the toes. Under the foot the hair should be cut level with the pads and care taken to ensure that knots do not form in the hair between the pads.