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Llewellin Setter Breed History

The most common question regarding the Llewellin Setter: So what exactly is a Llewellin Setter? My short answer: It's a very specific, pure strain (there are proponents of a separate breed designation for the Llewellin) of English Setter with bloodlines tracing back to the breeding program of nineteenth century sportsman R. L. Purcell Llewellin (ca. 1860s).

Llewellins are bred to foot hunt upland gamebirds (they are not bred for field trialing). Traits: Intelligent, strong natural abilities, a desire to please, willingness to work for the gun and a companionable disposition. You can make a pet of these dogs and you won't have a bit of trouble with them in the field. Their disposition contributes to the dog's easy handling. Truly, their sense of smell is the most important factor in their breeding. Their single-minded ability to find gamebirds is as good today as it was over one hundred years ago. Common Llewellin bloodlines include Dashing Bondhu, Wind'em, Machad Ambassador, Advie, Clonclurragh, and Blizzard.

Today, only the Field Dog Stud Book (FDSB) of Chicago recognizes Llewellins those English Setters whose ancestry traces back to the original "Duke-Rhoebe-Laverack Cross" by Llewellin. Hence, all Llewellins are currently registered via the FDSB. Although some do breed English to Llewellin, in such cases, the litter must be registered as English Setter with the FDSB and NOT Llewellin. Any such outcrossing of Llewellin lines disqualifies the resulting litters registration as Llewellin with the FDSB.

There are currently several strains of field type English Setters in the U.S. However, it should be noted that not all field type English Setters are Llewellin, and the generic use of the term 'Llewellin' to describe all field type English Setters should be avoided.

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