What does an English Setter Cost?


What does an English Setter Cost?

English Setters might be a rarer dog breed, but they are typically also in very low demand. These factors often lead to a lower price tag. In the United States, these dogs often cost around $1,000 when purchased from a registered, high-quality breeder. 

However, you can find some as cheap as $600. They usually stay well under $1,500 – even for the best, pedigreed dogs. 

Despite their lower price tag, it is important to remember that these dogs are larger. Therefore, their upkeep each year is going to be more. They simply eat more food and usually end up with higher vet bills. 

During their first year, you can expect to spend about $3,500 on your new puppy – not counting the price of the actual puppy. These young dogs simply need more vet care than the average adult, and you’ll need to make a lot of one-time purchases upon bringing your puppy home. After that, the price falls to about $1,500

A key part of responsible dog ownership is budgeting correctly for the dog. In this article, we’ll help you do just that.

Table of Contents

How much is an English Setter?

Above, we gave the average price of an English Setter to be between $600 and $1,500. However, this assumes that you’re purchasing from a breeder. 

Where you purchase your dog matters – in terms of both price and quality. While you can find cheaper dogs elsewhere, it is important to remember that you get what you pay for. 

Getting a puppy from Craigslist

Craigslist is a popular place for unregistered backyard breeders and puppy mills to sell their puppies. The problem with these sources is that the puppies are typically cheaper for a reason. 

While most backyard breeders mean well, they typically don’t know a lot about raising puppies. In many cases, they don’t perform the proper health testing and may not take their puppies to receive the proper vet care. The puppies may not be socialized correctly, which can lead to problems down the road with behavioral issues. 

Puppy mills typically focus on the number of puppies they produce. Therefore, they often take many shortcuts to produce puppies cheaply in a short amount of time. Many of their dogs are overbred, and puppies may be removed from their mother early to allow her to be bred again. 

These places are often not very clean, and the puppies are usually kept outside in kennels. They are not socialized indoors at all and may not adapt well to home.

three english setters sitting

Getting a puppy from a rescue

It is nearly impossible to find an English Setter at an animal shelter in the USA. They are simply not popular enough. 

You may be able to check breed-specific rescues. But these are few and far between. They typically only carry adult dogs and usually not very many at that. These canines are simply too rare for accidental litters to occur with much frequency. This leads to very few puppies ending up at animal shelters and rescues. 

If you do happen to find a rescue dog, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $300. These costs often go to cover the pet’s care while it was at the shelter.

Getting a puppy from a breeder

Choosing a puppy from a breeder is often the most expensive option. However, there are a few reasons for this. 

Many breeders health test their dogs before breeding. This testing ensures that the dogs aren’t carrying any genetic issues that can be passed onto the puppies. Many of these diseases may not show symptoms until the dog is older, so testing is essential before the dogs are bred. Otherwise, the puppies could end up with the exact same conditions. 

On top of this, breeders typically get their puppies plenty of vet care after they are born. This often involves taking them to the vet and getting their first vaccinations. This lowers your first-year vet costs, as you’ll need to pay for fewer vet visits and vaccinations. 

The large majority of breeders provide plenty of socialization for their puppies. They are often raised in the home and exposed to many different people at a young age. This reduces the chance that they’ll be fearful later in life and prevents behavioral problems. Some puppies even come with basic training, which will, in turn, lower your training costs.

puppy english setter on the white background

Cost of health test

One of the main reasons dogs from breeders are more expensive is because of health testing. All dogs should be health tested before they are bred, but professional breeders are usually the only ones that listen to these guidelines. 

These tests can add up, and the costs usually get tacked on to the price tag of the puppies.  

Like most large dogs, hip dysplasia is the most important health condition that these dogs should be tested for. This testing involves taking x-rays of both hips to check for alignment. This is often decently expensive, ranging from $100 to $400 in most cases. Dogs needing sedation will cost more. 

Elbow dysplasia should be checked as well. Like hip dysplasia, x-rays are required for this condition as well. If done at the same time as the hips, this testing can cost around $100 to $200. 

Progressive retinal atrophy should also be tested for. Because signs may not occur until the dog is older, annual testing is often recommended. The cost for this testing is usually around $50, though it can be more expensive in some places.

Annual costs of owning an English Setter

The annual costs for this breed are what you’d expect from a dog of their size. You can expect to pay about $3,500 for the first year. This includes all the puppy’s vet care, as well as one-time purchases for your dog, like a dog bed and crate. All these costs add up and make the first year quite expensive. 

After that, the cost will lower to $1,500. Your major expenses will come from vet care, especially as your dog ages. 

Vet expenses

No matter their age, you’ll likely pay about $650 in vet expenses for an English Setter. Puppies have to visit the vet more often and receive more vaccinations. However, as the dog gets larger, vet expenses will rise. You’ll need higher dosages of medication, for instance, as the dog is larger. 

You should plan on taking a puppy to the vet about three times during their first year. This will allow them to receive all of their puppy vaccinations, which need to be spread out over a series of months. Some breeders take care of the first visit for you, which will cut your costs substantially. However, this usually raises the price of the puppy. 

For older dogs, your main costs are going to come from flea, tick, and heartworm prevention. They will need one visit to the vet a year for booster vaccinations and an exam.

Food costs

Because these dogs are larger, they tend to eat quite a bit. Puppies that are still growing will cost around $300 to feed, while adults will be closer to $500. This difference in cost is largely due to the size difference. Adult dogs will simply eat more because they are larger. In the end, this leads to higher costs for you. 

These prices are assuming you’re choosing high-quality dog food for your canine. While you can save by choosing less expensive food, this is not recommended. 

Training costs

The English Setter can be easy to train. However, due to their larger size and somewhat stubborn nature, we do recommend classes. 

Like most breeds, this dog will benefit most from group classes. These provide socialization as well as training – two things that these dogs need. For a series of group classes, you can expect to pay $100 to $300. This will likely be all that your dog needs unless you decide to try more advanced classes for personal reasons.

Factors influencing the price

In most cases, a dog’s pedigree will affect its price tag the most. If they are likely to perform well in a show ring, then you can expect them to cost substantially more than a pet-quality dog. At the same time, a breeder’s reputation also matters. The more experience a breeder has, the more you are going to pay. 

The amount of vet care a dog also receives matters. If they have already had their first vaccinations, you’ll probably pay more. However, this means that you’ll pay less in vet bills.

english setter with owner

Price considerations

While these dogs are quite cheap, it is important to budget appropriately for their care. They will be just as expensive as any other larger dog, despite their lower upfront cost. 

Be sure you also budget enough money to pay for emergency costs, such as surgeries and behavioral training. We recommend an emergency fund for this very reason.

The bottom line

Upfront, these dogs are quite inexpensive. You can find some dogs for as little as $600, though most cost somewhere around $1,000. 

However, the year-to-year costs of this dog will be just as much as a larger breed. You can expect to spend an additional $3,500 during the first year on top of the dog’s actual price tag. During subsequent years, the price will go down lower to around $1,500.

Author: Kristin

Author: Kristin

Kristin was born in Tennessee and currently lives there with her husband and children. She is passionate about educating pet parents and helping them make the best possible decisions for their pets. She currently owns one dog, two cats, a lizard, and a variety of fish.