English Setter Grooming Guide

Groomers Kit For Setters

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English Setter grooming guide for Setter owners. By Rebecca Goutorbe Professional dog groomer, owner of Redhara English Setters.

setter grooming guide

Setter grooming guide

This English Setter grooming guide is for the UK show bred type of English Setters. It is not a grooming guide for the American bred English Setter or the Working English Setter.

American English Setters

The American bred or type of English Setter has a lot more coat and is trimmed different. For example the ears are usually left long and the backs are stripped or clipped.

Working English Setters

Working English Setters usually have a finer coat which is a lot easier to manage. They have less coat and feathering and most have the hair on their ears left long for a more natural look.

The grooming tools in the guide can be used on any Setter or dog.  

Dog grooming tables

It is not essential to have a dog grooming table for grooming English Setters but it will help you 100%. You will be able to restrain your dog safely this will save your back too. The dog will be at the right height and angle for trimming by using a table. 

Types of dog grooming tables

There are three main types of dog grooming tables which are the electric grooming table, a hydraulic and portable or static dog grooming table. I use a hydraulic table in the salon and at home.

dog grooming scissors

Electric Dog Grooming Table

The electric table is great with no effort required to use it. The table can be controlled to go up and down by just pressing a button.

Hydraulic Dog Grooming Table

The hydraulic table is the type I use, these are usually controlled by pumping a lever with your foot to raise the table.

Portable Dog Grooming Table

The portable or static tables for Setters can be a bit unsteady these are not ideal for older English Setter puppies. 

Dog clippers or scissors

There are lots of clippers out there to choose from for English Setter trimming. Cordless seem to be the ‘in’ clippers.  They give you the flexibility of not requiring a plug socket either. Also the weight of the corded clippers can start to take it’s toll on your wrists if you are using them for long periods of time. If you are not confident with dog clippers, then just trim your Setter with a pair thinning scissors. This will  probably take you 5 times as long to do but it will be safer and the finish will be more natural. The main clipper blades I use for Setters are the Andis 7fc and an Andis 9. A 7fc is for the hocks (hock to heel), pasterns and neck. The 9 is for the ears. Nothing else is clipped with a Setter unless the dog is neutered. 

Roseline thinning scissors

You will need a pair of thinning scissors for trimming Setters feet, neck and ears. A set of thinners with one straight edge and one side with teeth will be the ones you will get the most use out of with Setters. Ideally you also need a small set of straight scissors for around the feet and a bigger pair of straight scissors for the end of the tail. Roseline scissors are perfect for the job. The scissors are not expensive compared to other brands but are professional quality and will last you long time if you look after them. 

dog nail clippers

Dog brushes

A slicker brush is great for getting out some the of the dead hair and knots from the coat. But you don’t want a slicker brush which is too spiky or prickly go for a more softer slicker for an English Setter. A bristle brush will be a good choice for daily brushing. This type of dog brush is great for regular dog grooming when there are no knots in the coat. 

dog clippers near me

Combing & de-matting

A metal comb like a Spratts comb is a great all round comb for tiny knots and combing the back of the dog. For bigger knots a de-matting rake, a 12 tooth coat king is ideal for getting behind the knots.  Don’t just pull at the knots though, hold the leg and part of the knot then gently try to de-tangle the knot.

dog grooming kit near me

Removing dead hair from the back

A lot won’t agree but the coat king or the Andis de shedding tool is a perfect tool for removing dead hair from the back of the dog. ‘The black fluff’, which is usually worse with Tri-Colour or Blue English Setters. The coat king is a cutting tool so using it incorrectly will damage the coat. The key to it is don’t use the coat king on the back like a brush. Just a maximum of 3 strokes through the worse part of the dead hair, ‘the black fluff’ and thats it. Then comb the back and see what it looks like. The other alternative is to use a cheap metal comb in the bath with conditioner as I do for shows  Using the coat king on Bobby Dazzlers coat never did it any harm and he won 9 cc’s 5 rcc’s & 5 BOB’s.

Dog nail clippers

If you want to cut your own dogs nails and are unsure where to cut because the nails are black. Then just take the very point off the front of the nails or a tiny slither off the nails. Then work down the nail taking tiny amounts. Don’t just take a big chunk off the nail because I’ll guarantee it will be too much off. You will hurt the dog and make the nail bleed.
When you cut a dogs nail too short it does bleed a lot but there is powder to stop the bleeding pretty instantly. So if you are unsure how to cut dogs nails, when you buy nail clippers buy the clip stop or trimmex as well. You don’t need to go the vets either if you make the dogs nails bleed, it will eventually stop.  


You don’t really want to be using any shampoo which is over perfumed for an English Setter. Any shampoo which is kind and gentle on the skin will be fine, like Evening Primrose Oil, or one of my favourite dog shampoo’s is Wahl’s dirty beastie


A dog dryer for your English Setter does not need to be expensive. As long as your dog gets dry that it good enough. I have a dog hair dryer which cost £1,000 and three which cost around £60 each. The £60 dryers works just fine.

english setter grooming tools

Ear Cleaning Solution For English Setters

Regular ear care is so important for Setters. Weekly ear checks are essential really to keep on top the ears. Thornit ear powder a fantastic old remedy for keeping dogs ears smelling fresh and healthy, I love the distinctive smell of Thornit . If your dogs ears are dirty or have wax try cleaning them out with an ear cleaning solution and some cotton wool or wipes.

Aurigel ear cleaner is a great ear cleaner for dogs which is a gel solution with antiseptic and tea tree oil, smells nice too.

english setter grooming tools
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