The English Setter. From the best available information, it appears that the English Setter was a trained bird dog in England more than 400 years ago. They're temperament is best described as a "Gentleman by Nature". However, it can also be strong-willed and mischievous. English Setters are energetic, people-oriented dogs, that are well suited to families who can give them attention and activity. They do have a couch potato side though, & many are good with children.