Our English Setters are most similar to the original, true hunting “Ryman” type, developed by the prominent breeder George Ryman in the 1900’s. Ryman’s focus was talented, productive wild bird dogs with moderate type and build that were bred purely for hunters. In the field and woods, 7 generations of Firelight Setters have now been known to require little formal training to develop into biddable, staunch bird finders that will hunt with you as a team. In thick cover they are close working and a bell is all that is needed but on the prairie they will accordingly range out to 200+ yards. We love the qualities of the Ryman-type but with our Firelights we try to spice things up a little. We prefer our personal dogs to be a bit smaller, faster and more animated when hunting and many point with a higher tail than typical for Ryman-types: the Firelight style can often be recognized in hunting photos. We feel strongly that simple obedience training, not electronics, is all that should be needed to have a bird dog that is both productive and enjoyable and that you can achieve this if you focus on both performance and temperament in a breeding program. Firelight Setters are calm and affectionate dogs in the home and the bond developed at home carries over into hunting. I showed dogs for many years when I was younger and continue have high standards for traditional conformation and beauty in my dogs.
Our Setters are hunted extensively on multiple species of wild birds and are bred only if their performance meets our high standards. In our opinion and experience if you want dogs who through genetics naturally demonstrate the many necessary, desired qualities and traits of really good bird dogs, then wild bird hunting across species and habitats is the only way to truly evaluate them. So from puppy hood on we simply take our dogs hunting and let them show us what they’re got, we do no formal training which can mask or compensate for weak or missing traits. My breeding stock has always had hips certified by OFA and like many other breeders I have now also started doing OFA elbows.
Scroll Down to see our English Setters. Click on the tabs and click on the thumbnail photos to enlarge them.
We are proud to be Founding Members of RymanSetters.com which is a cooperative group of hunter-breeders dedicated to keeping the Ryman-type Setter a quality wild bird hunting dog.
Tweed was one of those dogs whose sweet personality makes everyone she meets wants to take her home with them. A heck of a ruffed grouse dog, she has now added prairie birds to her skills. Tweed was a great producer even though bred to only two different sires and her puppies gave us an exciting future. Pups from both of those breedings were natural pointing and retrieving as puppies and have gone on to be successful and stylish bird dogs. Tweed has now passed but remains so beloved and important to us that we chose to keep her profile up.
Storm is the daughter of our Tweed x Pinecoble Talus so she taps directly back to some of the wonderful Pinecoble blood that clicked so well with my own dogs. Storm is my biggest female at around 55 lbs but this girl is built right with a long, smooth gait that gives her remarkable stamina. On the Montana prairie Storm is a favorite because she opens up to 400 yards and can effortlessly hunt all day. It is a pleasure just to watch her effectively and efficiently cover ground and she is such an effective bird finder that she is part of just about every hunt, day after day which speaks to her stamina. Stylish on point with intensity and a high tail, she is honest and staunch on her birds and naturally retrieves to hand. She is one of those dogs that has the touch of presenting birds for the gun: even ruffs tend to hold tight under her point. Storm is a very smart dog who figures out things such as tapping the trash lid to tell me that her water bowl is empty but also how to convince me that she is the chosen one to sleep on my bed at night.
Sally is also a Tweed daughter, her sire is a well respected ruffed grouse dog from PA. Sally was precocious and started her career at the tender age of 7 months in Montana. After a week of watching the other dogs work the prairie, Sally staunchly pointed her first sharptail and made a long retrieve to hand: I knew that was the start of something special. By the end of her puppy season Sally had skillfully handled sharptails, huns, pheasant and bobwhite quail, later adding ruffs and woodcock to her dance card with equal flair. She has strong drive and hunts at a quick pace, intense and light on her feet yet she hunts for the gun and requires very little handling. Before a year of age she was pointing, backing and retrieving, all done through our natural experience approach. Sally had 3 litters for us, passing on beautiful conformation and her talent in the field: our Kate, Flint and Annie are from her litters. Sally is very sweet and loving and if she isn’t curled up in her favorite chair then visitors often find her on their lap, often with a toy in her mouth. Sally weighs around 50 lbs
Kate is a striking tri color daughter of our Sally, her sire is October Mountain Heath of October Setters. Kate is beautiful, fast, and driven for birds with a nice intense point and she retrieves naturally. Despite her speed and intensity, Kate hunts for the gun and is a joy to follow and shoot over. Kate is 52 lbs, OFA Good.
Flint is a handsome tri color male, whelped 11/15 to our Sally x October Mountain Heath. We do not usually keep male setters, instead keeping just females to hunt and further our line, but in his first year Flint showed us that he is going to be something special so we are pleased to announce that he is staying with us. Flint is muscular and athletic with good conformation, a smooth, fast gait yet he is easy to handle and hunts at a very comfortable range. He is pure pleasure to hunt with, handling easy and is reliable, honest and stylish on his birds. Around the house he is calm and kind, a gentleman and a pleasure to be around. Flint is 57 lbs, OFA Good.
This is Dreamboat Annie and this lil darlin’ one’s mother is Mustang Sally. Annie has a fast, intense, but smooth run in the field, snaps hard onto point on her birds and loves to retrieve. She is responsive and handles easily in the field, her typical range is 70-100 yards in the woods. At home she is sweet and affectionate but she makes me laugh when the dogs are released out into the large exercise yard because her thrill of running every time carries her two full laps at top speed. Annie weighs 48 lbs.
Meet Firelight Moondance, 7th generation Firelight. The breeding that produced Dance had been in my mind and on paper for years. Her mother is Kate and her sire is Parker (4 generation Firelight, brother to my Storm.) Parker’s mother was my beloved Tweed and his sire was Pinecoble Talus. This blend of talent, beauty and amazing personalities gave me Dance. She has a beautiful high style about her including on birds and a strong natural, gentle retrieve to hand. She hunts a little closer than some of mine, 40-50 yards in the woods. Very sweet and affectionate. 49 pounds.
I am thrilled to report that in March 2019 I was able to buy Seth back and he is now forever part of my pack. Seth is a beautiful sweet boy who showed me early field talent in Montana at 7 months of age and has developed into the bird dog that I knew he would be. Seth is littermate to my wonderful Sally. In recent years he has been hunted exclusively on ruffs and knows his job well. He hunts with a fast, smooth gait and although he weighs 62 lbs he is quiet and stealthy in the woods. He is well built and stylish, an athlete who always carries a proud high tail. Good nose and a staunch honesty on his birds along with a good natural retrieve makes him a pleasure. Seth’s offspring are showing his influence with style and precociousness in the field. OFA Good.
This page is an extremely difficult one for me. My setters have always been a huge part of my life and I have been blessed with amazing and wonderful dogs who leave a huge hole in my heart and my home when they pass. Words fail me so I will simply share a few photos of some of the beloved 4 generations that came before, and gifted me with, my present dogs.