Our English Setters are classic foot hunting bird dogs bred for the wild bird hunter. Eight generations of Firelight Setters have now been known for their natural instincts and talent and to require little formal training to develop into biddable, staunch bird finders that will hunt with you as a team. In thick cover they range 50-100 yards and a bell is all that is needed but on the prairie they will accordingly range out to 200+ yards. We like to spice things up a little in the field and enjoy dogs with good footspeed and animation in their run. Class and style are important and we look for our dogs to point with a high head and 10-11:00 tail. We feel strongly that simple obedience training and time spent afield, not electronics, is all that should be needed to have a bird dog that is both productive and enjoyable and that we achieve this by focusing on both performance and temperament in a breeding program. Firelight Setters are bred to be calm and affectionate dogs in the home and the bond developed at home carries over into hunting. I also showed dogs for many years when I was younger and I continue to have high standards for traditional conformation and beauty in my dogs with clean lines and classic, clean heads. (Drooling is a pet peeve of mine and I feel it is a disservice to the breed to accept that as a trait.)
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. Females average 45-50 lbs, males are around 60.
Scroll Down to see our English Setters. Click on the tabs and click on the thumbnail photos to enlarge them.
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 now almost 13 years old but still hunted with me this past fall and is my constant companion. She 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. OFA Good.
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 has the most sweet, gentle personality and with her beauty she is often a favorite of visitors. She is 6 now so retired from breeding but Katie proved to be an excellent producer, giving me very talented pups who are stars across the country. 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 61 lbs, OFA Good.
Funny how sometimes names really do fit the dogs. She 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. Responsive and handles easily in the field, she has settled into an average range of 75 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 carries her two full laps around the fenced area at top speed. Annie weighs 48 lbs. OFA Excellent/normal.
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. OFA Excellent/normal.
Meet Firelight Pocket. Pocket is a dynamic, sweet and up-for-anything daughter of Annie. Pocket is the product of an outcross of my wonderful Annie to a beautiful field CH Llewellin. I look for the best bird dogs to breed to my females and Dashing Nash Bandit offered solid conformation, calm, gentle temperament, biddability and well proven bird finding and handling. Pocket and her littermates have shown that the blend of these two strong dogs was very successful with high quality talent shown in the field. Pocket’s run is animated and quick yet she maintains a good range requiring little to no handling. Pocket is more compact in build than some of my other dogs but still weighs just under 50 lbs. She is particularly devoted to me, happiest if next to me with her paw on my knee. OFA Good/normal.
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 generations that came before, and gifted me with, my present dogs. When I look at these photos I realize what a difference digital cameras have made for me. I wish I had the hundreds of photos from these previous decades that I now take.