How to Groom and Trim an English Setter's Ears

Trimming his ear fur will help keep his ears clean and healthy.

Trimming his ear fur will help keep his ears clean and healthy.

An English setter’s exuberance induces him to swim, run and frolic with abandon with human or canine playmates. His exertions can result in a matted coat, especially in the soft wisps of fur on and under his long, dropped ears. Regular grooming and trimming help maintain healthy, beautiful ears.

Trimming Your English Setter’s Ears

Calm your dog before trimming his ears. English setters can be high strung and often need a few minutes to settle down. Brush the rest of your dog’s coat gently until he relaxes.

Brush the fur on the top and underside of your setter’s ears to untangle snarls. Brush your boisterous furkid twice weekly and trim his ear fur once a month.

Pass a stripper comb lightly over the upper one-third of his ears. Untrimmed, the fur in this spot curls and detracts from the long dropped ear appearance. Don’t touch the flesh of the ear with the stripper comb, which features a razor between the teeth at its base.

Comb the underside of each earflap with the stripper comb to remove excess fur but don’t remove the soft waves at the tips of his ears or on the lower two-thirds of the outer ear.

Cleaning Your English Setter’s Ears

Lift one ear, and wipe the underside of the earflap and the visible parts of his ear canal with pre-moistened dog ear wipes. Cleaning your furry friend's ears once a week with wipes will keep them healthy and pink.

Deep clean your English setter’s ears with canine ear cleaning solution if it’s been awhile since you wiped them or if he’s had an especially fun time rolling in the dirt.

Hold his head still and lift one of his earflaps. Place the nozzle of the bottle of ear cleaning solution in the lowest part of the ear canal, but do not insert it into the canal.

Drizzle, don’t squirt, a steady stream of solution into the ear canal and massage the area quickly just below your dog’s ear. This works the solution down and into the ear canal.

Allow your pup to shake his head, which he will do instinctively, to expel excess solution. Turn your head or you're likely to get an ear solution facial.

Wipe the visible portions of his ear canal with clean cotton pads. Deep ear cleaning rarely is necessary if you wipe your dog’s ears weekly.

Items you will need

  • Dog brush
  • Stripping comb
  • Dog ear wipes
  • Dog ear cleaning solution
  • Cotton pads


  • Trimming the hair on the underside of your English setter’s long ears allows air to circulate and reduces the risk of ear infection.
  • If you’re going to clean and trim your dog’s ears, trim first while his fur still is dry.

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About the Author

Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

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