Gordon Setter
Loving And Intelligent Dog


The Gordon Setter, also referred to as the black and tan bird dog, was developed by the Duke of Gordon in Scotland during the late eighteenth century, although various other setters had been in existence since the 17th century.

Its lineage is believed to include the Collie, Bloodhound, plus other setters and possibly the Spaniel.

Not as fast as some of the other setters, the Gordon makes up for this by his renowned skills in the field, excellent stamina and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

The Gordon is a handsome dog and being the largest of the setters has a more sturdy appearance. With a well-balanced structure and a beautiful shiny coat, he is a very pleasant looking dog.

Young Gordon Setter


Appearance, Coat And Care

Height: 23-27 inches
Weight: 45-80 lbs.
Color variations: Black with chestnut or mahogany markings


boar brush for dog

The Gordon Setter dog has a coat of medium length with significant feathering around the ears, undercarriage, legs and tail.

Regular brushing, ideally with a high quality brush, is needed to keep the sleek coat in good condition and free of debris and tangles.

Also, as with most long-eared dogs, the ears will be healthier if careful cleaning of the outer ear - the part you can see, no deep probing - is done as part of his regular grooming routine along with trimming of excess hair.


Gordon Setter puppyGordon Setter Puppy by Scrivener72


Characteristics of the Gordon Setter

The Gordon Setter is noted for his sensitive loving nature, cheerfulness and high intelligence. He is a more quiet dog in the home with strong loyalty to family, but wisely cautious with other people until sufficiently acquainted with them.

As with most intelligent dogs, early socialization and training is recommended so that he becomes well aware of the who's the leader. The Gordon will train easily with a loving and consistent approach - he is eager to please and has an excellent memory for retaining instruction.

Although he has roots as a working dog, he makes a great, as well as protective, family companion. He prefers being around the family and does not enjoy being left alone for long periods of time.


Health Notes

Gordon Setters have a lifespan of up to fourteen years if they are fed a nutritious diet and receive good care.

The diseases that have been linked to this breed include:

  • PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) which is linked to a recessive gene mutation. A DNA test is now available to detect one form of its presence in affected dogs, providing valuable information to breeders.

  • Cancer and hip dysplasia are two other concerns that have been noted.
  • Lastly, because the Gordon is a deep-chested dog breed, it is can be vulnerable to Bloat (Gastric Dilation Volvulus) which is a life threatening condition requiring emergency attention.


How Active is the Gordon Setter?

The Gordon Setter has been known as a good galloper, so you can easily understand that he loves the outdoor life and needs significant daily exercise.

He does best with an active family and tends to become nervous and restless inside the home without sufficient exercise.

If you are a runner he will really enjoy tagging along with you. Otherwise, long walks are a good alternative especially if combined with an opportunity for playtime in the yard.


Ideal Living Space

The best environment would be a rural property with plenty of room to run. He will be relatively inactive and contented indoors if given sufficient outdoor activity.

The Gordon is not recommended for typical apartment style living as it would be too confining for his nature.

A Good Breed For Children?

This breed has an excellent reputation with children, but as with any breed of dog, it is wise to always have an adult supervise activities involving children.

Senior Or Less Active Families?

The Gordon Setter dog would make a devoted companion for the seniors or less active families providing someone is available to handle the exercise requirements on a daily basis.


Book Recommendation


Gordon Setters Today (Book of the Breed)





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Resource: Gordon Setter Puppy Image
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gordon_setter_puppy.jpg by Scrivener72 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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