The Gordon Setter!

The Gordon Setter is a sturdily built, well muscled breed that projects capability of working tirelessly in the field with its master. Its head is deep with a good-sized skull. It has drooping ears which are carried close to the head and fair sized eyes that come out oval in shape rather than round. Its tail is short and straight, the placement of which is important for correct carriage. A Gordon Setter’s coat is soft and shining which can be straight or slightly waved but not curly. It is said to have originated in Scotland and was named after the fourth Duke of Gordon who popularized the breed in the early 19th century. The Gordon is heavier than other Setters and has a distinctive color.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
10-12 years

Energy Level:

Living Conditions:
Not great for apartments.


Exercise Needs:
Daily 30 minute walk. Needs to stay on leash.

Breed Group:


23 to 27 inches

50 to 80 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Black with tan markings either of rich chestnut or mahogany color on the head.

National breed club:
The Gordon Setter Club of America

Gordon Setter Skills

Initially bred as bird dogs, the Gordon Setter is a methodical hunter who has excellent bird sense. It quickly became popular as companion dogs, show dogs and competitors for obedience and agility. It is not as fast as other hunting dogs but shows good stamina as it hunts even in adverse weather both on land and water. It is considered one of the finest one-man shooting dogs.

Gordon Setter Personality

Gordon Setters are highly intelligent dogs, quick to learn and spot an advantage. They are alert, pleasant and exhibits exceeding loyalty to its masters. Their protective instinct towards young children is also evident especially when they are exposed to children at a young age. They “talk” through the various tones they use to express themselves. Heavy handed style obedience is not for this breed but is able to stand the signs of training.

Exercise Needs

Plenty of daily exercise is needed by a Gordon Setter to maintain its peak physical and mental condition. It stands to benefit from frequent on-leash walks. It should not be allowed to roam freely because of their natural tendency to put its nose on the ground. Its traffic sense is non-existent as it follows its strong hunting instinct.

Living Conditions

Although Gordon Setters show the capability to adapt to a variety of living situations, apartment life is not recommended for this kind of breed. It is relatively inactive indoors and will do best in a home with at least a large, safely fenced yard. It particularly loves running freely. A Gordon who gets enough outdoor activity will remain calm indoors.

Grooming Requirements

The soft silky coat of a Gordon Setter requires weekly brushing and combing to avoid malting and knotting. The nails as well as the hair on the bottom of the feet and between the toes should be regularly trimmed.

Health Issues

A Gordon Setter belongs to a generally healthy breed but may be prone to some health problems such as gastric torsion or bloat, hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism.

If you liked this dog…

...the English Setter would certainly interest you. It is also a popular sporting dog like the Gordon Setter which is widely used for hunting game birds. English Setters freeze into position with their bodies directed toward the hiding place of the birds.

Gordon Setter


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