DogNation Home DogNation Home

Gordon Setter

Quick facts

Gordon Setter AKC Group: Sporting
Height: Male: 24-27 inches; Female: 23-26 inches
Weight: Male: 55-80 lbs; Female: 45-70 lbs
Colors: Black with tan markings
AKC recognized in: 1884

The Gordon Setter is from Scotland and was named after Alexander, the 4th Duke of Gordon, who was fond of hunting. He used the setters and pointers for his leisurely endeavours. He kept a kennel of setters and was also known for his Scottish deerhounds. It was widely noted that the duke was also into falconry and hawks.

This dog breed was categorized among the gundogs of the United Kingdom. Gundogs are hunting dogs grouped as setters, pointers and retrievers. Setters and pointers run fast and go ahead of the hunting party to chase game and shoo birds that their masters find irresistible to shoot. Retrievers are the dogs that take out the animals shot by the hunters. But, as modern age pushed for better methods of using the gun and has been responsible for the destruction of most of the hunting grounds, the role of the gundogs like the Gordon Setter has been reduced to few areas that still maintain wild game.

Distinct in its appearance, the Gordon Setter is generally dark coloured although some are bred to be red setters. This dog breed is the heaviest among the setters and, yet, it has the stamina and strength to run fast without let-up. The coal-black coat of the Gordon Setter is long, straight, silky and slightly waved but not curled. The markings on the paws, lower legs, throat, muzzle, one spot above each eye, and two spots on the chest are mahogany or rich chestnut color.


Gordon Setter Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level five paws
Exercise Requirements five paws
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals two paws
Friendliness: Other Pets two paws
Grooming Requirements three paws
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability four paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

The Gordon Setter is a born leader that was bred to assist the hunting party and be able to independently find game in the wild. Thus, its keen senses especially the sense of smell make this dog capable to make decisions by itself. However, it is the fact that this independence of mind gives out some behavioural problems. It is inclined to be stubborn and not go with what the owner expects it to behave. Owners must be able to change this dominant attitude that the Gordon Setter possesses.

When it is properly trained and gets to understand its role inside a household, the owner can expect a more refined and disciplined dog.

The Gordon Setter is devoted to her family, but not eager to have strangers near. This combination makes her an excellent watchdog.

A number of factors go into this dogs temperament, some of which we can control. Heredity cannot be helped, but early and frequent socialization, training, and love will accomplish much in making this dog one you will be proud to have in the family.

Health and Exercise

The Gordon Setter has a life span of between 10 and 12 years.

While the Gordon Setter is generally a healthy dog, they are susceptable to certain health problems including:

  • Hypothyroidism - A disorder of the thyroid that can result in obesity, lethargy, or epilepsy.
  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Gastric dilation-volvulus, or bloat - this is a life-threatening condition where the stomach becomes distended with gas or air, and then twists. This can happen with all deep chested dogs, especially if they eat their meal rapidly or drink large volumns of water. If this happens, it is extremely important that you get your Gordon Setter to a vet immediately.

While sporting dogs are comfortable living indoors, the Gordon Setter cannot simply live indoors unless it has spent more time outdoors. It is its instinct to roam and go around in large and wide spaces. While walking the dog on long and brisk walks, it is always advisable to lead the dog by placing it beside or behind the person. If the dog goes in front, it shall develop an attitude of dominance over its own master.

Gordon Setters need between one and two hours of exercise every day. Try mixing it up with games of catch, jogging, and long walks. Don't just leave them outdoors to get their own exercise though, because Gordons need to be close to family, participating in family activities.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Gordon Setter in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Gordon Setter? Or maybe you have more questions that either or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.

Add Comment

* Required information
Captcha Image

Comments (0)

No comments yet. Be the first!

Random Dog Quote

The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not mans.
Mark Twain

Site Navigation

Best Friend's Friend Rescue/Shelter Contest
I made the pledge!