Gordon Setter

The Gordon Setter is the largest among all the setter dog breeds that stand at the height of 27 inches. These dogs feature a glistening black coat with tan markings. They have long hair on the ears, belly, legs, chest, and tail with bright brown eyes that portrays an intelligent dog.

Gordon Setters are known for their brains, beauty, and keen bird sense. They are not dogs for everyone, especially first-time dog owners. These dogs can be too much to handle, and you need to expect lots of barking.

For the right owners, Gordon Setters are lowing, protective, and devoted dogs. They need time and affection, and in return, they’ll surely brighten up your day.

Gordon Setter Dog

Gordon Setter Breed Statistics

Dog Breed GroupSporting
Breed SizeMedium
Height24-27 inches (male); 23-26 inches (female)
Weight55-80 pounds (male); 45-70 pounds (female)
Lifespan13-15 years

Gordon Setter Breed Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Playfulness
Trainability
Shedding
Grooming
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Gordon Setter History

Gordon Setters, originally known as Black and Tan Setters, originated in Scotland in 1620. They are known to have first-class hunting skills and were mainly developed to lay down quietly (set) when they have located birds.

It took 200 years before the dog became known through Alexander Gordon. Gordon, known as the fourth Duke of Gordon, was a setter fancier. He played an essential role in the breed’s development and founded a kennel of these dogs in the Gordon Castle.

It was believed that the Gordon Setters were developed by crossing English Setters, Black and Tan Collie, Bloodhounds, Black Pointers, and Solid-Black Setters. This resulted in a dog that is not fast but is good at staying steady and with a keen sense of smell.

The importation of Gordons to America started in 1842 and was led by George Blunt and Daniel Webster. By the year 1874, England’s Kennel Club already registered 126 Black and Tan Terriers.

By 1884, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the dog breed. However, it was only in 1924 when the dog’s name was changed to Gordon Setters. The Gordon Setter Club of America was formed after that.

Now, the dogs rank 115th as the most popular dog breed in the US. They appeal to a lot of hunters and dog lovers who love their beauty, scenting ability, and mild temperament.

Gordon Setter Breed

Gordon Setter Temperament

Gordon Setters are known to be affectionate, confident, and bold dogs. These dogs are mostly alert and serious; however, they, too, have a playful side.

These dogs are devoted and affectionate members of the family. They are known to be good and gentle with children. You can expect them to walk away when they don’t like your child’s behavior instead of attacking them.

Gordon Setters can be demanding of attention, making them jealous of other pets. These dogs may be best in a one-dog household. They are known to be protective of territory and can be aggressive toward any strange dogs.

They are wary but never aggressive of strangers, which makes them excellent watchdogs. Socialization plays a vital part in raising them to be more well-rounded dogs.

Training your Gordon Setter is vital if you want a well-behaved dog. Leaving them alone without good leadership can show misbehavior and stubbornness.

It’s important not to be harsh towards them, but don’t coddle them too much. Be calm and reassure him that he has nothing to be afraid of. Positive reinforcements play an essential role here, particularly food treats and praises.

Gordon Setter Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Gordon Setters don’t have any special dietary requirements. All they need is a high-quality and well-balanced meal packed with all the essential nutrients – proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. It’s essential to buy high-quality ingredients only. This will help protect your dog’s stomach, and this ensures they only get the best. If you’re serving dog food, buy the premium ones, too, as these shouldn’t contain fillers and additives that can be harmful to the breed. Watch your dog’s daily calorie intake. Overfeeding will cause overweight, which may trigger several health conditions. If you don’t know how to measure your dog’s calorie intake, ask your vet for some advice.
  • Grooming: Gordon Setters have long coats that shed seasonally. However, weekly brushing is needed to prevent mats and tangles from forming. You might need to brush the coat daily during the shedding season to remove lots of excess hair. Take them to a groomer at least once a month for trimming. Ensure that the hair on the feet, the tail area, and inside and around the ears are trimmed. Baths can also be given at the same frequency, and don’t forget to trim the nails.
  • Exercise: Gordon Setters are known to be personal hunting dogs, but they are excellent indoor dogs. This means that they are active dogs with high energies and would require lots of daily activities. Though, they would also be happy to cuddle with you after a long day. The dog’s exercise needs can be met by daily walking, jogging, or biking. If you have a secured yard, you can let your Gordon Setter run around. However, take note that he is happier when he is bonding with his owner. It’s important not to exercise him 30 minutes before and after feeding. These dogs are prone to bloating, and this will endanger their health.
  • Health: Although generally healthy dogs, Gordon Setters are prone to several health conditions. As a dog owner, it’s essential to be aware of these so you can help prevent it. Bone diseases like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are very common to the breed. This is why regular exercise is essential. Your dog can also suffer from hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, and bloating. It’s essential to provide them the right care and nutrition, so they remain healthy. Monitor your dog’s daily behavior too, and if there are changes, don’t hesitate to bring him to the vet.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Gordon Setters is 13-15 years.

Famous Gordon Setters

  • Rake and Rachael: Two Gordon Setters who became the foundation of the Gordon Setter in America
  • Juniper Berry: The Gordon Setter of Ed McMahon
  • George: Diane Sawyer’s Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter

Fun Facts about Gordon Setters

  • Gordon Setters originated from Scotland and England around the 1600s.
  • They were initially called “Black-and-tan Setters.”
  • Their name was changed to “Gordon” in honor of the fourth Duke of Gordon, who played a significant role in the breed’s development.
  • The dogs were brought to the US in the 1840s by Daniel Webster and George Blunt.
  • They are the largest among all setter breeds.
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