Gordon Setter

Overview of Gordon Setters

  • Gordon Setters are a bit like children in that they require fair, consistent, firm training and in that if they’re caught doing a fewthing wrong, they might seem as though they’re sorry – the reality, though, is that it’s more likely the dog is just sorry that he got caught misbehaving.
  • The Gordon Setter is better suited to homes with older children, as when young they can be boisterous and clumsy, and adore picking up and carrying ‘treasure’, which can lead them into trouble if this causes confrontation, a fewthing smaller children aren’t able to know.
  • Gordon Setter breeder Dan Voss (who hangs around these parts from time to time) talks about how a breed needs “critical mass” to be stable, and that critical mass is measured both in the numbers of dogs and humans interested in seeing the breed grow as a field dog.
  • Gordon Setters at this farm are raised to show in field trials.The Gordon Setter is a large breed of dog, The original purpose of the breed was to hunt gamebirds, which include quail, grouse, guinea fowl, sagehen, francolin and any other bird that will sit to a dog.
  • Gordon Setters, also known as “black and tans”, have a coal-black coat with distinctive markings of a rich chestnut or mahogany colour on their paws and lower legs, vents, throat, and muzzles; one spot above each eye; and two spots on their chest.
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  • Gordon Setter temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books
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  • Bloat

    It is caused by the stomach rotating along its long axis, creating obstructive twists at both the entrance and exit of the organ.Like many other breeds with very deep chests, the Gordon Setter is predisposed to developing this condition, also known as bloat/gastric torsion.


    Willing to please and highly intelligent, the Gordon Setter is easy to train.  Early socialization and obedience is essential because this breed has a mind of its own and can be stubborn.  A good tip for training is to make sure it is done with fairness, consistency, firmness and lots and lots of love.  Harsh training is not recommended because this breed is sensitive and will not respond well to any form of harsh training.  A Gordon canine would benefit from dog sports because they excel in tracking, pointing and hunting. 


    Because white blood cells can be found throughout the body, this cancer can show up almost anywhere.Luckily, lymphoma is one of the few types of cancer that can often be found with a blood test, so we may recommend a complete blood count twice yearly.Lymphoma is a very treatable form of cancer, with an excellent success rate in dogs receiving chemotherapy.Lymphoma or lymphosarcoma is a type of cancer that afflicts Gordon Setters more than other breeds.This disease makes the body form abnormal lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell.Treatment can be costly, however, and is a lifelong commitment.Watch for swollen glands (ask us, we’ll show you where to look), weight loss, or labored breathing at home and be sure to call us if you notice any unusual symptoms.


     The Gordon setter breed really has a beautiful coat, that is soft, shiny as well as straight and wavy but not get confused with curly.  The coat feathers at the ears, underside, back of legs and tail.The coat has a triangle appearance that grows shorter as it nears the end of their tail.  This coat requires lots of attention, but we will get to that in our grooming section.


    As discussed below, this is a very high-energy breed, and it can be useful to teach a Gordon Setter to fetch – while this obviously serves as a play activity, it also promotes good recall behaviour, and allows owners to provide vigorous exercise to their dog by simply throwing a ball or other toy.Housetraining Gordon puppies is usually not difficult.

    Eye Problems

    Anyone considering the purchase of a Gordon Setter puppy should insist on seeing a certificate of health from a veterinary ophthalmologist.In addition, all breeding Gordon Setters should be hip scored to reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia.Notably, there is a very high incidence of eye problems with up to 50% of Gordon Setters thought to be carriers of inherited retinal disorders.There are several common health problems recognised in the breed.

    Genetic Predispositions

    At the end of the booklet, we have also included a description of what you can do at home to keep your Gordon looking and feeling her best.This guide contains general health information important to all canines as well as the most important genetic predispositions for Gordon Setters.This information helps you and us together plan for your pet’s unique medical needs.You will know what to watch for, and we will all feel better knowing that we’re taking the best possible care of your pal.


    Gordon owners have to pay special attention to the dog’s featherings because they tend to grow long.The Gordon Setter has glossy coats that require high maintenance grooming and daily brushing to keep the hairs from tangling.


    You can minimize serious health concerns in a Gordon Setter by purchasing him from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices, and through screening for common diseases and conditions.


    Gordon Setters are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections — the same ones that all dogs can get — such as parvo, rabies, and distemper.Many of these infections are preventable through vaccination, which we will recommend based on the diseases we see in our area, her age, and other factors.

    Life expectancy

    Despite its resilience and adaptation to the harsh climate of the Scottish Highlands, the Gordon Setter does not tolerate being left to live outdoors.Gordon Setters are generally healthy dogs, though they can suffer with eye and joint problems, and the breed’s average life expectancy is 11–13 years.However, aggression towards other dogs is frequently a problem, particularly if they are not adequately socialised when young.Most love the company of children, so they make excellent family pets.Rather, it needs to be at the centre of family life, where it will be a devoted companion and protector.


    Instead, give her a hug, brush her fur or teeth, play a game with her, or perhaps take her for a walk.It is a serious disease that may cause or worsen joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, back pain and heart disease.Obesity can be a significant health problem in Gordon Setters.She’ll feel better, and so will you!Though it’s tempting to give your pal food when she looks at you with those soulful eyes, you can “love her to death” with leftover people food and doggie treats.


    Socialization from a very young age will help your Gordon Setter get used to meeting a wide range of other dogs in different settings, but it’s best to always take care when introducing them to dogs at the dog park or those you meet on a walk.They can be wary of strange dogs, so if you do plan on getting another dog, you’ll need to introduce them all carefully to make sure everyone gets along.They need active walks and runs rather than a sedate walk around the block.They need at least an hour of exercise per day, but if you can manage more, they’ll always be up for another walk!


    Also, make sure that you can see the mother – if she has a good temperament, then most likely your puppy will, too.As is the case with virtually any breed, the Gordon Setter’s temperament will depend on several factors – heredity, socialization and training.Frequently, Gordon Setter breeders use outside studs.If you can see the father as well, that’s even better, but it’s not always possible.When choosing a Gordon Setter Puppy, look for one that’s playful, curious and approachable.You don’t want the puppy who’s bullying his littermates, and you also don’t want the one who’s hanging out in a corner and not wanting to be with the other puppies.


    Gordon Setters are a bit like children in that they require fair, consistent, firm training and in that if they’re caught doing something wrong, they might seem as though they’re sorry – the reality, though, is that it’s more likely the dog is just sorry that he got caught misbehaving.It’s important that you be the leader in the relationship, otherwise your Gordon could become willful and might even try to dominate you.

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    Do Gordon Setters Shed?

    Gordon Setters are a large breed of dog that originates from the rugged terrain of Scotland, where they were used hunt game birds like pheasant and quail.They’re known for being athletic, loyal, confident, and affectionate companions.

    Have any questions about health in your breed?

    If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed.They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

    What’s the Price of Gordon Setter Puppies?

    Gordon Setters are an unusual breed in the U.S.A., so you’ll need to take the time to find a reputable breeder with plenty of experience breeding these dogs.The price of Gordon Setter puppies can vary from breeder to breeder, but you should budget anywhere from $1,000 to $1,600.

    Health and Conditions ??

    Gordon Setters are, as a whole, a healthy breed.Any breeder with available puppies should be more than happy to chat with you about the main conditions that can affect this breed, as well as provide results from health tests.Bloat can occur in this breed and needs management when feeding to reduce the risks of your dog developing this condition.

    How active is the Gordon Setter?

    A Gordon Setter is a very active dog so it should only be in a home with owners who are also active and enjoy being active every day.It is not best for apartment living, it needs at least a big yard or even some land if possible for it to run around on and explore.It can go out in most weather conditions and will want to be engaged in activities with you as well as just going for a couple of good long walks a day.Play some doggy games with it, take it with you when you go jogging or hiking, take it to a dog park for off leash time if not being used as a hunting dog.If it does not get enough vigorous activity (at least 60 to 80 minutes a day) it will become unhappy, high strung, restless, destructive and hard to control.That is vigorous activity not a casual walking pace.Make sure any land or yard is well fenced, if it catches a scent it will go after it.Make sure you pay attention to giving it enough mental stimulation too.

    Are These Dogs Good for Families? ??

    Gordon Setters are a wonderful choice of breed for active families.They love to watch over their humans and are patient with small children, as long as they’re not too rough.These dogs are extremely loyal and enjoy spending time with their families, whatever you’re up to.

    Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

    This breed generally gets along well with other pets in the same household.As long as they’re introduced to cats and small pets in a controlled environment, they can learn to live happily alongside them.

    Did You Know?

    Although their ancient lines can be traced back to 1620, the Gordon Setter originated in Scotland over 200 years ago.The Fourth Duke of Gordon, Alexander Gordon, was a fan of setters and is credited as an important figure in the development of the Gordon Setter.

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    Training ??

    Gordon Setters have an innate ability to think for themselves, born from their years as hunting dogs.

    Food & Diet Requirements ??

    As a larger breed, it’s important to allow your Gordon Setter puppy plenty of time to grow slowly as their bones mature.Rapid growth caused by food that’s too high in protein can cause problems for this breed.It’s best to stick to a food with a protein content of lower than 26%, so you can encourage steady growth over a long period.Speak to your vet about the best brands to try, as some puppy foods may contain too much protein.

    What Are Gordons Like to Groom?

    The Gordon Setter is a bit higher maintenance than the average dog.

    How is the Gordon Setter with children and other animals?

    Gordon Setters can be good with children when raised with them but socialization is very important too.Gordons can get jealous when others are getting attention other than them but with the right care are good play mates and can be affectionate and protective.Young children should be supervised as they can get knocked over, and they can also get a bit rough with their ear and tail pulling and such.Make sure you teach the children what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to stroking and playing with the dog.

    Exercise ??

    Gordon Setters are active dogs with plenty of endurance.They need at least an hour of exercise per day, but if you can manage more, they’ll always be up for another walk! They need active walks and runs rather than a sedate walk around the block.Gordon Setters make great running or biking partners, as they can settle into a fast pace to match your speed.

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    What will training look like?

    Gordon Setters are moderately easy to train as long as you remain firm, consistent and the clear pack leader.Gradual results should be expected and keep in mind some can be more independent and stubborn than others.Make sure training sessions are short and interesting, not overly repetitive and boring.Establish at all times that you are in charge and that the rules you set are always followed.Use positive techniques like treats, encouragement and praise.Harsh scolding or punishments are not recommended.House breaking may take up to 6 months, keep the schedule consistent though and stick with it.Often people use crate training as part of their house training.

    Grooming ??

    The long and lush coat of the Gordon Setter needs brushing at least every other day.This way, you can prevent tangles and keep their shedding hairs under control.You may also want to trim the long hairs between their paw pads to stop these from getting matted.Gordon Setters can be prone to ear infections due to their heavy ears, so it’s a good idea to check their ears once a week.

    History of Gordon Setters

  • In 1842 Danial Webster and George Blunt bought a breeding pair of Black and Tan Setters to the US.
  • In 1872 the Black and Tan Setter was recognized as an official breed by the Kennel Club in the UK, and then, in 1924, the name was changed to Gordon Setter.
  • In 1842 Danial Webster and George Blunt bought a breeding pair of Black and Tan Setters to the US.
  • in 1842 when Daniel Webster (one time U.S.
  • In 1859, the breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club as Black and Tan Setters.
  • In 1872, the British Kennel Club declared the Black and Tan Setter an official breed.
  • In 1874, Blunt wrote a letter to Forest and Stream describing how and when the dogs came to America and his experiences with the breed since that time.
  • In 1878, the breed was registered in America as well and recognized by the AKC in 1884.
  • In 1891 a Kennel Gazette reviewer complained that show judges had given away all the prizes “to dogs of the greyhound type whose eyes bore an inane, expressionless look.” Critics alleged that such dogs could hardly display the intelligence characteristic of their breed because there was no room in their heads for brains.
  • In 1891, Henry Malcom formed the Gordon Setter Club of America and in 1892 the AKC recognized the breed.
  • In 1892, the AKC changed the breed name to Gordon Setter.
  • In 1892, the AKC recognized the Golden Setter.
  • In 1924 the Kennel Club officially recognised the breed as the Gordon Setter, in honour of the work of the 4th Duke of Gordon to develop the breed.
  • In 1924, the BKC changed its club name from Black & Tan Setters to Gordons.
  • In 1924, the Gordon Setter Club of America was founded.
  • In 1924, the Gordon Setter Club of America, Inc, was formed and is still in existence today with a membership of more than 1,000 Gordons.
  • In 1972, however, the current Marquess of Huntly, a direct Gordon descendant, embraced family tradition with the purchase of a Gordon setter called Gomer, after another relative, press baron Gomer Berry, Viscount Kemsley.
  • In 1993, a 7-year-old female Jindo named Baekgu (백구; 白狗; translated as a White Dog), raised by Park Bok-dan (박복단), an 83-year-old woman on Jindo Island, was sold to a new owner in the city of Daejeon which is located about 300 km (180 mi) away from the island.
  • In 2001 the AKC admitted the German Pinscher into its Miscellaneous class, and in 2003 it became a bonafide member of the Working Group.
  • In 2011, after several years of research, we decided to add a new breed to our home.
  • In 2015, Wisconsin became the first state to introduce a bill to make blaze pink a legal hunting color.
  • In 2018 there were 172 puppies registered, placing the Gordon Setter at the lower end of the scale for gundogs, behind the Irish Setter, Pointer and English Setter.
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