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Gordon Setter Facts and Gordon Setter Information

Updated on June 25, 2012

The History of the Gordon Setter

Formerly known as the Gordon Castle Setter, Gordon Setters are a robust, dignified breed of dogs that were first developed in Scotland around the 1620's. However, it wasn't until the 1770's that this breed became the talented gundogs that they are still known as today.

A man by the name of Alexander, the Fourth Duke of Richmond and Gordon, was the individual who truly established and significantly improved Scotland's only sporting dog breed in the late 18'th century. Alexander wanted to improve the Gordon Setter by producing a larger, heavier setter by introducing such breeds as the Bloodhound through selective breeding. Many also believe that collie blood was later added in to improve the Gordon Setter dog even more so.

At the world's first dog show on June 28'th, 1859 in Newcastle Town Hall, England the Gordons were put on exhibit which brought new attention to the breed. One canine in particularly would catch the judges eyes; "Dandy" the Gordon Setter ended up winning first prize in the setter category. It was then soon after that the Gordon Setter dog breed was introduced into the United States where it is now more popular in the States than it is in it's homeland Great Britain.

Gordon Setter Temperament and Gordon Setter Dog Training

Gordon Setters are devoted dogs that are patient and loyal to their owners. The only time that this breed shows aggression is when someone they love and care for is under threat or attack. Unlike other setters such as Irish Setters, Gordons actually make decent watchdogs due to their stronger instinct to protect their family members and loved ones.

When it comes to these hunting dogs, Gordons are bred to scent out game and wait for the hunter which probably greatly contributes to this breed's patient personalities.

Gordon Setters are relatively intelligent dogs that if approached with thorough and proper dog training techniques, they can be quite obedient and responsive dogs that are well behaved.

The Gordon Setter Appearance

Gordon Setters are the heaviest and most powerful breed of setters. Gordons are built for stamina instead of speed.

Their ears are long and set low on defined, heavy heads that are deep rather than broad. Gordon Setter eyes tend to come in similar shades of dark brown. The bodies are neither short nor long in comparison to their legs, and these gundogs' backs are well sprung. Their tails are noticably straight with a subtle curve to them.

Gordon Setter Coats and Grooming

The Gordon Setter dogs have long, flat coats that are a coal black with tan or chestnut red markings on areas of their bodies such as the muzzle, eyebrows, neck, paws, chest, and the undersides of their tales.

Gordon Setters require moderate grooming, which generally consists of a every other day quick brush ups to prevent matting.

Height and Weight

  • Female Gordon Setters tend to measure 57 to 65 centimeters at the shoulders or 23 to 26 inches. Healthy bitches usually weigh anywhere from 20.2 to 31.7 kg or 45 to 70 lbs on average.
  • Male Gordons generally measure around 60 to 70 cm or 24 to 27 inches at the withers. Their weight will generally fall within 25 to 36.3 kg or 55 to 80 lbs.

Health and Life Expectancy of the Gordon Setters

Gordons Setters tend to live average life spans of 10 to 13 years of age. Like many purebred dog breeds it's important to keep in mind the specific health concerns that pertain to a breed of dog. Some of the few health concerns to watch out for with Gordon Setters include the following.

  1. Canine Hip Dysplasia
  2. Hypothyroidism
  3. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  4. Cataracts
  5. Gastric Torsion (bloat)


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    • sallieannluvslife profile image

      sallieannluvslife 5 years ago from Eastern Shore

      What a beautiful dog! Thanks for sharing more about this wonderful dog breed with us! Voted Up, Awesome and Interesting!

    • Bukarella profile image

      Lyudmyla Hoffman 5 years ago from United States

      such beautiful dogs! When I was a little girl, I wanted a Gordon.