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Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter dogs are sweet tempered dogs that were earlier used as bird dogs because of their powerful sense of smell. Characterized a great deal of stamina, these large sized dogs have the ability to hunt on land as well as water.

Of the three Setter breeds, that is, Gordon Setter, English Setter and Irish Setter, Gordon Setter dog breed is considered to be the largest and strongest. The breed was developed in Scotland and was originally known as Black and Tan Setter. Apart from hunting, these loyal companion dogs are also used in field trials and dog shows.

Physical Appearance

Gordon Setter dog breed has a sturdy and muscular build. The skull is rounded and the muzzle is fairly long. The nose is broad and black in color. The eyes bearing bright and intelligent expression are dark brown in color. The well folded ears, set low are carried close to the head. The underside, legs, tail and ears are characterized by profuse feathering.

Color: Gordon Setter hair coat is mostly black in color with distinct tan markings that are rich chestnut or mahogany in color.
Height: The average height of these dogs is 24 to 27 inches. Female Gordon Setters are generally a bit shorter, that is, 23 to 26 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal weight of these dogs ranges between 55 to 80 pounds. The bitches are usually 45 to 70 pounds in weight.

Health Problems

These dogs are susceptible to Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Bloating, Thyroid Disorders, Juvenile Renal Disease and other common dog diseases. They are also prone to eye problems like Cataract, Progressive Retinal Atrophy etc.

Life Expectancy: The average Gordon Setter life expectancy is usually 10 to 12 years.
Litter Size: 7 to 9 puppies

Grooming Requirements

The sleek and soft, medium sized hair coat of Gordon Setter breed dogs requires regular grooming. Brush and comb the hair coat almost daily or at least twice a week to prevent tangles and pay special attention during shedding times when these dogs shed moderately.

Also, carry out other Gordon Setter grooming activities like clipping the toenails, trimming the hair around paw pads, cleaning the eyes and ears from time to time. These dogs need not be bathed or dry shampooed too frequently.


Gordon Setter temperament is loyal, obedient, affectionate, friendly, cheerful, courageous and intelligent. These dogs are always enthusiastic about finding ways to please their owners and love to play with small children.

These alert and confident dogs are generally reserved and wary of strangers and serve as good watchdogs. They generally get along well with other pets in the house but tend to be a bit aggressive with dogs of the same sex. When properly introduced, they can get along well with cats too.

They tend to become jealous when not given their proper share of attention and suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for longer durations. Gordon Setter breed dogs may exhibit stubbornness occasionally. However, with right training method in hand, these intelligent dogs are relatively easy to train.

Key Points

These dogs love to engage in strenuous and outdoor activities. Thus, they need to be provided with sufficient opportunities for exercise by taking them for long daily brisk walks, letting them run free in a safe area, playing interactive games with them etc.

Lack of adequate mental and physical stimulation can give rise to destructive behaviors. Nonetheless, make sure you do not engage the dog in strenuous physical activities immediately before or after meal time to avoid bloating. In addition, try to feed smaller meals two three times in a day instead of feedingthe dog one heavy meal.

As these dogs generally remain calm and inactive indoors, they need to be provided with at least a properly fenced large sized yard for play. Due to their high activity needs, Gordon Setter dogs are usually not recommended for sedentary apartment lifestyle.