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Discover the Elegance of the Gordon Setter Breed | History, Traits, More

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By Anna Grace

If you’re looking for a loyal, affectionate, and energetic furry companion, the Gordon Setter breed might be the perfect fit! In the world of canines, there’s a breed that’s as striking as it is steadfast, as noble as it is nimble – the Gordon Setter. 

With their striking black and tan coat and intelligent, trainable nature, Gordon Setters has won hearts worldwide for centuries. Gordon Setters are intelligent, loyal, and brimming with boundless energy, making them the perfect companions for both outdoor adventurers and loving families.

Therefore, no matter if you’re a seasoned dog owner or new to pet parenting, the charm and charisma of this beloved breed are undeniable. Let’s explore the world of this dog breed and uncover what sets them apart as a distinctive addition to any household.

In this exploration of the Gordon Setter, we’ll delve into the captivating world of this remarkable breed, uncovering the secrets behind their beauty, brains, and unwavering devotion. So, fasten your seatbelts because we’re about to embark on a journey into the captivating universe of the Gordon Setter.

Vital Stats: Gordon Setter

Certainly! Here are some vital stats for the Gordon Setter:

StatisticGordon Setter
Coat ColorBlack and Tan
Weight55 to 80 pounds (25 to 36.3 kg)
Height23 to 27 inches (58.4 to 68.6 cm) at the shoulder
Lifespan10 to 12 years
TemperamentLoyal, Alert, Courageous, Independent, Energetic
Activity LevelModerate to High
Grooming NeedsHigh
TrainabilityModerate to High
Common UsesHunting, Companion, Show Dog
Health ConcernsHip Dysplasia, Bloat (Gastric Torsion), Eye Conditions
OriginUnited Kingdom (Scotland)
Recognized BreedsRecognized by major kennel clubs and breed associations

Gordon Setters are known for their loyalty and hunting abilities. They are excellent working dogs for bird hunting, and they also make loyal and energetic companions for active individuals or families.

About the Breed

english setter gordon setter mix

The Gordon Setter is named after the fourth Duke of Gordon, who was instrumental in the breed’s development. After that, this breed is a muscular and athletic dog. Therefore, these dog are known for their intelligence and loyalty to their families, but they can be reserve with strangers.

It is mentioned by Wikipedia that the Gordon Setter is a large breed of dog, a member of the setter family that also includes both the better-known Irish Setter and the English Setter. 

Similarly, these breed are generally friendly with children and other pets, but proper socialization is essential. This breed is energetic and requires daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. 

In addition, responsible breeders test their breeding dogs for these and other genetic conditions to ensure healthy puppies. 

First Appearance In the US

The Gordon Setter first appeared in the United States in the mid-1800s. It was imported from its native Scotland to North America by individuals who admired the breed’s hunting prowess and regal appearance. The breed instantly gained popularity among American hunters for its ability to excel in upland game bird hunting, particularly in dense covers.

In 1842, Daniel Webster, the American statesman and avid sportsman, imported the first Gordon Setters to the United States. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that the breed began to be more widely recognized and established in the country. 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Gordon Setter as a distinct breed in 1892. Since then, it has become popular as a hunting companion and a family pet in the United States.

Historical Figure Of Gordon setter

Similarly, the history of these Dog breed can be traced back to Scotland in the 17th century. The breed was developed as a hunting dog, specifically for hunting birds such as grouse and pheasant. 

Therefore, the Gordon dog is named after the fourth Duke of Gordon, who was instrumental in the breed’s development. According to SprucePets, the breed’s official name went from the black and tan setter to the Gordon Castle setter and finally to the Gordon setter in 1924.

During the 19th century, these dog breeds became famous as hunting dogs in Scotland and England. Similarly, the breed was also used as a show dog, and by the end of the 19th century, there were several breed clubs in Scotland and England. 

The popularity of these breeds continues to grow in the 20th century, and the breed was introduced to the United States in the early 1900s.

Mucky Origin of Gordon Setter

The Gordon Setter, originally known as the “Black and Tan Setter,” has its roots in Scotland. It was developed in the early 17th century by the Duke of Gordon, Alexander Gordon, who aimed to create a hunting dog with exceptional tracking skills and stamina. By selectively breeding various setters and spaniels, he established a breed that excelled in pointing and retrieving game birds. 

Over time, the Gordon Setter gained popularity for its hunting prowess but also its elegance and unwavering loyalty, solidifying its place as the National Dog of Scotland. Today, these dogs charm families and hunters alike with their majestic appearance and versatile abilities.

Traits Of Gordon Setter

The Gordon Setter is a breed of dog that possesses several distinctive characteristics. These traits are what make them such popular working dogs and loyal companions. Here are some of the critical elements of the Gordon Setter:

Intelligence: Setter Gordons are intelligent dogs that quickly learn and respond well to training. They have excellent memory and can retain learned behaviors for a long time.

Loyalty: This breed is known for its commitment to its family. After that, they are affectionate and devote dogs that enjoy spending time with their owners.

Energy: Gordon and irish setter are energetic dogs that require daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. They love to run, play, and explore and excel in obedience, agility, and hunting.

Affectionate: Gordon Setters love dogs that thrive on human attention. Therefore, they enjoy being petted, cuddled, and praise and are happiest with their family.

Independent: While affectionate and loyal, these breed also has an independent streak. In addition, they are not clingy dogs and are happy to entertain themselves if necessary.

Reserved With Strangers: This breed can be secure with strangers, which makes them good watchdogs. Gordon dog temperament is not aggressive dogs; they will bark to alert their owners to potential threats.

Quick Fun Facts About Gordon Setter

  1. The Dog breed is one of four setter breeds, the Irish Setter, the English Setter, and the Red Setter.
  2. These dog breed is name after the fourth Duke of Gordon, who was instrumental in the breed’s development.
  3. The breed was initially use for hunting birds such as grouse and pheasant in Scotland.
  4. The breed is known for its intelligence and loyalty to its family but can reserved with strangers.
  5. Gordon setter breeders are energetic dogs requiring daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.
  6. Famous owners of this dog breed include Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, and President Richard Nixon.

National Dog of Scotland

The Gordon Setter holds the esteemed title of the National Dog of Scotland. This regal breed is known for its striking appearance and unwavering loyalty. 

With its origins deeply rooted in Scottish heritage, the Gordon Setter symbolizes the country’s rich history and love for canine companions. This breed has captured the hearts of many due to its distinctive appearance and exceptional qualities as a hunting and family companion.

Appearance of Gordon setter

english setter gordon setter

The Dog Gordon Setter is a large, noble dog with a distinctive black and tan coat. The breed has a muscular, well-proportioned build, deep chest, and long legs. 

Their fur is glossy and smooth, with long, feathered hair on their ears, chest, legs, and tail. Therefore, the breed’s striking appearance is complement by its intelligent and loyal nature.

Gordon setters are high-energy, joyful dogs that are loyal to their family and always down for a romp in the park. Though they are relatively rare in the U.S., these dogs are well-loved by those who are lucky enough to meet them. Gordons are great with kids and, really, the whole family—and the perfect companion for nearly every outdoor activity.


These dog breed coat is one of its most distinctive features, characterize by a thick, silky, and shiny black coat with tan markings on the chest, legs, and face. Above all, this double coat provides insulation from cold and moisture, making a gordon setter well-suited for hunting in harsh climates.

The Gordon setter is a medium-large sporting dog breed from Scotland with a silky, medium-length double coat that comes in black with tan accents. There’s feathering on the ears, chest and stomach, legs, and tail. And typically the tan is on the muzzle and throat, lower legs, eyebrows, and rear. 


Similarly, this dog breed coat color is black with tan markings. However, the tan markings on the chest, legs, and face are usually a rich mahogany color. The black coat is thick and silky, protecting from the elements, while the tan markings add a touch of elegance to the Gordon irish setter appearance.


The Dog Setter is a medium to large-sized breed of dog, standing around 23-27 inches tall at the shoulder. Therefore, they have a muscular build, deep chests, and long, strong legs. The size of these dog makes gordon setter breeders ohio well-suited for hunting in rough terrain and endurance activities.

A tall and majestic dog, the Gordon Setter combines powerful size and elegance with a sturdy. athletic frame. Wearing a glossy black and tan coat, heavily feathered on legs, chest, stomach ears and with a magnificently flagged tail, this is a strong dog able to hunt for long hours.


The average weight of a male Dog Gordon Setter is between 55 to 80 pounds, while females typically weigh between 45 to 70 pounds.

Markings of Gordon Setter

Gordon Setters are known for their distinctive coat markings, a defining feature of the breed. Their long, silky black coats are adorned with rich mahogany or chestnut-colored markings on the legs, chest, paws, and eyebrows. 

The striking contrast between the deep black and vibrant tan highlights their elegant appearance. This unique coloration contributes to their aesthetic appeal and aids in their visibility during hunting, making them highly effective in the field.

Gordon Setter Stats at the Organizational Level

The Gordon Setter is officially recognized by various kennel clubs and breed organizations worldwide. It is classified as a member of the Sporting Group, reflecting its excellent hunting skills and athleticism. 

Organizations like the American Kennel Club (AKC) and The Kennel Club in the UK have established breed standards to maintain the Gordon Setter’s appearance and temperament. These standards emphasize the breed’s graceful yet powerful build, keen intelligence, and unwavering devotion to its human family.

Temperament & Personality

gordon setter rescue

In terms of temperament, dog breed are typically friendly and affectionate with their owners and other members but can be wary of strangers. However, gordon black can challenge training if they sense inconsistency or lack of leadership from their owner.

Similarly, regarding personality, of this breed is often described as intelligent, loyal, and confident. They are natural hunters with a strong instinct to track and retrieve games. While gordon setter brown are generally good with children and other pets, early socialization is essential to prevent potential behavioral issues. 

Space Requirements for Gordon Setter

Gordon Setters are a large and active breed that requires ample space to thrive. They should have access to a spacious yard to run, play, and exercise. A securely fenced yard is essential, as Gordon Setters are known for their independent streak and may wander if not properly contained. 

Due to their size and energy level, apartment living may not be ideal for this breed. They are most comfortable in a home with a yard where they can burn off their energy and explore.

Food & Nutrition Of Gordon Setter

gordon setter rescue

As an active breed, Gordon Setters requires a diet high in protein and fat to support their energy needs. When choosing food for your dog, it’s essential to select high-quality, premium dog food. In addition, it contains real meat as the primary ingredient. 

Additionally, feeding your dog the appropriate amount of food based on age, weight, and activity level is essential to prevent obesity. Gordon Setters is prone to developing specific health problems. Above all, feeding joint-supporting supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin is crucial for hip dysplasia in dogs. 

Moreover, adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your dog breeders utah diet can provide essential vitamins and minerals. It’s also necessary to always offer your Dog fresh, clean drinking water to prevent dehydration.

Care & Grooming of Gordon Setter

The Gordon Setter is a breed of dog that requires regular care and grooming to keep its coat healthy and shiny. To avoid matting and tangles caused by their long, silky hair and distinctive coloring, these dogs need weekly grooming. 

Therefore, to remove knots and mats in a Gordon Setter’s coat, it’s essential to brush it using a slicker brush. In addition, regular bathing is also necessary to keep their coat clean and healthy.  To keep this dog breed healthy, check their nails, clean their ears, and watch for signs of illness regularly. 

Moreover, regular exercise is also essential to keep these dogs in good shape and prevent obesity. Proper care and grooming can help ensure that your Setter Gordon stays healthy, happy, and looking great.

Health Issues Of Gordon Setter

While they are generally a healthy breed, there are some health issues that are commonly associated with Gordon Setter. Some of these health issues include:

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common health issue that affects many dog breeds, including the Gordon Setter. The genetic condition causes the hip joint to develop abnormally, leading to pain and mobility problems.


Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. However, it can cause various symptoms, including weight gain, lethargy, and skin problems.

Ear infections

Gordon english setter have long, floppy ears that can trap moisture and bacteria, making them prone to ear infections. In addition, regular cleaning and monitoring can help prevent infections from developing.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

PRA is a genetic condition that can cause blindness in dogs. It’s caused by the degeneration of cells in the retina and can lead to vision loss over time.


Field-bred Dog Gordon Setter are susceptible to various types of cancer, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and melanoma.

Lifespan of Gordon setter

The lifespan of a Dog Setter Gordon typically ranges from 10 to 12 years. However, some dogs have known to live longer with proper care, nutrition, and exercise. Like all dog breeds, several factors can affect a Gordon Setter’s lifespan, including genetics, lifestyle, and overall health. 

Similarly, feeding a balanced and nutrient-dense diet and providing regular exercise habits can also help maintain your dog’s overall health. In addition, with proper care and attention, your Dog can live a long and happy life by your side.

Training of Gordon setter

gordon setter

Here are some training points of Gordon Setter::

  1. Start training your Setter Gordon as early as possible, ideally when they are still a puppy, to establish good habits and prevent bad behavior.
  2. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, toys, and praise to reward your dog for good behavior rather than punishment or physical corrections.
  3. Teach basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “heel” before moving on to more advanced commands or tricks.
  4. Socialize your Gordon dogs with other dogs, people, and environments to help them feel comfortable in various situations.
  5. Provide regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and keep your dog healthy and happy.
  6. Be patient and consistent in your training; don’t expect instant results. Training a dog takes time and effort, but the rewards are worth it.

Suitable Accessories for Gordon Setter

Collar and Leash: A sturdy collar & leash are essential for walks and outings. Gordon Setters are strong dogs, so a well-made leash and collar are important for control.

Dog Bed: A comfortable and spacious dog bed will give your Gordon Setter a cozy place to rest indoors.

Food and Water Bowls: Invest in durable, non-tip food and water bowls to accommodate their size and prevent spills.

Grooming Tools: Gordon Setters have long, silky coats that require regular brushing to prevent matting. A slicker brush & a metal comb are useful grooming tools.

Toys: Interactive toys and puzzle feeders can stimulate your Gordon Setter mentally and prevent boredom.

Training Equipment: Consider training aids such as clickers and treat pouches for positive reinforcement training sessions. Gordon Setters is intelligent and benefits from mental stimulation.

Crate: A crate may be helpful for house training and providing a safe space for your Gordon Setter when needed.

Travel Accessories: If you plan to travel with your dog, invest in a secure travel crate or a pet seatbelt to ensure their safety during car journeys.

Rarity And Price Of Gordon Setter

gordon setter mix

The Gordon Setter is a large, muscular breed of dog that originated in Scotland. Their loyalty, intelligence, and trainability make them highly regarded, and they possess a distinctive black and tan coat. 

Therefore, due to their rarity and popularity as a hunting dog, Gordon Setters can be quite expensive. Adopting a Gordon Setter cachorros from a shelter or rescue organization can be more affordable. 

In addition, the price of a purebred Gordon dogs can range from $1,000 to $3,000, with show-quality dogs typically costing more. Prospective Setter Gordon owners should factor in expenses like food, grooming, and veterinary care when considering the cost of ownership.

Relationship with Kids

Gordon Setters are known for their affectionate and gentle nature, which often extends to their interactions with children. They tend to form strong bonds with family members, including kids and can be patient and protective. Their friendly disposition makes them suitable for families with children, provided they are well-socialized from a young age. 

As with any breed, it’s essential to supervise interactions between the dog & young children to ensure a harmonious relationship. Proper training and early exposure to kids can help establish a loving and trustworthy bond between Gordon Setters and children.

Rescue Groups for Adoption

If you’re interested in adopting a Gordon Setter or providing a forever home to a rescued dog, several rescue organizations are dedicated to this breed. These groups often work tirelessly to find loving homes for Gordon Setters in need. 

Some notable rescue organizations for Gordon Setters in the United States include:

  1. Gordon Setter Club of America Rescue: This organization is affiliated with the Gordon Setter Club of America (GSCA) and focuses on rescuing and rehoming Gordon Setters across the country.
  2. Regional Gordon Setter Rescue Groups: Many regions and states have local rescue groups or shelters specializing in Gordon Setters. These organizations are often well-versed in the breed’s unique needs and work diligently to match rescued dogs with suitable adoptive families.
  3. Online Pet Adoption Websites: Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet feature listings for Gordon Setters and other breeds available for adoption from various rescue groups and shelters. You can search for adoptable dogs in your area or region of interest.

By adopting from a rescue organization, you not only provide a loving home for a deserving dog but also support the noble cause of rescuing and rehabilitating animals in need.

Pros & Cons of Gordon Setter breed

Here are some pros and cons of Gordon Setter Breed:


  1. They are always eager to please their owners and will form strong bonds with their families.
  2. Gordon Setters is an active breed that requires plenty of exercise and playtime. They make great pets for people who enjoy hiking, running, or other outdoor activities.
  3. These dog breed barking has a strong hunting instinct and excels in hunting game birds like pheasants and quail. They have a keen sense of smell and are good at tracking.
  4. AKC Dog Gordon Setter are intelligent dogs and are relatively easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement and enjoy learning new things.
  5. Gordon Setters is protective of their families and make good watchdogs. They will bark to alert their owners if they sense danger.


  1. Setter Gordon can sometimes be stubborn and training them may take some extra effort. Consistent and patient training is critical with this breed.
  2. Gordon Setters may become anxious and destructive when left alone for long periods. They thrive on human companionship and may need to do better in homes where they are frequently live alone.

Frequently Asked Question

Yes, Gordon Setters can make great pets for the right family. They are loyal, active, and intelligent dogs that enjoy being around their families.

Gordon setter breeders in Utah are not consider rare but are not as common as some other breeds. Finding a reputable breeder or adopting a Gordon Setter may take some effort.

Gordon Setters was originally bred as hunting dogs and are still use for hunting game birds, such as pheasants and quail. Gordon setter breeders in texas can also make good watchdogs and companions.

Gordon Setters is a medium to large-sized breed and can range in height from 23 to 27 inches (58-69 cm) and weigh between 45 to 80 pounds (20-36 kg).

Gordon Setters can be good family dogs if they are properly trained, socialize, and given enough exercise and attention. They are generally friendly and affectionate with their families.

No, gordon setter breeders mn are not typically aggressive. They are perhaps protective of their families and may bark at strangers, but they are not famous for aggressive behavior.

Yes, Gordon Setters is intelligent and relatively easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement and enjoy learning new things.

Gordon Setters is an active breed and require regular exercise. They should exercise at least one hour per day, such as walks, runs, or playtime.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, the Setter Gordon is a majestic and intelligent breed that has captured the hearts of many dog lovers worldwide. Setter Gordon is unique from their distinctive black and tan coat to their loyal and affectionate nature. 

gordon setter temperament

Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or a first-time pup parent, the Setter Gordon is a breed worth considering. So why not add Scottish charm to your life and welcome a Gordon Setter into your home?

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