Gordon Setters


Gordon Setters

Ratings by owners.
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Average rating.


Breed notes:

The Gordon Setter originated in Scotland at least 350 years ago. His name comes from the Duke of Gordon who bred many fine specimens of the breed during the early 1800s. The Gordon is an unbeatable one-man shooting dog but is less popular than other hunting breeds because he is slower in comparison. He tends to quarter thoroughly and work close to the gun. His untiring energy and stamina enable him to work for long periods of time without fail. Gordon Setters were introduced to North America in the mid-1800s and officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1892.
The Gordon Setter has a quiet and serene dignity. He is wary of strangers but has an almost fanatical devotion to his family. As a hunting dog, he needs adequate exercise.
The Gordon Setter's head is broad, large and finely chiseled. It is the heaviest of the setter group. The skull is rounded and broad between the ears. It is lean both above and below the eyes with narrow cheeks. There is a definite drop off (stop) between the skull and muzzle. The muzzle is fairly long and the same length as the skull. The top of the muzzle is parallel to the line of the skull. The eyes are oval and dark brown in color. The ears are long, set low, and covered with long, wavy hair. The teeth are strong with a scissors bite being preferred. The chest is deep and reaches to the elbow. The back is strong and fairly short. The tail reaches no lower than the hock and is carried horizontally. It is well feathered with coat. The coat is soft and shiny, straight or slightly wavy, but never curly. It is a sleek black color with deep mahogany markings. The division between black and mahogany is well defined with no blending of color. Featherings on the legs and tail are long and fine. Average weight is between 45 and 80 pounds. Average height is between 23 and 27 inches.


Name withheld by request of Switzerland writes:

Great companion.
Gordons are one of the best dogs for a house with children. I am a seventeen-year old girl and my first dog was a girl Gordon Setter. I was eight when we got her and she is still with us and going out for one-mile walks two times a day with our other Gordon. They are very energetic but they can adapt to a apartment with exercise. They are protective but don't snarl and lunge at people on a walk. At times Gordons can be aggressive to other dogs of the same sex. Be aware that some lines can have a lot of hair and therefore need grooming three to four times a week. Our three-year-old male does not have very much hair and only needs grooming once a week. Caution: this breed loves mud. In spring ours need to have a bath after every walk because they literally roll in the mud. I rated this breed four stars because the only problem they have is being extremely headstrong. Our female knows all the basic commands and a few of my own but she will pretend not to know them. Our male is the same but not to that extent.


bob@bertramstudio.com of Manchester, MO writes:

Great breed if you are a devoted owner.
We just acquired our third Gordon and we just love the breed. You are in for a wonderful experience, but you have to give the breed a lot of exercise and attention. This is a breed that really makes a great family dog if you have a big yard. They enjoy people and if you give them plenty of walks or exercise then they are super in the house. They love our family but bark at strangers who get near the yard. I am hooked on Gordons!


alwight1@msn.com of Washington writes:

Outstanding companion!
I am a true dog lover. My Gordon Setter was my heart and soul. He was my constant companion and never once left my side. He was the kindest, most gentle dog I have ever owned. His loyalty to me was undaunting. He literally spoke with his eyes. He was a very vocal boy and loved to "talk." He was my fireside companion too. When I injured my back, he carried firewood for me piece by piece. There was not a person that could stay away from him when they saw him. His beauty was unmatched and he knew it. I eventually lost him to bone cancer but I will never ever forget him. I am anxiously awaiting my new Gordon Setter puppy. I can honestly say that if you are considering getting a Gordon, do it! Excellent companion and excellent family member.


jadom@ibm.net of Chicago, IL writes on 2/8/01:

Handsome, loyal, funny - and all dog.
Our Gordie is all dog. Don't consider the breed if you're not ready to devote time and energy to it. One great thing about Gordon Setters is that they haven't been overbred - you won't see yourself coming or going with this handsome dog at your side. This is not a 'docile' dog. That's not to say that it isn't loyal, affectionate or trustworth. It needs its exercise and is most beautiful when running free. Four walks a day - at least - and plenty of room to run is what this great dog needs. It gets pouty and bored without it. I've heard so many reports of Gordies ending up in shelters, abandoned, etc., and I think it's because this dog is not like a piece of furniture - it has a very distinct personality, it's extremely intelligent and has a great sense of humor...but, again, it needs to be able to run, wants lots of love and attention, too. There's nothing more beautiful than watching a Gordie run! So - if you want a real dog and are ready for a real handful, this dog may be for you.


ppolomom @www.com writes on 2/15/00:

Gentle with everyone, dedicated, smart, chilldlike.
I have the pleasure of owning three Gordon Setters, all from different litters. They are so alike in nature, and personality. Their closeness is that of a child. Their eyes can speak for them. There is no signs of meaness in them. Their cleverness to work thing out for themselves is remarkable. They can be shrewd if need be. Stays close to one special person, but gives affection to whoever wants to receive it.The instinct to hunt comes natural, but I do not hunt them, they are my babies


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