Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter


The Gordon Setter became popular in Scotland in the 1600's as a hunting dog by the 4th Duke of Gordon that is officially recognized as establishing the breed. They are the only recognized breed of Scottish gundog that has been specifically bred to hunt bird, and their stamina means they will do well in both water and on land.


The Gordon Setter does not do well in apartments or small homes with little to no yard. They thrive on exercise and need to roam and run in the outdoors. They love to go swimming and hunting, and will settle in for a long family play session, usually resulting in the family being worn out well before the dog.


Due to their coat the Gordon Setter will require daily brushing to keep them tangle and mat free. They do not require bathing or dry shampooing unless absolutely necessary to maintain their natural water and weather resistances. You will need to make sure the hair on the bottoms of their feet is trimmed as well as their nails constantly. They have a range of health issues that must be watched for such as hip dysplasia, cysts, juvenile renal disease, bloating, and even lameness.


The Gordon Setter possesses a stamina and strength that allows them to hunt for far greater amounts of time that other Setter breeds and are considered to be one of the most loyal and dependable as well. They have become a nationally recognized show dog as well as a great home companion for those that aren't into the hunting aspect of the Setter breeds.


This breed has a medium length coat that is soft and silky to the touch. The Gordon Setter has a profuse amount of feathering on its underside, tail, ears, and legs, and their coats will always be a black with tan markings that are clearly defined. They are average when it comes to shedding and might require a trip to a professional groomer a couple times a year just to be safe.


The Gordon Setter is one of cheerful compassion that takes the social and friendly side of life to heart. They love to be around people and, because of their size, they do not make good pets in homes with smaller children. They can be very boisterous at times, but can show reservations around strangers, until they get to know them better. Then they are as affectionate with them as they are the rest of the family. They tend to show separation anxiety if left on their own and will bark excessively until given the attention they need. They can be around other pets if socialized early on, but can get aggressive around those of the same sex.


The Gordon Setter has a mind of their own so early socialization and obedience training is a must. They are highly intelligent and want nothing more than to please their masters, which make them fairly easy to train when they are young. They tend to be a bit difficult to housetrain for most people and the crate method is usually preferred over other methods. They excel in tracking and hunting and respond better to firmness and love than they do with harsh words or heavy handed training.