Gordon Setter Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- Gordon Setters are stylish dogs of medium size. They are from the same family as the Irish and English Setter but do have a heavier appearance. Gordon Setters have very distinctive markings and medium to long straight or slightly wavy coat, which is silky, glossy, and soft. There is profuse feathering on the undercarriage, legs, tail, and ears. They have an overall look of elegance and dignity, coupled with strength and the obvious ability to hunt for long hours. These are large dogs with deep chests and muscular legs. They should exude stamina. The Gordon has the heaviest head of the setter group and should display plenty of 'brain room.' There is a clearly defined stop and fine chiselling throughout the skull but the muzzle does not taper even though it is fairly long. The neck is long and lean and blends into a moderately sloped spine that is strong and fairly short. The chest is deep and the ribs are well-sprung.
- Other Names:Gordon Castle Setters
- Country Of Origin:Scotland
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Gundog
- Black and tan
- Gordon Setters are alert, intelligent and confident showing loyalty towards their owners. This breed is polite, affectionate, and cheerful. They are also sociable, friendly, and sensitive. An intensely devoted companion, the Gordon Setter is a wonderful family dog. Due to their size and tendency to be boisterous they are not recommended for homes with small children. They are reserved with strangers. The Gordon will get along well with other dogs, although may show slight aggression to those of the same sex. They must be introduced when young to cats. It should be remembered that a Gordon is more strong willed than other hunting breeds and will need firm and consistent training.
- Steady and free
- Care and training:
- The Gordon Setter requires daily combing and brushing to maintain the beauty of the coat and prevent tangles and mats. Professional grooming may be necessary. Bathing or dry shampooing should only be done when absolutely needed. The ears should also be cleaned on a regular basis since they are long and pendulous, - the type that traps in air and can lead to infections.
Excess hair under the ear can be trimmed away to allow more air circulation into the ear canal.
This is an intelligent breed but it does have a mind of its own. Accordingly, training must begin early and the handler should be firm and consistent. However, Gordons are devoted to their owners and will do their best to perform well. Getting them involved in some activity that will utilize their hunting instinct is advisable. They occasionally display stubbornness, and may be difficult in housebreaking. The crate method is recommended.
- Overall Exercise:
- 60 - 80 minutes per day.
This dog was bred for strength and endurance and has the reputation of being the hardest and longest working gundog. As a result, the pet version needs a great deal of exercise to keep it healthy and happy. Gordon Setters enjoy a wide variety of activities such as swimming, hunting, family play sessions, walking with their master, and playing ball.
- Feeding Requirements:
- This dog grows at an extremely slow rate so it can not be fed like other gundogs. It is best to consult with the breeder regarding feeding specifics. Meals should never be given directly before or after exercise. These measures must be taken to prevent gastric torsion, aka 'bloat' as deep chested dogs are prone to this problem.
- Personal Protection:Low
- Suitability As Guard Dog:Low
- Level of Aggression:Low
- Compatibility With Other Animals:Medium
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:8
- Life Expectancy (yrs):10-13
- Health issues:
- Hip dysplasia, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), epilepsy. Other health concerns include bloat (twisted stomach or gastric torsion). Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Gordon Setters can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests.
- There have existed Black and Tan Setters in Scotland long before Gordon Setters were developed in the 1700s. It is believed they existed there for at least 350 years before that. Alexander, the fourth Duke of Richmond and Gordon in Scotland, is credited with the development of this breed. He developed the breed at his home estate in Banffshire, Scotland. He took the Black and Tan Setter, Scotland's only gundog, and in the 1770s bred it with Bloodhound and possibly Collie. They were bred to be a sportsman's dog that would have great stamina, as well as excellent scenting abilities. The first import to the United States was by George Blunt and Daniel Webster in 1842. The Gordon Setter went on to be exhibited at the very first dog show in Newcastle Town Hall, England, on June 28th, 1859. The winner of the setters was a Gordon Setter named "Dandy" owned by their own pointer judge. Although slower and less trusting of strangers, the Gordon's abilities of endurance outshined the other setters. They became a favorite of hunters who wanted more to fill their game bags than to get birds quickly. The Gordon Setter could go longer without water, as well as work better in the heat than other setters. They also served well as guard dogs and protector's of their master's estates. An unknown author in the 1700s described the Gordon Setters abilities:"The Gordon Castle Setters are as a rule easy to break and naturally back well. They are not fast dogs but they have good staying powers and can keep on steadily from morning until night. Their noses are first class and they seldom make a false point or what is called at field trials a sensational stand...When they stand you may be sure there are birds."