Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter

Group: Sporting Group

Origin: Great Britain

Height: 24 to 27 inches (61-69cm)

Weight: 45 to 75lbs (20.5 to 34kg)

Gordon Setter
Amethyst Madison Gordonstar
Photo courtesy of Gordonstar

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Breed Profile

The Gordon Setter was developed in Scotland as a larger, heavier Setter able to adapt to the rugged Scottish countryside. The Gordon won the world’s first dog show, limited to Pointers and Setters, held in Britain in 1859.

He is a devoted family companion but not overly friendly to strangers. He generally gets along very well with children and can show a strong protective instinct for the children in his family. He has a keen intellect and excellent memory. The Gordon is known for his endurance and keen scenting ability but is not as fast as the other Setter breeds.

The Gordon can adapt to varied living conditions; however, as a sporting dog, he needs regular outdoor exercise. As a hunting companion, the Gordon is often described as “a personal hunting dog”, meaning that the dog works well in the field with the master that he shares his home with.

His coat is soft, shiny and silky. It can be straight or slightly wavy with long hair on the ears, stomach, chest and back of the legs. His colouring is always a deep, coal black with tan or mahogany markings.


Health Issues

The Gordon Setter is generally a healthy breed; however, like all breeds of dogs, they can be prone to some health problems including:

  • Bloat — As with any deep-chested dog, the occurrence of Bloat or Gastric Torsion is a real possibility in the Gordon Setter. If you are not familiar with this condition, it is absolutely necessary to learn about it and know the symptoms — This is a real emergency and a life threatening condition that requires immediate Veterinary attention. See Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) — Bloat in the Health and Nutrition section of Canada’s Guide to Dogs for more information and First Aid for Bloat for an article describing some of the things you can do if you are faced with this situation.
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism — This thyroid disease is fairly common in the Gordon Setter breed.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

If you are considering the adoption of a Gordon Setter puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

The Gordon’s long coat requires weekly brushing and combing to avoid mats. In addition the nails as well as the hair on the bottom of their feet and between the toes should be kept trimmed.

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit: www.caninehealthinfo.org

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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