Gordon Setter: The Ultimate Dog Guide

Gordon Setter


There’s a certain charm about the Gordon Setter that sets it apart from other breeds. This complete guide aims to provide you with everything you need to know about this remarkable breed, from its historical background to its characteristics, and from health considerations to adoption options.

Feature Detail
Breed Origin Scotland, 17th century
Size Large
Weight 55-80 pounds (25-36 kilograms)
Height 23-27 inches (58-69 centimeters)
Lifespan 10-14 years
Coat Black and tan, medium length, straight or slightly wavy
Personality Intelligent, Energetic, Loyal
Exercise Needs High
Grooming Medium maintenance
Health Issues Hip dysplasia, eye conditions, sebaceous adenitis
Suitability Families, singles, seniors with an active lifestyle
Adoption Cost Varies depending on the breeder or rescue organization

History and Origin of the Gordon Setter

The Beginnings of the Breed

The Gordon Setter originated in Scotland in the 17th century. These dogs were bred to be expert bird hunters, assisting their human counterparts in the hunting of game. This breed’s distinct black and tan coat, coupled with its endurance and intelligence, made it a favorite among hunters.

Evolution Over the Years

Over the years, the Gordon Setter has retained its hunting instincts but has also evolved into a family pet. The breed has adapted well to various lifestyles, while still possessing the agility and stamina that made it an efficient hunting companion.

Gordon Setter’s Characteristics and Temperament

Physical Attributes

Gordon Setters are known for their striking appearance. Their size and weight vary, with males typically larger than females. A mature Gordon Setter can weigh up to 80 pounds and stand as tall as 27 inches. The breed’s coat is beautiful and comes in a distinct combination of black and tan colors.

Personality Traits

Personality-wise, Gordon Setters are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and cheerful disposition. They are also very energetic, which means they love to play and explore their surroundings.

Behavioral Tendencies and Temperament

Gordon Setters are generally well-behaved dogs. They tend to get along well with children and other pets, making them a great addition to the family. With proper socialization, they can also interact well with strangers.

Gordon Setter Health and Lifespan

Average Lifespan of a Gordon Setter

Gordon Setters can live anywhere between 10 to 14 years, depending on their overall health and care.

Common Health Issues

Like any breed, Gordon Setters are prone to certain health issues. Some common problems include hip dysplasia, eye conditions, and a certain type of skin disease known as sebaceous adenitis.

Tips for Maintaining Good Health

Regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and regular exercise are key to ensuring Gordon Setter’s long and healthy life.

Gordon Setter Care and Grooming

Daily Exercise Requirements

As an energetic breed, the Gordon Setter requires daily exercise. This could be in the form of walks, runs, or play sessions in the backyard.

Diet and Nutrition Needs

Feeding your Gordon Setter a balanced diet is crucial for its health. The diet should be rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. The amount of food required may vary based on the dog’s age, size, and activity level.

Grooming Requirements and Tips

Gordon Setters have a beautiful but high-maintenance coat. Regular brushing is necessary to prevent matting and tangling. They also need periodic baths to keep their coat clean and shiny.

Gordon Setter Training and Behavior Management

Training Techniques Specific to Gordon Setters

Training a Gordon Setter requires patience and consistency. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise.

Common Behavior Problems and Management Strategies

Common behavioral issues can include barking and digging. It’s important to address these issues early on through consistent training and socialization.

Socialization and Obedience Training

Early socialization is important for Gordon Setters. This involves exposing them to different environments, people, and other animals to help them grow into well-rounded dogs.

Gordon Setter Living Conditions

Ideal Home Environment

Gordon Setters can adapt to different living conditions. However, they’re best suited to homes with large yards where they can expend their energy.

Suitability for Families, Singles, and Seniors

This breed can be a great companion for families, singles, or seniors as long as their exercise needs are met.

Compatibility with Other Pets

With proper socialization, Gordon Setters can get along well with other pets in the household.

Activities and Jobs for Gordon Setters

Breed-Specific Jobs and Tasks

Given their hunting background, Gordon Setters excel at jobs and tasks that involve tracking and retrieving.

Sports and Activities Ideal for Gordon Setters

Gordon Setters also excel at various dog sports like agility, obedience, and flyball due to their high energy levels and eagerness to please.

Gordon Setter Adoption and Buying Considerations

Factors to Consider Before Adoption or Purchase

Before bringing a Gordon Setter into your life, consider factors like the dog’s exercise needs, grooming requirements, and lifespan.

Average Cost for Buying a Gordon Setter

The cost of a Gordon Setter can vary widely, depending on factors like the breeder’s reputation and the puppy’s lineage.

Rescue Organizations and Reputable Breeders

If you’re considering adopting a Gordon Setter, look for reputable breeders or consider rescue organizations that focus on the breed.

Traveling with Your Gordon Setter

Preparing Your Gordon Setter for Travel

Whether it’s a trip to the local park or a vacation across the country, traveling with your Gordon Setter can be a joyous experience. However, preparation is key to ensuring a smooth journey. Acclimating your dog to car rides, securing a comfortable and safe travel crate, and bringing necessary supplies such as food, water, and toys are some measures to ensure a stress-free travel experience for your pet.

The Gordon Setter and the Environment

Eco-friendly Practices for Gordon Setter Owners

As a pet owner, there are several ways you can contribute to environmental conservation. Opting for biodegradable poop bags, choosing eco-friendly grooming products, and feeding your Gordon Setter sustainable pet food are just a few practices that can reduce your pet’s environmental paw print.

Gordon Setters and Children

Building a Strong Bond Between Children and Gordon Setters

Gordon Setters are known for their affinity towards children. However, it’s crucial to teach children how to interact with dogs respectfully. Guiding children on appropriate petting, understanding dog body language, and showing them how to engage in fun, safe play with the dog can foster a strong, lifelong bond between your child and your Gordon Setter.

The Aging Gordon Setter

Caring for Your Gordon Setter in Its Senior Years

As your Gordon Setter ages, its care requirements will change. Older dogs may face health issues such as arthritis or decreased vision and may require a diet tailored to their age. Regular vet check-ups become even more crucial in the senior years to monitor any potential health issues. Providing a comfortable living environment, maintaining a suitable exercise routine, and giving lots of love can ensure your Gordon Setter enjoys its golden years.


Every breed has its unique qualities, and Gordon Setters are no different. They’re energetic, intelligent, and loyal dogs that can make wonderful companions. Whether you’re looking for a family pet, a hunting companion, or a sports enthusiast, this breed has a lot to offer. Deciding on a dog breed is a personal decision that depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and circumstances. We hope that this guide has provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision about whether the Gordon Setter is the right breed for you.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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