The Gordon Setter is trustworthy, active, intelligent and fun. Gordon Setters tend to be one-person dogs, but make great family pets. They get on well with children but can be wary of strangers and other dogs. It is best to socialize Gordon Setters at an early age with people and animals to avoid any difficulties once they are fully grown. They are protective of their handler or family and extremely loyal. They definitely prefer life with a family than in a kennel. Gordon Setters tend to be trained fairly easily, so long as their handler takes into account that they can have a mind of their own.
The Gordon Setter needs regular brushing to keep the coat looking healthy. The ear canals need to be kept clean and the excess hair below the ears needs to be trimmed to allow for adequate ventilation. The outside hair on the ears should never be trimmed (it is trimmed on other Setters).
Gordon Setters enjoy and need their exercise. A good way for them to burn energy is running alongside a cycle (once fully grown). If these dogs receive enough exercise then they will be calm indoors. Gordon Setters tend to wander so they need to be kept in a fenced off area.
They can be fairly demanding as they do enjoy and their food and are reasonably heavy once fully grown.
In the 17th century a distinct type of black and tan setter was found in Scotland. This type of dog only rose in popularity due to the influence of the Duke of Gordon. It was in the late 1700s that the Duke focused on improving these black and tan setters. It is believed that he cross-bred the setters with the black and tan Bloodhound, which created the heavier bone and deeper lipped muzzles that we see in the English and Irish Setters today.
General Appearance: Solid, stylish and affectionate.
Color: Black with tan on designated areas.
Coat: Moderately long, straight and flat. The hair is shorter on the head and front of the legs. The hair is long and silky on the ears. Feathering is on the stomach and may extend to the chest and throat.
Tail: Quite short, straight or slightly scimitar shaped, tapering and carried horizontally or under the line of the back.
Ears: Set low, medium length, thin and hanging close to the head.
Body: The body is of medium length with well sprung ribs. The back is short, strong and straight and the loin is broad and slightly arched. The croup is almost horizontal.
- Gordon Setters are slow to physically mature and go through a leggy, gawky stage, but they eventually grow into a sound, dignified dog.