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Adopt a Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


gundog, setter, pointer

Area of origin:

Great Britain (Scotland)

Original function:

bird setting and retrieving

Average size of male:

Ht: 24-27, Wt: 55-80

Average size of female:

Ht: 23-26, Wt: 45-70

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Gordon Setter Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable Gordon Setter dogs available on Petfinder

Gordon Setter Dog Temperament

The Gordon setter is a capable, close-working bird dog. He can run and hunt all day, and this kind of energy needs a regular outlet or the dog is apt to become frustrated. Gordons make lively, enthusiastic companions and need the company of lively people. Somewhat more protective than the other setters, they can be reserved toward strangers. The Gordon has earned his reputation as a devoted family dog.

Gordon Setter Dog Care

The Gordon needs much strenuous exercise every day in order to stay in shape. He must be able to spend ample time with people and does best dividing his time between inside and outside. His coat needs regular brushing and combing every two to three days. In addition, some clipping and trimming is needed for optimal good looks.

Gordon Setter Dog Health

Major concerns: CHD, gastric torsion
Minor concerns: PRA, elbow dysplasia
Occasionally seen: cerebellar abiotrophy
Suggested tests: hip, elbow, eye
Life span: 10-12 years

Interested in the history of the Gordon Setter dog breed?

Black and tan setters existed in Scotland at least by the 1600s, but it was not until the late 1700s that the breed became established as the Gordon Castle setter. The fourth Duke of Gordon kept many of these dogs at his Gordon Castle, thus lending the breed his name. Efforts to breed the finest setters at Gordon Castle continued through the efforts of the Duke of Richmond after the Fourth duke's death. Although the breed's name was changed back to black and tan setter around 1900, the name Gordon setter was restored when the English Kennel Club registered the breed. Gordon setters are the heaviest and slowest working of the setter breeds, and this distinction was accentuated when Gordons first entered the show ring. In 1875, the trend toward an overly ponderous show Gordon was halted largely through the efforts of one man, Robert Chapman. Unlike many sporting breeds, little division between show- and field-type Gordons exists. Gordon setters first arrived in America in the mid-1800s and were among the first breeds recognized by the AKC, receiving the nod in 1892. The breed is a favorite among hunters demanding a one-man shooting dog, though he generally lacks the flash and speed of the other setter breeds. Although he has a steady following, he has never been as popular as the other setters as a pet.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Gordon Setter Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Gordon Setters ready for adoption:

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