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September 13, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Gordon Setter

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

A fun, energetic sporting dog, the Gordon Setter has some wonderful qualities! Could this be your next dog?

The Gordon Setter was the first sporting breed developed in Scotland, and the modern version was established in the early 1800s by the Duke of Gordon (hence their name). The Gordon Setter is one of the breeds used to develop the Irish Setter and are highly regarded as bird dogs, but are also popular as companions.

Couch Potatoes Need Not Apply

The Gordon Setter is a busy breed and will be enjoyed by an active person or family. They are an ideal breed for running, hiking, and walking. Therefore, the Gordon Setter thrives in a family that can meet their high energy level and provide a daily exercise program.

The Gordon does well when properly socialized with other dogs and children. They are the perfect size for a home with smaller children, but can be rambunctious around kids too. If your family has cats, the Gordon Setter will be fine around them so long as they are introduced at a young age.

Because of their high energy, a doggy daycare, dog park, or dog beach will make the Gordon Setter a very happy dog! This breed will not do well when crated for long hours.

Gun Dog First

This breed was developed for pointing and retrieving fowl, but due to their lack of speed, their popularity as a Gun Dog declined quickly, with other pointers being used more often in the sport. However, as their popularity decreased in the hunting fields, it grew in the companion department.

Gordon Setters have impeccable tracking abilities, making them a breed that enjoys exploring. Having a fenced in-yard for them to romp around in will help prevent their roaming tendencies. Bear in mind, if you live an urban lifestyle in an apartment or condo, the Gordon Setter should not be considered. Instead, this is the ideal breed for country living.

Water-Loving Breed

The Gordon Setter really enjoys the water and has been known to excel at Dock Diving. If you happen to live near water, keep the Gordon in mind, as they make perfect swimming companions!

As long as the Gordon Setter is provided with adequate exercise and obedience training (they are very smart), they will make loving, dedicated, and cheerful companions.

Feathery, Wavy, and Long Coat

Their beautiful black and tan coat is long, wavy, and feathery throughout, making it high maintenance in the grooming department. The Gordon's coat quickly attracts burrs and will mat and tangle easily. Daily brushing is required and will be beneficial in keeping it looking silky soft.

This breed sheds and should only be bathed when necessary. Regular trimmings are important to keep their coat in top condition.

Nail trimmings should be done every 8 - 12 weeks.

Health Concerns

The Gordon Setter has some health issues, such as bloat, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and hip dysplasia. Their average lifespan is 10-12 years.

Adopt First

Consider looking for a Gordon Setter through rescue organizations first. Every year, there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!


Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe

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