Gordon Setter
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Gordon Setter

Last updated: Aug 30 2023

The Gordon Setter is a superb hunting breed from Scotland. They were bred to hunt quail and pheasant and are known for their superior hunting ability and skill. They are described as being extremely dignified, and if you have ever seen one of these dogs, you surely understand why. They are very good-looking, and they get most of the attention wherever they go.

These days, the Gordon Setter is still being used for field trials but is mostly lovable family pets that enjoy different family activities. This breed is known to mature rather late, and even in the later stages of their life, they keep their “puppyness”. That is quite handy if you have children, as these dogs will love nothing more than to play and run around with the kids.

The good thing is that the Gordons will just walk away when they had enough of playing. They can also learn to get along with other pets, such as cats if raised together. They are not fond of other dogs, so early socialization is necessary.

Gordon Setter


23-27 in (58-68 cm)

Gordon Setter


45-80 lb (20-36 kg)

Gordon Setter


Great Britain

Gordon Setter

Life Expectancy:

12-13 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health


These dogs are known for their beautiful, long coat. The only color combination that is allowed in this breed is black and tan. A small white marking can be found on their chest, and the general rule about those markings is - the smaller, the better. Taking care of such a rich coat will require time and patience.

Make sure you have enough time to invest in keeping your dog’s coat healthy and good-looking. Brush them at least once a week and give them a bath once a month. Too many baths are not recommended as they can dry their skin. Their coat can easily get tangled and matted if it is not being taken care of, and to prevent that, you need to establish a regular brushing schedule.

The rest is basic care, brush their teeth at least twice a week to prevent tartar buildup and ensure their gums remain healthy. It will also prevent any bacteria from spreading. Trim their nails if the dog hasn’t worn them out naturally.

two Gordon Setters


Like so many other breeds, the Gordon Setter will also require proper socialization, and it is recommended that you start that process as early as possible. That means that you should expose your puppy to many different sights, sounds, situations, people, and dogs so that your puppy can learn how to adapt and what is the proper way to react in different situations.

The socialization will ensure that your puppy develops into a well-balanced and well-behaved dog that you can take with you anywhere.

Gordon Setter


Gordon Setters are excellent family dogs that will get along with every family member, including children. Take note that kids need to be taught how to properly play and interact with a dog so Gordon Setter can enjoy their company. If they are raised together from an early age, they will be playing part, and they will enjoy spending time together.

Gordon Setter will be protective of the kids in their family, and they can put a lot whit them while playing.

Children should never be left alone with any dog, no matter what breed it might be. You should make sure that your children understand how to approach dogs of this breed and understand how to interact and play with them properly.

Other animals

Gordon Setters will get along excellently with other dogs and pets if they are raised together, but in many cases, these dogs will not be fond of other dogs outside of the house.

Gordon Setter running

Gordon Setter training

Training should also start when your new Gordon Setter puppy arrives at your home. If you are unsure how to approach training, enroll your new puppy in doggy daycare or puppy training school. Training should be filled with treats, praises, and positive training methods. This is a breed that will not tolerate harsh training methods like threats, scaring, or punishment.

Health problems

The Gordon Setter is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to some health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 12-13 years. 

When getting any breed, the breeder must show you the health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to ensure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems. Health problems associated with this breed are;

  • Hypothyroidism - A health problem caused by the hyperproduction of hormones from the thyroid gland.
  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy - Group of diseases that affect the retina and cause it to deteriorate over time.
  • Elbow Dysplasia - Usually, it affects large breeds and is caused by uneven growth of three bones making a dog’s elbow.
  • Gastric Torsion - Also known as bloat. A dangerous condition that causes the stomach to twist (torsion).

three Gordon Setters


When getting a dog, the most important thing is to get it from a responsible and reputable Gordon Setter breeder. Responsible breeders will breed dogs that don’t only look good but have great characters as well. You must find a good Gordon Setter breeder that can help you learn about this breed and make an informed choice about getting a dog with these characteristics. 

Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy. If you are unable to buy a dog, we advise you to search for local animal shelters because there is a chance you can find Gordon Setter's dog in it.

If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.

World Dog Finder team


Updated at30.08.2023.

Breed History

Gordon Setters were used for hunting birds from an early age. This dog was developed to lie down when he located the bird. This form of hunting required a hunter to throw a net over a bird and, many times, over the dogs as well. Alexander Gordon plays a major role in the development of Gordon Setters. First, dogs were imported to the US in 1842. And the official name “Gordon Setter” was accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1924.