Breed Organization Gordon Setter Club of America Website: http://www.gsca.org Native Country Scotland Other Names Gordon Setter, Scottish Setter Life Expectancy Approximately 10-12 Years Litter Size Average 6-8 Puppies Breed Group AKC Sporting
Breed Appearance A Gordon Setter is a large breed of dog, a
member of the setter family that also includes both the better-known
Irish Setter and the English Setter. Setter breeds are classified as
members of either the Sporting or Gundog Group depending on the
national kennel club or council. The original purpose of the breed
was to hunt gamebirds. Their quarry in the United Kingdom, may be
partridge or grouse, pheasant, ptarmigan, blackgame, snipe or
woodcock: whilst overseas bird dogs are worked on quail, willow
grouse, sand grouse, guinea fowl, sagehen, francolin and any other
bird that will sit to a dog - that is to say, will attempt to avoid
a potential predator by concealment rather than by taking to the
wing at the first sign of danger. It is this combination of a bird
that will sit fast in front of a dog that will remain on point that
makes bird dog work possible.
Gordon setters, also known as "black and tans," have a coal-black
coat with distinctive markings of a rich chestnut or mahogany color
on their paws and lower legs, vents, throat, and muzzles; one spot
above each eye; and two spots on their chest. A small amount of
white is allowed on the chest. Although uncommon, red Gordons are
occasionally born to normal-colored parents, the result of
expression of a recessive red gene. Predominantly tan, red, or buff
dogs are ineligible for showing. A Gordon's coat is straight or
slightly waved (but not curly), long and silky, with chest, stomach,
ear, leg, and tail feathering. According to the AKC breed standard,
"the bearing is intelligent, noble, and dignified." They are the
heaviest of the setter breeds, with males reaching 27 inches at the
withers and up to 80 pounds in weight.
Breed Description Head: Taller than it is wide, chiseled.
Slightly domed skull. Pronounced stop. Long muzzle. Strong jaws.
Lips not pendulous. Pink nose. Ears: set on low,, medium in size, thin, hanging against the
head. Long, silky feathering at the tops of the ears. Eyes: Dark brown. Body: Medium in length. Brisket
not too wide. Chest well let-down. Well-sprung ribs. Short back.
Broad, slightly arched loin. Tail: Thick at the base, tapering to thin tip. Straight or
curved loosely in sickle fashion, carried level to the ground. Long,
straight feathering (or fringe). Hair: Short and fine on the head ad front of the legs. Medium
in length on the rest of the body. Long, fine, flat feathering on
the back of the legs. Feathering on the abdomen. Coat: Rich, glossy, smoky black on without traces of rust, with
tan-markings of a bright reddish-chestnut. Black pencil marks on the
toes are allowed, as are black stripes below the jaws. Tan markings:
two spots above the eyes, on either side of the muzzle. Two large
spots on the chest. Markings on the inside of the hind legs. On the
forelegs, tan markings from the feet to the elbows. A small white
spot on the chest is allowed.
History The Gordon Setter was developed in the
mid-sixteenth century in Scotland. By the late eighteenth century,
the Duke of Gordon had arrived at a breed resembling that of today.
Some believe that English and Irish Setters, the Collie, and the
Bloodhound were used in developing the Gordon Setter. The first
so-called "Black and Tan Scottish Spaniels" were imported to France
by 1860. In 1923, a Gordon Setter club was founded. The Gordon
Setter is less common than other setters.
Behavior Tough and extremely hardy, the Gordon Setter
can adapt to all kinds of terrain. He has an excellent nose and
differs from the English Setter in his heavier structure, less
impressive gallop, and standing point. His search range is more
limited than that of other setters. He is a remarkable swimmer,
tracks all sorts of game, and can retrieve. His specialties include
woodcock and snipe. Calm, docile, and affectionate, he makes a
wonderful pet. He needs firm but patient and gentle training.
Health Although not as prone to hip dysplasia as many
of the larger breeds, Gordons can suffer from the condition. Other
health issues can include hypothyroidism, gastric torsion (bloat)
and eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and
Advice He adapts fairly well to city life. He needs
space and lots of exercise, as well as regular brushing and
attention to the ears and coat.