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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Gordon Setter

Group: Gundogs (Group 3)
Club: Gordon Setter Club Of Victoria Inc
Contact: Mrs Sue Natoli
Phone: 0448 396 548

Brief History

The Gordon Setter can be traced back to the early 17th century when it was known as the Black and Fallow Setting Dog. The name Gordon Setter was given to the breed due to its close links with the fourth Duke of Gordon and his ancestral home in Scotland at Gordon Castle. The Duke of Gordon had a strong kennel of working dogs in the early 1800’s and he was known to favour the beautifully marked Black and Tan Setters. The Gordon was bred to find game on the rugged moors of Scotland, so he required the substance and stamina to work all day in all conditions.

Average Life Span

When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 12 to 14 years.


The Gordon Setter has a character all of his own. He is quick and alert, bold and outgoing, with a kindly, even disposition. He is wary of strangers, aloof but not shy. The Gordon needs and demands attention for his proper development and returns this love and attention with unwavering loyalty.

He has a strong protective sense towards members of his family and home, but usually will readily adopt his owner’s attitude to strangers or visitors. Extreme loyalty and intelligence make the Gordon Setter an excellent family pet.

General Breed Description

The Gordon Setter is a stylish dog, intelligent, able, and dignified. He is often described as having “brains, beauty and bird sense”. While he is willing to please, he is also independent and determined, and he can have a stubborn streak. This is a slow-maturing breed, so may behave as a boisterous puppy for longer than most others. The Gordon Setter has a record of success in both Obedience and Field work and competes in other dog sports such as Agility, Tracking, Flyball, Scent Work and Conformation dog shows.

The Gordon has a lustrous coal-black coat with rich tan markings. There may be some white on the chest.

Coat and Care Requirements

The coat is silky and of moderate length, with longer fringing on the chest, belly, backs of legs and tail. It sheds year-round and therefore will need to be brushed and combed at least once a week to keep it free of tangles. The throat, ears and feet will need to be trimmed regularly to keep the dog tidy and free from mud and grass seeds.


Height: Male 66cms (26ins) Female 62cms (24.5ins).

Weight: Male 29.5kg (65lbs) Female 25.5kg(56lbs).


All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Gordon Setter is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Hip Dysplasia (HD), Elbow Dysplasia, Bloat, and Late Onset Progressive Retinal Atrophy (LOPRA rcd4).


The Gordon Setter requires regular exercise as well as training from an early age, to ensure that it becomes an obedient family member. It is recommended that your puppy be enrolled in puppy pre-school in order to receive plenty of socialisation. If this is done with an obedience club, then it will be easy to continue training the dog as he grows. This is a sensitive dog that does not respond to harsh discipline, so training should be calm & consistent but also varied, as he can become bored with repetitious routines. A secure yard is necessary, but a Gordon does not like to be left alone for long periods. He is a social animal that needs companionship, so he wants to be close to his family, whether that be out on a hike or relaxing on the couch. This is not a dog that adapts well to life in a kennel.

In Conclusion

Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

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