What Is A Gordon Setter?
The Gordon Setter is a large dog breed that belongs to the same setter family as the better-known Irish Setter and English Setter. Depending on the national kennel club or council, setter breeds are categorised as either members of the Sporting or Gundog Group.
The breed’s initial purpose was to hunt gamebirds. Their preys include partridge or grouse, pheasant, ptarmigan, blackgame, snipe, or woodcock, whereas overseas bird dogs are trained on quail, willow grouse, sand grouse, guinea fowl, sagehen, francolin, and any other bird that will “sit” for a dog, that is, will attempt to avoid a potential predator by Bird dog work is made feasible by the combination of a bird that will sit quickly in front of a dog that will remain on point.
The Gordon Setter is a descendant of the red-and-white Setters of the sixteenth century, but with its long body and low tail it is distinct from this race. It is one of our best known sporting breeds, whether it is hunted by duck or greyhound, or at home in a gamekeeper’s cottage.
The breed is a comparatively modern development, but even in the days of its origin it was a firm favourite with gamekeepers, who used it to assist them in their work.
How Does Gordon Setters Look Like?
The Gordon Setter is generally a small, neat dog, with pale red or pale white body and legs; under the throat is tweed-like black and white; on the tail are black rings. The head is long, with a prominent brow; the muzzle is pointed and the ears are small, erect, and wide apart. The expression of the dog is alert and intelligent.
Gordon Setters have a high nose and rather wide foreface, while their head seems too large for them; they have homeliness and refinement combined in a charming manner. The curled and pendent tail gives them an air of gentility; in fact, they are the finest and most refined of our sporting dogs.
Gordon Setters have sensitive noses which make them eager trackers. They are very eager to hunt and will follow any scent given to them. They have a strong body and legs, a low-set tail and long, silky hair.
Their coat is soft and dense, and never harsh or wiry; it is the original “silky setter”.
Where Is Gordon Setters Originated?
The first Gordon Setter was born at Gordon Castle in Moray, Scotland in the mid-17th century. When the Marquees of Huntly moved to Gordon Castle, he brought his Scottish deerhounds and setters with him. It is said that James Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly (1571 – 1636), enjoyed the sport of falconry.
The dogs were used for hunting small game by sight.
The breed is named after the Duke of Gordon who took over the castle from the Marquees of Huntly in 1750. The duke had a great interest in hunting and was an early enthusiast for field sports.
In 1763 there were two packs of Gordon Setters and deerhounds, and in 1776 they had increased to over a hundred dogs. Each pack was kept with its own keeper. The Duke of Gordon hunted with his dogs in the parkland around the castle, while setting on his land to hunt hares and foxes.
What Is The Color Of Gordon Setter?
Gordon Setters, often known as “black and tans”, have a coal-black coat with distinguishing markings of a deep chestnut or mahogany color on their paws and lower legs, vents, throat, and muzzles; one spot over each eye; and two spots on their chest.
A tiny amount of white is allowed on the chest. Although uncommon, red Gordons are occasionally born to normal-colored parents, the consequence of manifestation of a recessive red gene. Predominantly tan, red, or buff dogs are ineligible for displaying. According to the AKC breed standard, “the bearing is intelligent, noble, and dignified”.
How Big Is The Gordon Setter?
Gordon Setters are the largest and heaviest of the setter breeds; a huge male may measure 27 inches at the shoulder and weigh 80 pounds.
In 1997, the UK Kennel Club (UKC) suggested that “like many dog breeds, Gordon setters vary in size from point of view of height. The breed is medium-sized and not disproportionately tall.” The breed has been known to reach as large as 18 inches at the withers, but generally weighs between 15 and 20 pounds.
What Is The Temperament Of Gordon Setters?
The AKC describes the Gordon Setter disposition as “alert, interested, and confident. He is fearless and willing, clever, and capable. He is loyal and friendly, and strong-minded enough to survive the rigors of training”.
Gordons are very loyal to their owners; flourish in an attentive, loving environment; and are ideal family dogs. Puppies and adult dogs can be rather loud, and although they are patient by nature, may not be suited for households with very young children.
Gordons are sensitive and compassionate, eager to learn, and need rigorous yet gentle handling. Early socialisation and obedience training is vital. The breed is one of the slowest to grow, not achieving prime until three years of age or more, and will show puppy-like qualities long into their senior years.
Gordon Setters are lively and responsive, usually showing considerable instinctive activity when mature. Active and bold, they have a great desire to hunt, pursue and capture prey. They are intelligent and quick-witted but tend not to be overly clever. Gordon Setters are lively dogs with much stamina, boundless energy and self-confidence.
Are Gordon Setters Recognized?
Gordon Setters are currently recognised by the following bodies:
The American Kennel Club officially recognised Gordon Setters breed in 1892.
The breed was first recognised in Australia in 1868 and later in Canada. In 1888 the first written standards were set by the American Kennel Club.
Gordon Setters have been used for hunting since the time of George III, who was a very keen hunter. By 1863, Robert Cox, a famous breeder in the country of New South Wales, imported gordon setters from Scotland.
In 1891, the Gordon Setter was introduced in Britain by Mr Osborne Gordon. The organisation of the breed was standardised by Messrs. Cross and Wilson in 1894, and was recognised with a description of its character, stature, etc., by The Kennel Club in 1894. In 1898 it appeared at Cruft’s in its present form.
Are Gordon Setters Hypoallergenic?
Although Gordon setters have no known allergies, their dander is allergenic for many people. It is recommended that Gordon setters not be allowed in the same room with people who suffer from asthma or other allergies. This is largely due to their habit of sniffing and licking their bodies.
Do Gordon Setters Shed a lot?
Gordon setters shed a lot more than other breeds and require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy.
They shed all year long and the amount of shedding increases during their moulting season in summer. They also need to be brushed often to keep their coats free from tangles.
Are Gordon Setters Aggressive?
Gordon Setters are generally known to be gentle, kind, and docile. However, they do need early socialisation in order to interact with other dogs. Gordon Setters are also not aggressive with people and tend to get along well with almost everyone.
Some Gordons may be aggressive toward other canines, but this is not a frequent characteristic of the breed, and they should never be vicious. Gordons can be aloof toward outsiders, preferring the company of their own kind.
They are tolerant of the attention of strangers, but they do not aggressively seek it out.
To prevent hostility or fear toward strangers, it is essential to socialize your Gordon Setter as a puppy by exposing him to a variety of people, sights, sounds, and circumstances. A socialized Gordon Terrier is attentive and brave, making him an ideal watchdog.