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Gordon Setter

GordonSetter

A Clumsy & Rambunctious Pal

Compassionate, devoted, protective

Gordon Setters are enthusiastic, affectionate, and energetic large dogs. Gordons are good with children and other pets, but can be timid around strangers. These lively dogs have an outstanding sense of smell and love to hunt. They are excellent companions for hikers, hunters, active individuals, families, and seniors. Gordons need strenuous daily exercise to stay in shape.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:23-27 in. Weight:45-80 lb Lifespan:10-12 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
4

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
2

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Gordon Setters are a high energy hunting dog so a fenced yard and exercise are a must. Keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

Grooming: They need to be brushed regularly to keep their coat mat-free.

Dental: Gordon Setters generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


They are alert, enthusiastic, tireless, and fearless hunting dogs. With proper exercise and socialization,n they make a cheerful and affectionate family companion.

Positive Traits:

• Excellent family dog, watchdog, and hunting dog

• Brave and ready for adventure

• Sweet, playful, and friendly

• Good with kids and other pets

• Devoted, loyal, and protective

• Intelligent and easy to train

Negative Traits:

• Needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation

• Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

• Prone to separation anxiety and associated barking and chewing behaviors

• Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

• Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

• Standoffish toward strangers

Whether you are considering adding a new Gordon Setter to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Gordon Setter will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Gordon Setter you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Gordon Setter could encounter:

  • Bloat
  • Eye Problems
  • Cataracts
  • Dry Eye
  • Eyelid Abnormality
  • Retinal Dysplasia

The Gordon Setter originated in Scotland during the early part of the 17th century. Bred as a one-man gun dog, they are used today as game birds. Gordons have an outstanding sense of smell and excel at hunting, tracking, pointing, and retrieving. The Gordon Setter can be independent and strong-willed. While they are loyal and loving, they require a strong leader and adequate exercise. Gordons are protective of their family and home and may be aggressive with strange dogs.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Gordon Setter shows signs of the following:

• Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

• Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

• Cloudiness to eye lens

• Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge

• Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

• Drooping or outward rolling eyelid, red eye(s)

• Bumping into objects, startles easily

• Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

• General reluctance to run or play

• Fatigue during exercise, coughing, or shortness of breath

• Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

• Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

• Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

• Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

• Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

• Brittle, easily breakable nails

  • Care

    Routine Care: Gordon Setters are a high energy hunting dog so a fenced yard and exercise are a must. Keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

    Grooming: They need to be brushed regularly to keep their coat mat-free.

    Dental: Gordon Setters generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    They are alert, enthusiastic, tireless, and fearless hunting dogs. With proper exercise and socialization,n they make a cheerful and affectionate family companion.

    Positive Traits:

    • Excellent family dog, watchdog, and hunting dog

    • Brave and ready for adventure

    • Sweet, playful, and friendly

    • Good with kids and other pets

    • Devoted, loyal, and protective

    • Intelligent and easy to train

    Negative Traits:

    • Needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Prone to separation anxiety and associated barking and chewing behaviors

    • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

    • Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

    • Standoffish toward strangers

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Gordon Setter to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Gordon Setter will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Gordon Setter you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Gordon Setter could encounter:

    • Bloat
    • Eye Problems
    • Cataracts
    • Dry Eye
    • Eyelid Abnormality
    • Retinal Dysplasia
  • History

    The Gordon Setter originated in Scotland during the early part of the 17th century. Bred as a one-man gun dog, they are used today as game birds. Gordons have an outstanding sense of smell and excel at hunting, tracking, pointing, and retrieving. The Gordon Setter can be independent and strong-willed. While they are loyal and loving, they require a strong leader and adequate exercise. Gordons are protective of their family and home and may be aggressive with strange dogs.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Gordon Setter shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Drooping or outward rolling eyelid, red eye(s)

    • Bumping into objects, startles easily

    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Fatigue during exercise, coughing, or shortness of breath

    • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

    • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Brittle, easily breakable nails

Gordon Setter Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Gordon Setter breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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