Gordon Setter

History

The Gordon Setter is a larger breed, coming from the same family as the more well known Irish and English Setters. The exact origin of this breed is unknown, but it is most likely the result of a cross between the Old Land Spaniel and Pointers. It was used in the field to help track, point and retrieve game birds such as Partridge, Pheasant and Grouse.

Behaviour

These are athletic dogs, incredibly devoted to their owners. They are loyal and loving and will seldom leave your side. Younger dogs can be a bit bouncy and over-energetic with small children, but this should sort itself out over time. They make for great pets and will fit right into family life, being good with children and other pets. They can be a bit wary and unsure of strangers at first. As a very active breed, these dogs will need to be kept busy in order for them not to get frustrated. They love to run about and are quite responsive with recall commands. But their independent streak can sometimes kick in and they may choose not to listen to you. Gordons will need firm but gentle training and generally have a good attitude towards learning new things.

These Setters are slow to mature and don’t really “grow up” until they are around 3 years old. They’re a brave and fearless breed with a constantly wagging tail. Flyball or any other physical sport will help tire them out. As with many other breeds, as long as they are with you then they’ll be happy. They were originally bred to run and will need to be able to do this in order to let off some steam. A safe, closed space is best for this as they aren’t very road savvy and no one wants an accident to happen. If they don't receive the exercise that they need they’ll become restless and agitated. This could lead to them creating a mess inside the house. They can be sensitive dogs and may react badly to firm training, so perhaps being a bit more forgiving with this breed will pay off more. They have a strong temperament and have a noticeable independent streak, which can sometimes lead to stubbornness. Forcing this dog to do something they don’t want to do isn't the best idea, it’s best to let them choose when training begins and ends (after basic training is finished, of course). They make great running partners and in turn running with them will help strengthen your bond with them. They are very vocal dogs and will let you know how they feel with an array of different sounds and gestures.

Gordons needs brushing 2 - 3 times per week, paying extra attention to the 'feathering' around their tummy, legs, chest ears and tail.

Temperament

The Gordon Setter has an elegant and sensible temperament for a Setter. Like all Setters they can be lively and enthusiastic but the Gordan is more alert and protective towards his family. They love one on one attention and will form tight bonds with their family. This can also make them reserved towards strangers and sometimes aggressive towards or jealous of other dogs.

Health Problems

Being the largest of the Setters, these dogs are less prone to Canine Hip Dysplasia than most, but are at higher risk of bloat, cataracts, elbow dysplasia, bloat and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina which can lead to blindness).

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
  • Weight: 46 - 80 pounds
  • Height: 23 - 27"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Medium
  • Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
  • Town or Country: Country
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
  • Breed Type: Gun Dog
  • Size: Large
  • Energy Level: High
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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