A Guide to the Gordon Setter Dog, A Truly Scottish Breed Why This Breed Is Such A Good Sport

Gordon Setters photo
Large Breed Hip Dysplasia Cataract Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Gordon Setter

Is The Gordon Setter Dog Right For You?

  • 1 Gordon Setters are most known for their loyal, friendly, and fearless demeanor.
  • 2 Although wary of strangers, they are not hostile.
  • 3 Gordon Setter puppies must be introduced to socialization to avoid aggression towards other breeds.


Tracing their history back to the 17th century in Scotland, the Gordon Setter gained renown as an excellent bird dog and for having a superb sense of smell. The favorite of Duke Alexander IV of Gordon, these dogs are exceptionally versatile in their ability to track and retrieve fallen fowl in a wide variety of climates. As it would happen, they lost favor in later years due to their lack of speed in comparison with their Pointer cousins. The Gordon Setter was recognized by the AKC in 1884.

Quick Facts

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    10-12 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    24-27 inches (61-69 cm)

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    Male Weight

    55-80 pounds (25-36 kg)

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    Female Height

    23-26 inches (58-66 cm)

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    Female Weight

    45-70 pounds (20-32 kg)

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    Litter Size

    7-9 puppies


The Gordon Setter is a loyal, friendly, obedient, loving dog. Smart and caring, this breed is great with children and willing to learn. However, being a hunting dog, this breed needs a lot of exercise in order to keep from becoming restless. Best to socialize early so as to avoid negative behaviors from becoming cemented. .


The Gordon Setter comes in only one set of colors, which is black and tan, with only specific markings accepted in show dogs.

Health Concerns

Gordon Setters are a healthy breed of dog with a life expectancy of 10 โ€“ 12 years. They require meals 2 โ€“ 3 times a day, instead of one large meal. Some are prone to health conditions like:


The Gordon Setter has a sturdy body with straight front legs. They have dark oval eyes, feathered tail, long muzzle, large head and a black nose with large nostrils. The breed has a slightly wavy black coat with differentiated tan markings. An average male is 26 inches tall and weighs 70 pounds.

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