Gordon Setter Dog Breed

The Gordon Setter is a popular breed of hunting dog.
By: PawCulture Editors
Gordon Setter Dog Breed

About the Gordon Setter Dog Breed

The Gordon Setter was bred by the Duke of Gordon in the 17th century and was used for hunting, pointing and retrieving.

Gordon Setter Physical Characteristics

Gordon Setters are large bodied dogs with large heads and a long neck. The ears are long and droopy, and the tail is long and skinny. All of these features work together when pointing at game.


The Gordon Setter is most commonly seen in black with orange or chestnut markings over the eyes and on the legs. There is a small patch of white commonly seen on the chest.


The Gordon Setter’s coat is flat, silky, long, and soft, with feathering on the chest, belly, legs, tail and ears.

Gordon Setter Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



Gordon Setters love to play and run. They are affectionate and loyal toward their family. This breed makes a wonderful running mate. They are protective of their surroundings and will bark at strangers.

Things to Consider

The Gordon Setter needs a lot of exercise and needs to be groomed regularly. Because they tend to be boisterous when they are young, this breed are best suited to older kids and need to be obedience trained early to prevent aggressive behavior with other animals. Additionally, they need to be kept in enclosed spaces, since they tend to wander.

*Note: This is not a good breed for the first time dog owner.

Gordon Setter Care

Ideal Living Conditions

Gordon Setters do best in the suburbs or country where it has plenty of space to run around.

Special Requirements

The Gordon Setter needs to be exercised daily.

Gordon Setter Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Gordon Setters:


Gordon Setter History and Background

The Gordon Setter is a popular breed of hunting dog, though it happens to be the slowest and bulkiest of the setter family. There are two types of Gordon Setters: one is the show Gordon, the other is the field-type Gordon.

Scotland had Black Tan Setters as early as the 15th century. A large number of the Setters were maintained at the castle of the Fourth Duke of Gordon. After the Duke of Gordon’s death, it was the Duke of Richmond who continued breeding the best of these setters at Gordon Castle.

Two Black and Tan Setters from the Gordon estate were brought to the United States in 1842, and in 1875, Robert Chapman organized a show of for the Setters, showcasing them for the first time. The breed was fully recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1892, but did not receive the name Gordon Setter until 1924. Today the breed is more popular as a hunting breed than as a family pet.