top of page
Gordon Setter shutterstock_71294902.jpg

About the Breed: Gordon Setter


The Gordon Setter is a fairly rare breed of setter today. They are a very active dog that is devoted to their family.


The Gordon Setter is a fairly rare breed of setter today. They were first bred to hunt 200 years ago in Scotland by Alexander Gordon, the Fourth Duke of Gordon around 1827. The first Gordon Setterss in the United States were imported in 1842 by George Blunt of New York. The Gordons were first recognized as a breed by the British Kennel Club in 1872 and in America by the AKC in 1884.

Like the English and Irish Setter, there is a Field type and a Bench Setter.


Gordon Setters are energetic companions that thrive on the company of people.


As with most setters, they are working dogs with an innate desire and need to hunt. They need lots of regular exercise to be content and happy. They are also family dogs, who love their humans and want to be with them as much as possible.

Gordon Setters can be more protective than other setters, reserved towards strangers, and sometimes aggressive towards other dogs.


  • Sweet, loving, and devoted dogs

  • Great exercise partner, as they love to run.

  • Somewhat protective of their family.


  • Need regular brushing and grooming. (This is not really a fault, but something to be aware of so one does not end up with a coat full of tangles and matts.)

  • Like other setters, Gordons may have a high prey drive and therefore would not be good in a home with cats or other small animals.

Best With

  • An active home where they will get lots of exercise.

  • Homes with a medium to large securely fenced yard.

  • A family that wants a dog to be a part of the family inside and outside.

Not For

  • People who need to leave their dog alone all day.

  • A family that is unwilling or unable to spend time with their dog and regularly exercise their dog.



Gordon Setters tend to be larger than the other setter breeds.


A large female might be 24 inches at the shoulder, and roughly 45 pounds.


A large male might be 27 inches at the shoulder, and roughly 65 pounds.



Black with tan tips, sometimes with a little white.

Energy Level:


Very active.

Life Expectancy:

On average, 10 to 14 years.



Generally fine with children as long as the children know how to treat a dog with respect and kindness.

Other Animals:


Gordons generally like other dogs, but may be competitive for human attention or even aggressive towards other dogs. Their high prey drive does not make them compatible with cats or other small animals.



Hunting, hunting, and more hunting, even if there is no one to shoot the bird, they will still be hunting. Gordons may thrive on agility and are good hikers.



Gordons have a long silky coat that needs regular brushing. They do shed somewhat.


Higher risk for bloat.

DUNGd: a genetic neurologic disease that begins to show up at about 3 weeks old.

Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia.

bottom of page