Gordon Setter


Basic Information

United Kingdom
Breed Group
Black and Tan,Red
25 - 35 Pounds
14 - 16 Inches



Gordon Setters have been around for a long time, but they were only brought to people's attention by the fourth Duke of Gordon in the 1800s. These handsome, proud working dogs boast being the largest of all the setters. They are active dogs by nature and adore being kept busy with the added bonus of them keeping a lot of their puppy characteristics throughout their lives which makes sharing a home with a Gordon Setter a real joy.

Not only are they extremely handsome dogs, but they are intelligent and they remain extremely loyal to their families enjoying nothing more than being part of a family and in home environment which are just some of the reasons why the Gordon Setter was at one time such a popular dog. However, their numbers have dwindled over recent time and today these elegant dogs have been placed on The Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native breeds.

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There are records of “black and tan setting dogs” being in Scotland that date as far as back as the 1600's. However, it was the Duke of Gordon who brought the breed to everyone's attention around 200 years later when he introduced them into his kennels. According to his records, The Duke noted they were not “fast dogs”, but they were extremely hardy with wonderful “staying powers” which meant they could work from morning till the sun went down at night with no trouble at all. He also noted they were extremely good scent dogs and seldom did they make a “false point”. If a Gordon Setter stood still, you could be sure a bird lay exactly where these dogs were standing.

The early Gordon Setters were black and white although they could also be tricoloured or their coats could have a reddish hue to them. But the Duke's preferred colour was black and tan. When the Duke passed away in 1827, his son continued the tradition of having Gordon Setters in his kennels and it was the “black and tan” dogs that prevailed.

The first time Gordon Setters were registered with The Kennel Club was in the mid to late 1800's. On the first occasion it was a Black and Tan Setter called Dandie who took part in a dog show and won first prize for setters – his ancestry led straight back to the Duke of Gordon's kennels. However, the breed was only officially given its name in 1924. Today Gordon Setters are recognised by all the major kennel clubs around the world. With this said, they have now been placed on The Kennel Clubs vulnerable native breed list due to the fact that very few puppies are registered with them annually.

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