The Gordon Setter is one of several setter breeds. These dogs were developed to 'set', once they have located game birds, they until given further instruction by their hunter. Before the invention of gunpowder this allowed for the prey to be captured by nets, where in more modern times they would be flushed toward the waiting guns. Today, with less demand for hunting and the more refined all-purpose gundogs, most setters are kept as companions or show dogs.
Gordon Setter Standards
- AKC (Sporting)
- FCI (Group 7)
- KC (Gundog)
- UKC (Gun Dog)
- 56-65 lbs
- large setter
- fairly large, thin ears are set low
- moderate length tail, does not reach below hock
- soft coat is straight or slightly wavy with feathering
- black and tan (rich chestnut or mahogany)
History of the Gordon Setter
Setters have existed in Scotland since the 1600s and it was at the end of that century that the Duke of Gordon began breeding the dogs that would bear his name. He created a larger, stronger, setter with increased endurance more suited to the rugged northern countryside. It is believed that at some point a drop of Collie blood must have been added to his strain, as some early dogs would circle their prey, as if trying to herd it before setting. The black and tan colors of today’s Gordon Setter is thought to have been fixed much later in their development, as the Duke was known to also keep black and white, red and white and tricolor examples.