Gordon Setter Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
If the Irish Setter is the racehorse of the Setters, the Gordon Setter is the hunter. The Breed Standard describes his appearance as “Stylish dog with galloping lines. Consistent with its build which can be compared to a weight-carrying hunter.” Although the Gordon Setter will forever be associated with the Dukes of Gordon, there are records of kennels of Black and Tan Setters in the Midlands early in the 18thC.
The first of the breed that was to become the Gordon Setter were obtained by the Duke of Gordon from the future Earl of Leicester; when the Gordon Setter was first recognised by the Kennel Club in 1873 he was classified as the Black and Tan Setter. It was not until 1924 that an announcement was made in the Kennel Gazette:- “In the list of breeds …. dated 1st January 1924 the Setter (Black and Tan) …. is now officially designated…. “The Gordon Setter” . No clarification was given, but it was probably because by then most Gordons could be traced back to the Gordon Castle strain. It was shortly after this in 1927 that the Gordon Setter Club was formed.
He was bred for the grouse moors where he is a powerful and untiring worker, some estimates being that during the course of a day’s shooting he could comfortably cover 50 miles. A strong and intelligent dog he needs equally firm handling. Of all the Setters the Gordon is the one that will challenge you most for dominance; he responds well to firm and fair handling, but without a strong personality to control him he is an unhappy and confused dog.
Dogs should be 66cm at the withers and up to 65lbs, with bitches slightly smaller. His coat, smooth and flat on the body with extensive feathering in the adult, is his gloriously distinctive feature. The black is intensely so, rich and gleaming with deep chestnut markings. The coat does tend to become quite heavy with age and needs a reasonable amount of attention. To produce the sort of finish that is seen on show dogs requires considerable skill and a book on the breed should be bought if you want to achieve that effect. Whatever you do, don’t hand him over to professional groomer who will take the clippers to him.
The Gordon Setter is a very glamorous dog, but not for the novice; he needs lots of exercise and an owner who is able to dominate him and give him the guidance he needs.
- Somerled Cumbria
- Liric Herts
Rescue and Rehoming
Contact the Rehoming and Support organisation. Frequently a little support at the right time can avoid the need to rehome your dog. If not, they are best suited to helping find a forever home for your Gordon.