Gordon Setter or Scottish Setter - Origin, Characteristics and Character

Gordon Setter or Scottish Setter: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Gordon Setter, also known as the Sette...

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

The Gordon Setter, also known as the Scottish Setter, is characterized by its medium to large size, tan or light brown spots located on the nose, chest, lower edge of the legs and above. above the eyes, by its large ears and its muscular and balanced body. He is a noble and affectionate dog, very attached to his guardians, tolerant with children, but not with strangers, with whom he is shy, even suspicious. Because of this and because of the destructive behaviors and separation anxiety he can exhibit when left too much, he needs to be well socialized and well educated from an early age.As far as his he alth is concerned, he is a dog that enjoys a rather good state of he alth, but he is however predisposed to certain hereditary diseases linked to his large size as well as the most common diseases in dogs.

Continue reading this article from PlanèteAnimal to find out all the characteristics of the Gordon Setter, its origin, its character, its education, its care, its he alth and where to adopt one!

Happy reading!


  • Europe
  • United Kingdom

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group VII

Physical Characteristics

  • Muscular
  • Proportional
  • Short ears


  • Large


  • 55-70

Adult Weight

  • 25-45

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Shy
  • Smart
  • Affectionate
  • Quiet

Ideal for

  • Children
  • Apartment
  • House
  • Walking
  • The guard
  • Sports

Recommended climate

  • Cold

Hair type

  • Medium
  • End

Origin of the Gordon Setter

" The Gordon Setter or Scottish Setter is a dog originating from Scotland and it is estimated that it appeared in 1620, the year in which a breed of black and fawn dog was described which was already called Gordon Setter. It is believed to have originated from breeds such as the Burgos retriever, collies, San Hubert hound and other ancient breeds of spaniel dog, which were used for hunting capercaillie, pheasants, partridges and the like. birds."

This dog owes its name to the fourth Duke of Gordon because it was he who made the decision that this breed would be officially established in his castle in Banffshire, Scotland in 1827.

If you want to know more about Scottish breeds, don't miss this other article with Scottish dog breeds.

Characteristics of the Gordon Setter

The Gordon Setter is a medium to large sized dog, measuring between 58 and 68 cm and weighing between 22 and 34 kg. It is a well-proportioned dog, with a robust and powerful body. His main physical characteristics are:

  • Head up with a well-developed skull
  • Regular and strong jaw
  • Almond-shaped eyes of a proportionate size and a shiny dark brown color
  • Long square muzzle
  • Black Truffle
  • Droopy, medium and thin ears
  • Medium Length Body
  • Wide chest with curved ribs
  • Strong and short back
  • Very bushy, medium-sized tail, straight or slightly curved

Colors of the Gordon Setter

The coat of Scottish setters is soft, profuse and shiny, straight or slightly wavy in areas such as the tail, ears and belly. It is short on the top of the head and the front parts of the legs, and longer on the top of the ears and the front parts of the legs.

Its coat color is charcoal black with tan or brown markings on the legs and the underside of the throat, legs and muzzle.Some Scottish Setters have a white patch on their chest or black patches under their jaw or toes. Oxide red, on the other hand, is not accepted.

Character of the Gordon Setter

The Gordon Setter is a very affectionate and pleasant dog with his guardian. Especially when he is a puppy or young, he is also a very energetic dog. He is a very tolerant canine with children, whom he will protect and with whom he will enjoy playing and racing. Of course, as he is a large dog, games with children must always be supervised in order to avoid accidents.

Because they form an unbreakable bond with their guardians, the Gordon Setter does not tolerate loneliness well and they can end up developing issues such as separation anxiety, which can lead to destructive behaviors , stereotypies and excessive barking. Note that he is a shy dog with strangers, who prefers to be surrounded by his family rather than strangers.For this reason, the Scottish setter is a good watchdog. Be careful, this does not mean that you must always leave it outside because, as we have said, it is a dog that constantly needs your attention.

He's also likely to get stressed out if you don't allow him physical exertion every day.

Gordon Setter Education

As he is a rather suspicious dog with strangers, he can end up being aggressive with them, which is why he will need good socialization from an early age because that is what makes him will accept all kinds of people and animals.

Furthermore, because of another characteristic of the Scottish setter - their intolerance of loneliness - it is essential to get them used to being alone at home to prevent them from developing separation anxiety. which will inevitably lead to destructive behavior. To do this, you should start with short outings and gradually increase your time off.Education should also focus on destructive behaviors that you need to correct using positive reinforcement, a method based on rewarding good behavior without ever using punishment. If you follow these tips, you will get very good results very quickly.

As he is a very active dog, he will love your training sessions and he will never tire of learning the new tricks you teach him!

Caring for a Gordon Setter

The beautiful coat of the Gordon Setter needs good maintenance and it should be brushed at least twice a week, a frequency to be increased during the moulting seasons (spring and autumn). You should only wash it when it really needs to.

As he has long, droopy ears, they are prone to the accumulation of earwax, secretions, dust and dirt, which can cause infections and inflammations (otitis) that are very painful for the dog .Maintaining good ear hygiene is therefore absolutely essential if you want to adopt a Gordon Setter. We must also not forget the hygiene of the teeth and eyes to prevent infections and inflammations that can affect them.

When it comes to physical activity, these dogs are very active and energetic, so they need a high level of daily exercise that you can distribute between long walks, runs, sports and games with their tutors. It is also important to stimulate them mentally by enriching their environment with a variety of toys and intelligence games.

Its diet must be complete, balanced and adapted to the needs of this canine species. To feed it, we recommend that you either opt for good quality kibble or bet on homemade food. The amount of food will depend on your dog's characteristics, age, physiological state, climate and level of daily physical activity.

Gordon Setter He alth

As for the he alth of the Gordon Setter, we are dealing here with a strong dog with a life expectancy of between 11 and 14 years. However, as it is a large breed, it can be predisposed to diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, in which lameness, pain and osteoarthritis occur. He may also suffer from gastric dilatation-torsion syndrome which occurs after heavy meals followed by intense physical activity.

Other frequent pathologies in the Scottish setter are progressive retinal atrophy, in which the photoreceptors (cones and rods) degenerate until they lead to blindness; hypothyroidism, in which thyroid hormones that control many cellular processes in the body are reduced, lowering overall metabolism and having consequences; and cerebellar cortical abiotrophy, an inherited neurological disease in which cerebellar cells degenerate early.

In addition to these diseases, the Scottish setter can be affected by any other disease that can affect all dog breeds. This is why betting on good preventive medicine based on vaccinations, deworming, sterilizations and routine checks is an excellent idea to prevent the onset of diseases.

Where to adopt a Gordon Setter?

The Gordon Setter is perhaps the least known setter of all, so adopting one can be a bit complicated. However, it's always a good idea to get in touch with animal shelters and animal welfare associations near you to see if they have a Gordon Setter up for adoption. You can also contact setter dog rescue associations online and ask if they are looking for a loving family to adopt a beautiful Gordon Setter they may have. However, before adopting this dog, we must stop to ask ourselves if it is really a good option for us, if we can really offer him all the care he needs and if we are as active as him, because, otherwise, he can become frustrated and thus become unhappy.There are many mongrel dogs or dogs of other breeds waiting for responsible adoption who also have the right to a family that will love them forever.

Pictures of Gordon Setter or Scottish Setter

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!