Gordon Setter


The Gordon Setter’s origins can be traced to the 17th century in Scotland; its name comes from the fourth Duke of Gordon, who kept many of the dogs at his castle. Known at times as the Gordon Castle Setter and the Black and Tan Setter, the breed is the heaviest of the three setters. Hunters favored the sturdy and muscular Gordon for its bird-setting and retrieving skills. Though not as popular a pet as the other setters, the Gordon is a lively and devoted companion that thrives on exercise and love.


Large; females 23 to 26 inches, 45 to 70 pounds; males 24 to 27 inches, 55 to 80 pounds.


Black with tan (mahogany or chestnut) markings.


Intelligent, fearless, and capable bird dog. Alert, energetic, and enthusiastic; devoted to family. Can get bored or frustrated without enough exercise and activity.

Energy level:

High, calmer when mature.

Best owner:

Athletic, confident owner.


Daily exercise (a 3-mile walk plus a short run), fenced yard, firm and consistent obedience training, human interaction, daily brushing to prevent mats.

Life expectancy:

10 to 12 years.