by Doris Donnerman
(last updated April 3, 2009)
Those who write about canine topics are typically asked "what has become of the Gordon Setter?" This is a difficult question to answer. The Gordon Setter is considered more of a collector's dog today. Just like collectors of unusual art, antique furniture there are always certain people who like to own something different. Dog fanciers are no exception to this. There are those who have taken on the Gordon Setter simply because of his great beauty, forgetting about or not caring about his capabilities as a hunting dog.
Aside from this dog's great beauty, the Gordon Setter has some other fine qualities. He takes to training quickly and kindly. He is a good retriever from both land and water. When he is hunting he takes on a very business-like approach and is very thorough. Part of the reason for the scarcity of the Gordon Setter among hunters, however, is due to the fact that his English cousin and Irish neighbor far surpass him as a hunting dog.
The Gordon generally is considered to be a one-man dog. He is exceedingly loyal to his owner or trainer. This can prove to be a problem if he is trained professionally. When he is trained professionally he finds it difficult to adjust to a new boss. Unfortunately the Gordon Setter is rather slow and somewhat methodical in his work. His color of black and tan, while strikingly handsome, can be a problem in the field as it makes him rather hard to see in heavy cover.
The coat of this breed should be soft and shining, like that of silk, straight or slightly waved but not curly. There is usually long hair on the ears, under the stomach and on the chest. The color would be deep, shining, coal black with tan markings, either of rich chestnut or a mahogany red color.
The height for male Gordon Setters is usually between twenty-four and twenty-seven inches from the shoulders, weighing between 55 and 75 pounds. The height of the female is usually about an inch shorter and ten pounds lighter. As a general guide the greater heights and weights are generally preferred.
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