Gordon Setter: Traits, Health, Diet and Care

Gordon Setter

Discover the charm of the Gordon Setter, a loyal and affectionate breed perfect for families and active individuals. Learn about their care, diet, and training to keep them healthy and happy.

Coat Type: Double
Coat Length: Medium
Male Height: 24-27 inches
Female Height: 23-26 inches
Male Weight: 55-80 pounds
Female Weight: 45-70 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-13 years

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability level
Affectionate with family
Drooling level
Barking level
Coat grooming frequency
Energy level
Good with other dogs
Good with young children
Mental stimulation needs
Openness to strangers
Playfulness level
Shedding level
Trainability level
Watchdog protective nature


Setters, particularly the Gordon Setters, have garnered a devoted following around the world, admired for their striking appearance and amiable personalities. These dogs are not only a sight to behold with their classic black and tan coats, but they also bring joy and energy into the lives of their owners. Their versatility as family companions, sporting dogs, and watchful guardians make them a popular choice for a variety of dog enthusiasts.

In this article, we delve into the world of Gordon Setters to give you an insightful look at their distinctive traits, dietary needs, and care requirements. Whether you're a current owner or considering adding a Setter to your family, you'll find valuable information on how to ensure these majestic dogs lead a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life.

From understanding their behavior and training to addressing their exercise and health care needs, we've got you covered. Join us as we explore the essentials of caring for a Gordon Setter, ensuring they thrive in their forever homes.

Gordon Setters Traits and Characteristics

Setters, also known as Gordon Setters, are a distinguished breed with a unique blend of traits that make them both lovable family pets and diligent companions. They possess a noble appearance with their striking black and tan coats that are medium in length and of a double type, which provides them with adequate protection in various weather conditions.

Known for their affectionate nature and keen sense of duty, these dogs exhibit a range of behaviors that make them well-suited for active families and individuals who appreciate a dog with both brains and beauty.


  • They boast a regal stature, with males typically standing between 24-27 inches and females slightly shorter at 23-26 inches.
  • Their weight reflects their sturdy build, with males ranging from 55-80 pounds and females from 45-70 pounds.
  • The double coat is medium in length and requires regular grooming to maintain its sleek appearance.

Temperament and Behavior:

  • Setters form strong bonds with their families, showing high levels of affection.
  • They are generally good with children, but interactions should be supervised, especially with younger kids.
  • The breed can coexist with other dogs, though proper socialization is recommended to promote harmony.
  • They have moderate shedding levels, so regular brushing will help keep loose hair under control.
  • With a notable drooling tendency, owners may need to keep a cloth handy for a quick clean-up.
  • When meeting strangers, they can be reserved, so give them time to warm up to new people.
  • Their playful nature and energy make them great partners for various activities.
  • As watchful protectors, they have a protective instinct and will alert their family to anything unusual.
  • Adaptable to different living situations, they do well with consistent routines.
  • Highly trainable, they respond well to positive reinforcement and enjoy learning new commands.

Physical and Mental Needs:

  • Their energy levels are high, requiring regular exercise to keep them fit and content.
  • Mental stimulation is important to keep their intelligent minds engaged and prevent boredom.
  • Routine care, including exercise, grooming, and dental hygiene, is essential for their well-being.

Health Considerations:

  • They generally have a lifespan of 12-13 years.
  • Owners should be aware of common health issues that can affect the breed and seek regular veterinary care.

By understanding these characteristics, potential owners can better prepare to welcome a Setter into their home and provide them with the care and companionship they need to thrive.

Food and Nutrition - Keeping Gordon Setters Healthy

Setters, with their active temperament and robust build, require a diet that meets their specific nutrient needs to maintain their health and energy levels. A balanced diet for these dogs should include the right proportions of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Given their high energy level, they may benefit from foods that support sustained activity, such as those with complex carbohydrates and high-quality proteins. It's essential to choose a good dog food that is formulated to meet the needs of active breeds like Setters, ensuring it provides all the necessary nutrients without excess calories that could lead to weight gain.

While the main diet should be nutritionally complete, treats and chews play a role in a Setter’s diet as well. Our chew product, for instance, can be a healthy addition to their routine. This product is hand-crafted, contains limited ingredients, and is high in protein, making it an excellent high-calorie dog treat alternative.

It can aid in keeping them occupied and can help in managing chewing behavior, a common trait in the breed. However, it's important to remember that treats like this should complement a Setter's primary diet and not replace it. Treats should be given in moderation as part of their total caloric intake.

When it comes to feeding practices, Setters should be fed twice a day rather than free-fed, to prevent overeating and maintain optimal weight. Each meal should be measured, and the quantity should be based on their size, age, and activity level. Always ensure fresh water is available, and monitor their dietary response over time.

If you notice any signs of food intolerance or allergies, consult a veterinarian. Regular check-ups can help track their health and adjust their diet as needed, ensuring they receive the right low-fat dog food and nutrients required for a long, active life.

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Health Information of Gordon Setters

Setters, known for their loyalty and grace, have an average life expectancy of 12-13 years. To ensure they live a full and healthy life, it is crucial to be aware of the common health problems that can affect this breed and to provide them with the necessary care. Regular veterinary check-ups are an essential part of maintaining their health, as early detection can prevent or mitigate many health issues.

Common Health Problems:

  • Hip dysplasia, where the hip joint does not fit properly, can lead to arthritis or lameness.
  • Bloat or gastric torsion, a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with air and may twist.
  • Eye conditions such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) which can lead to blindness.
  • Hypothyroidism, a disorder where the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough hormone, affecting metabolism.
  • Ear infections, due to their floppy ears, can be common and should be checked regularly.

Incorporating dog health tips into daily routines can make a big difference in the well-being of Setters. This includes maintaining a healthy weight through measured feeding and regular exercise, grooming to prevent skin issues, and dental care to avoid periodontal diseases.

Antler products can contribute positively to a Setter's health, as they provide a natural source of minerals and a means of dental cleaning through chewing. Chewing on hard items like antlers can help reduce tartar build-up, promoting better dental hygiene.

However, it is always recommended to supervise your dog when they are chewing on any product and to ensure the chew is of an appropriate size to prevent choking or tooth damage. If you notice any abnormalities in your Setter's health or behavior, seeking professional help is the best course of action.

A veterinarian can provide specific advice tailored to your dog's needs and can guide you through any necessary treatments or health care routines. Remember, preventive care is just as important as treatment, so regular health checks should be a priority for all Setter owners.

How To Train and Care Gordon Setters

Training Setters, with their high trainability level and eagerness to please, can be both rewarding and enjoyable. Effective training methods for these intelligent dogs include positive reinforcement, consistency, and patience. It's advisable to start training early, as puppies are more adaptable and learn quicker.

Basic dog training commands like sit, stay, come, and heel are fundamental and can be taught through reward-based training. Using treats as a form of positive reinforcement can significantly enhance the learning process, as it motivates the dog and makes the training sessions more enjoyable for them.

Our Puffs products serve as an excellent treat for training Setters. Since they contain the same natural and limited ingredients as the chew product, including yak milk, cow milk, salt, and lime juice, they are a healthy option that can be used frequently during training sessions without causing dietary imbalances.

The treats are small and easy to carry, making them convenient for use in obedience training at home or on the go. Their appealing taste and high-protein content make them an irresistible reward for Setters, aiding in reinforcing good behavior and mastering commands more quickly.

When training Setters, it's important to keep sessions short and engaging to hold their attention and prevent boredom. Consistency in commands and rewards is key to helping them understand what is expected of them. Remember to always end training sessions on a positive note, with praise or a treat, to ensure that Setters associate training with positive experiences.

Furthermore, while treats like our Puffs products are beneficial in training, they should be given in moderation as part of the dog's overall diet plan. With the right approach and tools, Setters can become well-mannered and obedient companions, reflecting the time and effort invested in their training.

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Best Popular and Unique Names For Gordon Setter

Searching for a great and unique dog name for your Gordon Setter? Worry not, here are some unique and purr-fect dog names for your furry friend.

Male Gordon Setter Name Female Gordon Setter Name
Baxter Bella
Winston Sadie
Murphy Ruby
Angus Fiona
Finn Willow
Chester Ivy
Logan Hazel
Brody Piper
Archie Stella
Duncan Maisie

Frequently Asked Questions about Gordon Setters

What kind of exercise routine is best for a Gordon Setter?

Gordon Setters are energetic and require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. A combination of physical activities like running, hiking, or playing fetch, along with mental stimulation such as puzzle toys or training exercises, is ideal. Aim for at least an hour of exercise each day, but always tailor the routine to your dog's individual needs and health status.

How often should I groom my Setter, and what does it involve?

Regular grooming is crucial for maintaining a Setter's coat and overall well-being. Brush their medium-length, double coat a few times a week to prevent mats and reduce shedding. They also need occasional baths, ear cleanings, and nail trimmings. Introduce grooming early to ensure they are comfortable with the process.

Are Gordon Setters easy to train, and can I do it at home?

Yes, Gordon Setters are known for their high trainability level and can be trained at home with the right approach. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques like praise and treats. Consistency and patience are key, and it's beneficial to start training while they are puppies. Basic obedience training at home can be very effective.

Do Gordon Setters get along with other pets?

Gordon Setters can get along with other pets if they are properly socialized from a young age. Introduce new animals gradually and in a controlled environment. Monitor their interactions, especially in the beginning, to ensure they are positive. Socialization is important to help prevent any territorial or aggressive behaviors.

What are some common signs of anxiety in Gordon Setters, and how can I help my dog feel more secure?

Common signs of anxiety in Gordon Setters include excessive barking, restlessness, pacing, and destructive chewing. To help your dog feel more secure, provide a consistent routine, plenty of exercises, and a quiet space where they can retreat. Training and socialization can also build confidence and reduce anxiety. If the behavior persists, consult a veterinarian or a professional trainer for additional support.

These FAQs provide a starting point for understanding the care and management of Gordon Setters. For more detailed information or specific concerns, always consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer.


This article shares information about dog breeds for educational purposes only, using the American Kennel Club (AKC) as our main source because they're experts on dog breeds. But remember, every dog is unique. What we share might not fit every single dog, even if they are from the same breed. If your dog needs help, whether it's for health or behavior, it's always best to talk to a vet or a dog trainer. They can give advice that fits your pet's specific needs.

We want to help you learn about dogs and how to take care of them, but we can't replace professional advice. Always check with a professional if you're not sure about something to make sure your dog is healthy and happy.