Gordon Setter as Hunting Dog
The information surrounding the ancestors of the Gordon Setter and the opinions of the different trainers and canine experts concerning the beginnings of this popular dog breed are many and diverse. What we do know is that the name "Gordon" comes from the Duke of Gordon who held these animals in such high esteem that he always had a large number of Gordon setters in his dog kennel. Originally this breed was found extensively throughout Scotland where the first stories emerged concerning the efficiency and conduct of this dog in regards to it being considered a hunting dog. The Duke of Gordon had the idea to cross one of these females with another famous Scottish breed thereby creating the black-tan variety of setter. There are certain trainers that are sure that this dog breed descends from either Labrador or Newfoundland, while there are others that believe that in the origin of this breed comes from Bloodhound or some breed of continental pointer. All personal feelings aside the belief that the Gordon setter finds it origins in the kennels of the Duke of Gordon appears to be the most credible. One other thing seems certain and that is the size of today's Gordon is considerably less than its predecessors but it has retained the qualities that make is such a good hunting dog; an acute sense of smell, its intelligence and its ability to track over almost any kind of terrain. Typically the male and female Gordon setters are between 55 and 65 cm. tall and weigh about 25 to 30 kg. These breeds' physical traits differ quite distinctly from other setters. Its large head is very different from the English and Irish with its snout being slightly bent in appearance. It has large, flat and triangular shaped ears that hang down. In length its coat is similar to the English setter but its color is coal-black with tan features that differs from Irish setters, which are red, and English setters, which are white with speckles. Gordon setters have tan on their feet and lower legs, vents, and muzzles, and two distinctive tan spots on their chests. With a well-defined sense of smell, intelligence and keen ability to track the Gordon setter is a worthy companion for any small game hunter.