25 Questions That Should Be Considered Before Getting A Gordon Setter
Are you looking for a dog with a Retriever breed temperament and the colors of a Rottweiler or a Doberman? Look no further than the Gordon Setter! This old Scottish retriever breed has been an amazing hunting companion to Scottish lords for centuries but also makes for a fantastic pet today. They are also great field trial competition dogs as they rank very highly in obedience, agility, and confrontation disciplines.
Is the Gordon Setter right for you and your family, however? Do this breed’s unique exercise requirements and personality make them a good fit for your household? Let’s go over the 25 questions that should be considered before getting a Gordon Setter and find out.
1. Are Gordon Setters good pets?
Gordon Setters can be great pets for any family that meets their exercise requirements and looks after them properly. Their social, loyal, and loving nature make them a very well-suited breed for indoor life and they are generally considered very low-risk for confrontations with strangers or other such problems. Don’t be fooled by their Doberman-like coat colors – Gordon Setters are not guard dogs.
2. How tall are Gordon Setters and how much do they weigh?
The average adult male Gordon Setter will be about 24.5 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder (61 to 69 cm). Females are a bit shorter and average between 23 and 26 inches (58 to 66 cm). As for weight, females usually reach 44 to 70 pounds (20 to 32 kg) and males – 55 to 80 pounds (25 to 36 kg).
3. What is the life expectancy of a Gordon Setter?
The average lifespan of Gordon Setters is between 10 and 12 years. This is very much in line with other large dogs of the same type. Besides, this is just an average and a healthy Gordon Setter can live much longer than that with the right care. Pretty much all retriever breeds can comfortably go past 15 years with good care and some are even known to reach 20 years, although that is rare.
4. Are Gordon Setters healthy?
This is a pretty healthy breed as it has never been subjected to overly excessive breeding by puppy mills. Still, even healthy breeds have a few conditions you’ll need to watch out for. With Gordon Setters these conditions include:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloating)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Most issues that can befall your Gordon Setter are either completely avoidable or can be reliably mitigated with the right care. So, as long as you’ve got a healthy pup from a reputable breeder (and not a puppy mill or a pet store), all you’ll need to do is feed it well, offer plenty of exercise, and don’t skip on the routine vet visits.
5. How smart is a Gordon Setter?
Like all other retriever breeds, the Gordon Setter is an incredibly smart breed. These dogs love to learn new things and perform both work tasks and tricks with their owners.
6. Are Gordon Setters easy to train?
Quite so. Unlike many other highly intelligent dog breeds, the Gordon Setter isn’t overly individualistic and stubborn. Instead, these dogs have the innate instinct to recognize authority and follow commands. Basic obedience training is, of course, still required, but it will go much easier and smoother than with other breeds.
7. Are Gordon Setters social?
Like all retriever breeds, Gordon Setters are very social animals. They can get along with small and large families alike, and they can be amicable toward strangers if the dog has been socialized well enough.
8. Do Gordon Setters have separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is indeed a big problem for Gordon Setters. Or, rather, it can be if you plan on leaving your dog home alone for hours at a time every day. Instead, you should make sure that your dog always has company, be it another family member, a dog walker or dog sitter, a playdate at a fellow dog owner’s, or a second pet at home.
If none of this is provided and you just leave your Gordon Setter home alone for 8-10 hours when you’re at work, you can expect the dog to grow restless, anxious, disobedient, destructive, and depressed.
9. Do Gordon Setters good with kids?
This breed is pretty kid-friendly, particularly if they get socialized and introduced to the child well enough. Still, because of their large size and high levels of physical activities, supervision is good while the child is still small. This is only in case of falls and other accidents.
10. Do Gordon Setters get along with other dogs?
Gordon Setters can have a bit of competitiveness and even aggression toward other dogs. This is a bit atypical for a retriever breed but it’s also nothing that can’t be fixed with proper socialization and an adequate introduction between the two dogs. Remember that Gordon Setters respond very well to obedience training so, if you’ve done that, you can teach your setter to deal with almost any situation, including new family members.
11. Can a Gordon Setter and a cat live together?
If a Gordon Setter is raised with cats, he will likely get along with them. However, if the setter is an adult when it sees a cat for the first time, the dog’s prey instincts will certainly kick in. Your obedience training must be really on-point if you want your Gordon Setter to get along with a new cat as an adult.
12. How much exercise does a Gordon Setter need?
These setters are very physically active and need an owner who’s willing to provide them at least two 1-hour walks to and in the dog park a day. Anything less will be unhealthy and mentally unsatisfying to your setter. The dog will also need quite a bit of yard time in addition to the walks, as well as the occasional hiking trip.
13. Does a Gordon Setter need a yard?
A good and fenced yard is strongly recommended for this breed. It’s not 100% but, if you don’t have a yard, you’ll have to compensate with hours in the dog park every day.
14. Can you have a Gordon Setter in an apartment?
This is categorically not an apartment dog. The exercise requirements alone are impractical for apartments. And then there is the barking which we’ll also address below.
15. Do Gordon Setters swim?
Gordon Setters are excellent and enthusiastic swimmers. Hunting ducks was one of the primary tasks of these dogs as hunting companions.
16. What type of coat and colors do Gordon Setters have?
The coat of this breed is long and either straight or wavy. Its color pattern is similar to that of Rottweilers and Dobermans – predominantly black with brown/tan markings on the face, chest, and legs.
17. Are Gordon Setters hypoallergenic?
This breed is from being anywhere close to hypoallergenic – don’t even consider a Gordon Setter if you have dog allergies.
18. How do you groom a Gordon Setter?
Gordon Setters need quite a bit of grooming. Expect to have to brush their coat almost daily, bathe them weekly, clean their eyes and ears from time to time, and trim their hair.
19. Do Gordon Setters shed a lot?
Gordon Shedders may not shed as much as German Shepherds but they are still pretty active shedders. That’s one reason why regular brushing and grooming are necessary.
20. Should you get your Gordon Setter to a professional groomer?
You’d certainly be wise to take your Gordon Setter to a professional groomer at least twice per year or more. This will take a lot of grooming off your hands and keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy. Make sure you start early so the pup can get used to the groomer.
21. Are Gordon Setters rare?
This breed is relatively rare as a family pet in the US but not for any fault of its own. It’s just not “marketed” as well as other breeds. There are breeders you can get a Gordon Setter from, however, so you should have little logistical issues.
22. How much does a Gordon Setter cost?
These setters are relatively pricey from breeders and tend to cost somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000. Puppy mills and pet stores can be more affordable but dogs there are extremely unhealthy and poorly raised.
23. Do Gordon Setters smell?
These setters don’t have a particularly bad smell unless you’ve neglected their grooming. If the dog smells bad, it’s likely your fault.
24. Do Gordon Setters bark a lot?
Gordon Setters are moderate barkers which is nothing a bit of no-bark training can’t fix.
25. Do Gordon Setters talk?
Aside from barking, this is a pretty talkative breed overall. They are not quite as whiny as a Husky but Gordon Setters do love to communicate verbally.
With all that covered, it should be clear how awesome of a pet Gordon Setters are. While their exercise and grooming requirements mean they are not for everyone, they can be a great pet for outdoorsy types of people. As long as you’d like jogging and the park in the morning and brushing the gorgeous black and brown coat of your dog in the afternoon, a Gordon Setter can make a phenomenal pet for you.