The Gordon Setter-History and Standard
UK Sh Ch Lochfain Not To Be Denied For Bareve
(UK Sh Ch Glynderys High'n Mighty With Liric X UK Sh Ch Lochfain Never A Dull Moment)
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In temperament Gordons can be a little aloof towards strangers, but they are extremely loyal and become very attached to their family, which is perhaps why they tend to make better watch dogs than the other Setter Breeds. Overall Gordons are very intelligent and there are currently several who compete very successfully in obedience, field, agility, tracking, jumping and flyball, as well as in the show ring.
Gordon Setters originally evolved from the old setting spaniels, and 'black and fallow' dogs are mentioned as early as the 17th century. However it was Alexander, the 4th Duke of Gordon, who began seriously breeding the Black and Tans at his Castle near Fochabers in north-west Scotland, and it is known that there were black and tan setters at Gordon Castle around 1825. The first Gordon Setters appeared at a dog show in Australia in 1865 ,and although they still aren't a particularly well known breed, there are several dedicated breeders in most Australian states today.
The Gordon is a medium to large breed, that was originally bred to hunt grouse, partridge and pheasant, and they are still used for this purpose today, although they will readily hunt other game such as quail. They are the heaviest of the four Setter Breeds on a weight to height ratio and should look strong and sturdy in appearance. They are black in colour with rich "chestnut red" tan points, but puppies will sometimes have a small white patch on the chest or neck which will diminish as they mature, and usually disappear altogether. The coat is short on the body, but becomes longer on the ears, throat, chest, belly, tail, and on the backs of the front and rear legs.
The dog's coat will require regular brushing to ensure that it remains free of matts and tangles, and some scissoring will be necessary on the throat, around the ears, and on the feet, to keep the dog tidy. It is important to ensure that the feet are kept trimmed, especially between the toes, otherwise the dog will tend to pick up mud and grass seeds.
Gordon Setters are generally free of any major health problems, but like most large breeds they can be very occassionally prone to hip dysplasia and I recommend that all breeders x-ray their stock prior to breeding. A DNA test for the presence of the PRA gene (rcd4) is also something we highly recommend. There have also been a few instances of bloat within the breed.
The Gordon is an active breed that needs regular exercise, but they are usually quiet and sedate around the house providing their exercise requirements are met. Like all dogs they require training if they are to become a well adjusted and obedient family pet, and it is recommended that new owners enrol their puppy in an obedience club as soon as it is old enough.
Those who are "owned" by a Gordon, are truly blessed!
Gordon Setter Standard - ANKC
GENERAL APPEARANCE - Stylish dog, with galloping lines. Consistent with its build which can be compared to a weight carrying hunter. Symmetrical in conformation throughout.
CHARACTERISTICS - Intelligent, able and dignified.
TEMPERAMENT - Bold, outgoing, of a kindly even disposition.
HEAD AND SKULL - Head deep rather than broad, but broader than muzzle, showing brain room. Skull slightly rounded, broadest between ears. Clearly defined stop, length from occiput to stop slightly longer than from stop to nose. Below and above eyes lean, cheeks as narrow as leanness of head allows. Muzzle fairly long with almost parallel lines, neither pointed, nor snipy. Flews not pendulous, clearly defined lips. Nose large, broad, nostrils open and black. Muzzle not quite as deep as its length.
EYES - Dark brown, bright. Neither deep nor prominent, set sufficiently under brows, showing keen, intelligent expression.
EARS - Medium size, thin. Set low, lying close to head.
MOUTH - Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. Upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
NECK - Long, lean, arched, without throatiness.
FOREQUARTERS - Shoulder blades long, sloping well back, wide flat bone, close at withers, not loaded. Elbows well let down, and close to body. Forelegs flat boned, straight, strong; upright pasterns.
BODY - Moderate length. Level topline, deep brisket, ribs well sprung. Back ribs deep. Loins wide, slightly arched. Chest not too broad.
HINDQUARTERS - From hip to hock long, broad and muscular, hock to heel short, strong, stifles well bent, straight from hock joint to ground. Pelvis tending to horizontal.
FEET - Oval, close knit, well arched toes, plenty of hair between. Well padded toes, deep heel cushions.
TAIL - Straight or slightly scimitar, not reaching below hocks. Carried horizontally or below line of back. Thick at root, tapering to fine point. Feather or flag starting near root, long straight, growing shorter to point.
GAIT/MOVEMENT - Steady, free moving and true, with plenty of drive behind.
COAT - On head, front of legs, tips of ears short and fine, moderate length, flat and free from curl or wave on all other parts of body. Feather on upper portion of ears long and silky, on backs of legs long, fine, flat and straight, fringes on belly may extend to chest and throat. As free as possible from curl or wave.
COLOUR - Deep shining coal black, without rustiness, with markings of chestnut red, i.e. lustrous tan. Black pencilling on toes and black streak under jaw permissible. 'Tan markings': two clear spots over eyes not over three-quarters of an inch in diameter. On sides of muzzle, tan not reaching above base of nose, resembling a stripe around clearly defined end of muzzle from one side to other. Also on throat, two large, clear spots on chest. On inside hindlegs and inside thighs, showing down front of stifle and broadening out to outside of hindlegs from hock to toes. On forelegs, up to elbows behind, and to knees or little above, in front. Around vent. Very small white spot on chest permissible. No other colour permissible.
Height: Dogs 66 cms (26 ins)
Bitches 62 cms (24 & 1/2 ins)
Weight: Dogs 29 & 1/2 kgs (65 lbs)
Bitches 25 & 1/2 kgs (56 lbs)
FAULTS - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
NOTE - Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.