Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Gordon Setters: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Gordon Setter temperament, personality, and behavior.

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Gordon Setter dog breed

Gordon Setter Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

Gordon Setter Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

The handsome, well-muscled Gordon Setter is the most alert, serious, and sensible of the setters, a graceful yet powerful dog who enjoys hiking, biking, jogging, and field work as regular exercise.

Though usually calm and dignified, with a wise and noble expression, the Gordon Setter does have a silly side, and also a demanding side. Gordon Setters thrive on one-on-one attention, you see. They can be jealous of other pets and are sometimes aggressive toward strange dogs.

The strong-mindedness of the Gordon Setter calls for early training by someone who knows how to establish and stick to rules, but you must be patient and persuasive, never harsh.

Gordon Setters also have long memories: Once they learn something (whether right or wrong), they'll remember it for a long time. On the negative side, this means bad habits can be difficult to break.


If you want a dog who...

  • Is large and sturdy, yet also elegant and graceful
  • Has a lovely feathered coat -- jet black with rust red markings
  • Is the most alert of the setters, the most discriminating with strangers, and makes the best watchdog
  • Is usually sensible and dependable with everyone

A Gordon Setter may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • Providing enough exercise to keep him satisfied
  • Exuberant jumping, especially when young
  • "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
  • Stubbornness
  • Regular brushing and combing
  • Shedding

A Gordon Setter may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy


More traits and characteristics of the Gordon Setter

If I was considering a Gordon Setter, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Providing enough exercise. Gordon Setters need regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by destructive chewing, especially when young.

  2. Providing enough companionship. Gordon Setters are devoted to their family and need a great deal of companionship. If you leave them alone too much during the day, they may express their unhappiness through destructive chewing and barking.

  3. Potentiald dog aggression. Many Gordon Setters are fine with other family pets, but some individuals, particularly males, may not be tolerant of other male dogs.

  4. Stubbornness. Gordon Setters can be obstinate and manipulative. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    To teach your Gordon Setter to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Gordon Setter Training Page discusses the program you need.

  5. Grooming and shedding. To keep their silky coat free of mats, Gordon Setters require regular brushing, and also clipping and trimming every few months. And they do shed quite a bit.



book cover To learn more about training Gordon Setters to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Gordon Setter the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.



book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Gordon Setter. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.


If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Gordon Setter might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.


book cover Once you have your Gordon Setter home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.



Please consider adopting an ADULT Gordon Setter...

When you're acquiring a Gordon Setter PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Gordon Setters who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter

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