Gordon Setter

Lifestyle Needs

Gordon Setter
Gordon Setter

The Gordon Setter is a large, glamorous dog with a heavy, silky coat.  This will need to be properly groomed and maintained to keep it free of dirt and debris.  He is a dog with a lot of stamina who will need more than two hours exercise every day.  Ideally he should live in a  house with a garden, preferably with easy access to the open countryside.  He is very trainable and will benefit from purposeful activity which engages his brain.

Genetic Diversity
(Known as Coefficient of Inbreeding: 'COI'. It should be as low as possible.)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 7.6% - See 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Gene Pool Size
(Known as Effective Population Size: 'EPS')


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

  • Medial canthal pocket  syndrome (upper and lower eyelids in the inside corner of the eye roll outwards in which irritating substances can collect)  Due to head shape.
  • Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) Bloat/torsion Common in deep chested breeds

BVA/KC Health Schemes: www.bva.co.uk/chs

  • Hip dysplasia: breed 5 year mean score 12.8 (parents should be lower)
  • Elbow dysplasia: ideally O:O
  • Eye disease: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA rcd-4) (annual testing)

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : EBVs for Hip Dysplasia are available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA – rcd4)
  • Cerebellar Ataxia RAB24-related

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes

  • Bitches under 21 months not to produce a litter.

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Heart disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cancer: squamous cell carcinoma (nail bed); lymphoma

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):  www.puppycontract.org.uk

The breeder should also be familiar with the CFSG/DBRG Code of Practice for Dog Breeding

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

Breed Health Information