The Gordon Setter is a large hunting dog. It is the largest member of the setter family. It was developed in Scotland and is named for the 4th Duke of Gordon (1743–1827), a country gentleman, hunter and dog fancier who in the late 18th or early 19th Century established kennels at Gordon Castle, and became known for his black-and-tan setters.
Gordon Setters may be classed as hunting dogs, sporting dogs, gundogs, and specifically, as bird dogs. They are officially placed in either the Sporting Group or the Gundog Group, depending on the administering kennel club.
The Gordon is a medium to large dog, almost square in proportion, with a long, silky coat. All the variants in the Setter family have silky coats, spaniel-like dropped ears, and long feathered tails carried up with running. The Gordon is distinguishable by its colouring: the coat is mostly black with rich (chestnut to mahogany) tan markings. Coats with light tan or red markings make the Gordon ineligible for showing, though these dogs remain, of course admirable companions. They exhibit some sexual dimorphism, with males taller and heavier than females
Like all hunting dogs, Gordon Setters are alert, energetic dogs and loyal companions. Fanciers report a natural proclivity for hunting. This breed must have regular exercise to remain healthy and happy.