Adequate Coat
Coat Discussion

Coat and Markings are dealt with fairly carefully but since this standard was written in 1963 both factors have taken on added importance and deserve attention.

The coat is correctly described as soft and shining, straight or slightly waved, but not curly, with long hair on ears, under stomach and on chest, on back of the front and hind legs, and on tail. Limitations are only implied as to the amount of coat, since at the time, the Gordon was not an especially long coated dog. Dense coat, yes, but heavy feathering, rarely. The use of the dog for hunting also implies restrictions to enable him to appear "capable of doing a full day's work in the field."

The rapidly growing popularity of the Gordons as a show dog has encouraged the breeding for coat, and now he is often seen with an extraordinary amount of feathering.

Show Coat
Standard States
The Coat: Should be soft and shining, straight or slightly waved, but not curly, with long hair on ears, under stomach and on chest, on back of the fore and hind legs, and on the tail

Extreme Markings
Marking Discussion
Confusion exists over the markings. The standard describes the uppermost limit of the amount of tan desired but this is not stated. Therefore it is too often assumed that less amount of tan is negative. Regrettably the breed carries a recessive factor for solid red puppies, and breeding only from correctly marked dogs or more surely from those with an excessive amount of tan, the possibility of getting red puppies is ever present. The Gordon with lesser amounts of tan does have a place in a breeding program, as it can help control this problem.

White markings are another matter which deserves comment. First, it must be remembered that the early Gordons were often tricolored, and the white gene cannot ever be completely eliminated. Spots of white often appear on the chest of pups and more often than not they diminish to a few white hairs. Pups may be born with white toenails and white hairs on the toes but these grow out as well. Same for the white hair found in the tail and the long hair on the back of the thighs; it grows out. There is no known reason for this phenomenon. Color changes on the pups, as well. Those born with brilliant tan markings often turn darker and more moderate, while the pups with little tan will surely develop more. When a Gordon reaches the age of eight or nine years his tan will often diminish both on the muzzle and on the feet.
Correct Markings
Standard States
Color and Markings: Black with tan markings, either of rich chestnut or mahogany color. Black pencilling is allowed on the toes. The borderline between black and tan colors should be clearly defined. There should not be any tan hairs mixed in the black. The tan markings should be located as follows:
(1) Two clear spots over the eyes and not over three-quarters of an inch in diameter;
(2) On the other sides of the muzzle. The tan should not reach to the top of the muzzle, but resembles a stripe around the end of the muzzle from one side to the other;
(3) On the throat;
(4) Two large clear spots on the chest;
(5) On the inside of the hind legs showing down the front of the stifle and broadening out to the outside of the hind legs from the hock to the toes. It must not completely eliminate the black on the back of the hind legs;
(6) On the forelegs from the carpus, or a little above, downward to the toes;
(7) Around the vent;
(8) A white spot on the chest is allowed, but the smaller the better.

Predominantly tan, red or buff dogs which do not have the typical pattern of markings of a Gordon Setter are ineligible for showing and undesirable for breeding.
Dark Markings

Click here for a Pictorial Comparison of the 3 Setters

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