Bad Topline
Another point of difference is the croup which in the Gordon is supposed to be nearly flat, with loins short and broad, and not arched, with slight slope to tailhead. English are to have loins strong and slightly arched. Hipbones should be wide apart and without to sudden a drop to the root of the tail. Only the Irish Setter is to have a top line which slopes slightly downward, yet he should not have a sharp drop at the croup.

When discussing the hindquarters, the Gordon and English standards settle for having them "well bent." The Irish standard speaks of hind legs well angulated at stifle and hock joint.

Good Topline
Standard States
The Hindquarters: The hind legs from hip to hock should be long, flat and muscular; from hock to heel, short and strong. The stifle and hock joints are well bent and not turned either in or out. When the dog is standing with the hock perpendicular to the ground the thigh bone should hang downward parallel to an imaginary line drawn upward from the hock.

The Tail: Short and should not reach below the hocks, carried horizontal or nearly so; thick at the root and finishing in a fine point. The feather which starts near the root of the tail should be slightly waved or straight, having triangular appearance, growing shorter uniformly toward the end. The placement of the tail is important for correct carriage. If the croup is nearly flat, the tail is important for correct carriage. If the croup is nearly flat, the tail must emerge nearly on the same plane as the croup to allow for horizontal carriage. When the angle of the tail bends too sharply at the first coccygeal bone, the tail will be carried too gaily or will droop. The tail placement should be judged in its relationship to the structure of the croup.

Click here for a Pictorial Comparison of the 3 Setters

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