This section is from the book "Sporting Dogs. Their Points And Management In Health, And Disease", by Frank Townend Barton. Also available from Amazon: Sporting Dogs; Their Points and Management in Health and Disease.
This famous breed of Setters can be traced back for a hundred years to the castle of the Duke of Gordon, but whether this nobleman laid the foundation stone, of the present breed of black-and-tan Setter, becomes a matter of speculation.
It is not the least improbable that these Setters have been derived by crossing the English Setter with a black-and-tan Collie, as certain Gordons exhibit more than a trace of the Collie element.
During the last few years the black-and-tan Setter classes at the Kennel Club Shows in London have been very badly filled, and unless breeding this variety of dog becomes more popular, in England at least, it will soon deteriorate.
A well-broken Gordon is a most useful dog in the field, though certainly his luck at field trials has not been anything like that of the Englishman.
In colour he should be a glossy raven black, with rich mahogany tan markings, pencilling of the toes being allowable.
On the inside of the fore-limbs, tan ought to show nearly up to the elbows, and up to the hocks, on the inner sides of the hind ones.
There should be tan on the lips, cheeks, undersides of the ears; spots over eyes, on front of the chest, on the vent, and at the root of tail or flag.
To be of medium size and deep brown.
The ears of the Gordon are longer than those of the Irish or English, are set on low and lie close to head.
There ought to be good evidence of " stop," rendering the occiput well-defined.
From eye to occiput, head should measure nearly 6 inches.
The old type of Gordon was much too clumsy in the head.
Long, clean, and racey.
Shoulders of good slope and chest deep. Ribs to be well sprung.
To be of moderate length ; strong in the forearms, and elbows well in. Feet arched and cat-like.
A strong back, loin, and well-bent stifles are qualifications of the Gordon.
The tail carried as nearly in the same line as the body. Many Gordons have defective carriage of the caudal appendage.
The so-called " tea-pot" tail is the worst fault, and destroys a dog's chance of winning in the show ring.
Gordon Setter puppies are not difficult to rear, though good specimens are difficult to produce; still more so to purchase, when grown up, and thoroughly broken.
In America this variety of Setter is much thought of, and in that country a great deal has been done towards the improvement of the breed, where the value of points is as follows:—
Head, muzzle and nose
Shoulders and chest .
Back, loins, thighs and stifles .
Stern and flag ....
colour and markings
Symmetry and quality
Eyes, ears and lips
Texture of coat and feather