Gordon Setters are a large breed of dog that originates from the rugged terrain of Scotland, where they were used hunt game birds like pheasant and quail. They’re known for being athletic, loyal, confident, and affectionate companions.
And yes, Gordons do shed.
Overall, Gordon Setters shed a moderate amount of hair throughout the year, but regular brushing is a simple and effective way to reduce the shedding. And when it comes to grooming, their coat is a little higher maintenance than the average dog.
Let’s discuss how much Gordons shed in more detail, along with what to expect when it comes to grooming and some of the best ways you can reduce the shedding.
Gordon Setter Shedding (What You Need to Know)
Gordon Setters are a moderate shedding breed.
Although, depending on the individual breed of Gordon and other factors like the time of year and the condition of their coat, they may shed an above average amount of hair.
Almost all dogs shed to some extent, the only difference is how much. Which, for the most part depends on the breed and their individual hair growth cycle. Basically, the longer it takes for the hair to naturally grow and fall out, the less they tend to shed.
How do they compare to other breeds? Gordons shed about the same amount of hair as the Scottish Deerhound, Irish Setter, and most Pointers, which were bred for a similar “find and point” purpose to setters.
Compared with super heavy shedding dogs like the Newfy though, you’ll hardly notice the fur loss. But if you put them next to a low shedder like the Basenji for a few weeks, you’ll soon notice the contrast. So Gordons are somewhere in the middle.
As mentioned earlier though, you may notice a high level of hair loss during certain times of the year. Gordons aren’t known to be heavy seasonal shedders, but it is normal for most dogs to molt during times like spring and fall, so if you are noticing more fur floating around the home during this time, it may be due to seasonal shedding.
Related: Dog Shedding FAQ (Helpful Guide)
However, sometimes dogs can shed excessively for other reasons (like dry, irritated skin, stress, allergies, or poor diet) so if you’re concerned it’s more than what is “normal” then it may be worth a visit to your local vet.
What Are Gordons Like to Groom?
The Gordon Setter is a bit higher maintenance than the average dog.
His coat is soft and either straight or a little wavy, and comes in black and tan, red, or tan. It’s about medium in length overall, except for the ears, tail, legs and belly area where it’s longer.
Because of the length and texture of their coat, they are prone to matting, tangles and knots. Especially if they are outside often, which is likely considering he’s such a high energy, sporting type dog. And, while he can’t actually tell you this, mats and knots can be quite painful for him. So brushing at least a few times per week is needed.
The most suitable type of brush for a Gordon Setter is a slicker brush (or pin brush if you prefer) and a metal comb. Together, these can help you remove any mats he may have accumulated, as well as the old dead hair that is within his coat.
They’re not as high maintenance as dogs like the Afghan Hound for example, but at the same time not as “wash and go” as dogs like the Pudelpointer. So they’re probably not the most ideal choice if you’re looking for a low maintenance dog.
Aside from just brushing, the American Kennel Club recommends including things like bathing, trimming the hair around the feet, nail trimming, and cleaning their ears and teeth into your monthly grooming routine as well. All of which take time and effort, so unless you plan on hiring a professional groomer, this is worth considering before adopting.
I found this article on gordonsetterexpert.org about grooming your Gordon to be quite helpful. It walks you through the main steps in the overall grooming process, so if you plan on doing most of the grooming yourself, it may be worth a read.
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Ways to Reduce Excessive Shedding
It isn’t possible to completely stop a dog from shedding, but there are some very effective ways to reduce shedding. And, for the most part, it comes down to brushing, bathing, and what you’re feeding him.
Brushing is good for preventing excess shedding because when you brush, you help to distribute his coat oils evenly over his skin. Which naturally promotes healthy, moisture rich skin and hair. And when it comes to shedding, dry skin and hair is not your friend, so this can make a difference.
Brushing also helps to rid your Gordon of his old hair before it falls out, which can save you potentially a lot of time vacuuming. So, even though brushing a few times per week is generally sufficient to maintain his coat, daily brushing can make a huge difference to the amount of fur left around your home.
Bathing is another good strategy of keeping shedding under control. Bathing with a quality dog shampoo, once or twice per month, can not only help to remove the loose fur but is ideal before a brushing session as it loosens the old hairs.
What you feed your dog can make a difference too. As with any dog, feeding your Gordon a good quality dog food that contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 can help him develop a healthier coat. Which may result in less shedding, especially if they’ve been shedding due to dryness or poor diet.
At the end of the day, Gordons do shed, so you are going to notice some hair around the home. But getting this under control isn’t difficult, it’s more about consistency. Regular brushing, proper grooming and ensuring he’s as healthy as possible can make the world of difference.