Photo – Wikipedia (PD)
The alert and confident Gordon Setter is the heaviest out of all the Setter breeds. The thick yet soft coat usually comes in black with tan markings. These dogs are loyal and affectionate to their owners and they thrive in an attentive environment so they should not be left alone for long periods or forced to spend a lot of time in the backyard. Around strangers, their inner guardian wakes up and they often display signs of aggression towards dogs they are unfamiliar with. However, they can be trained to minimize their aggressiveness. According to the American Kennel Club, Gordon Setters are strong-minded enough to go through any kinds of training. These energetic dogs have proven themselves to be great family companions.  
The breed’s average life span is 10 to 12 years and is prone to develop allergies, cataracts, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and retinal atrophy. Regular physical exams should be performed to identify these issues. The Gordon Setter was bred to run so it should be exercised daily and allowed to roam off-lease in a secured area. If its exercise requirements are not met, it is likely develop behavior problems. 
The Gordon Setter started out as a bird dog in the early 1600s. They became popular in the 19th century when Alexander, the Fourth Duke of Gordon, in Banffshire Scotland started to breed a stronger but slightly smaller Setter of his day. He aimed to create a dog that is more suited to work on the rugged terrain of northern Scotland and the Setters in his kennel became the perfect working dogs in that corner of the world. Two descendants of the Duke’s kennel, Rake and Rachel, were imported to the United States in 1842 by Mr. George Blunt and became the foundation of the breed in America. The modern Gordon Setter differs very little from its ancestors, still willing to work and eager to please its humans.