The Gordon or black-and-tan setter is popularly supposed to be a Scottish product and indigenous to Scotland. However, this fact has never been positively ascertained, although the dog's precise origin is rather shrouded in mystery. He gets his name from the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who kept the breed largely at Gordon Castle in the early part of the last century, and about whose kennel a theory exists that a Scottish black-and-tan collie from an adjacent farm, accidentally crossed one of the Duke's tricolor setter bitches (the prevailing color of these bitches) and from this alien alliance the pure Gordon setter or black and tan sprang. This may be the real fact, or it may be legendary; but be that as it may, from a kennel of setters, somewhat varied in color, was ultimately founded a famous strain, now recognized as a distinct variety.
The breed in this country is practically on its last legs. At the last New York show, in February, the show where every breed that still has its supporters is represented, only four Gordon setters, were benched, where formerly an entry of 20 was not considered unusually large. These four were shown by two people, one, John J. Connolly, of Brooklyn, showing the only ones adhering to any degree to the real Gordon type, but to revert to slang, "nothing to write home about," while his Champion Sporting Duchess is a real good one. Sir Robert C, his other entry, is undoubtedly one of the best Gordon should have two dots of rich mahogany tan over the eyes.
He is an impressive looking dog, very sedate and dignified in his carriage, a true pal, and an ideal sporting dog. It seems a pity for this breed to die out, as it undoubtedly will, unless some live group of fanciers take hold of it and start a club in its behalf.
The chief points to look for in the selection of Gordon setter puppies at from two to four months' old and after are almost identical with those of the English setter, except color, which should, of course, be black and tan, the tan to be of a rich mahogany shade.
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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