This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
The black-tan setter, until the institution of shows, was commonly called "Gordon," from the fact that the Dukes of Gordon had long possessed a strain of setters of that color, which had obtained a high reputation. At the first dog show held at Newcastle in June, 185ft, Mr. Jobling's (of Morpeth) black and tan Dandy was shown with success in an open class; and in November of the same year Mr. Burdett's Brougham followed suit at Birmingham, In 1861 Mr. Burdett's Ned (son of Brougham) won the first prize in an open class at Birmingham, after which a special class was made for dogs of that color at Birmingham, London, and other large shows, the breeders of English dogs fancying that the beautiful color of the "Gordons" was too much in their favor.
GORDON SETTER, LANG. - (Page104.)
But, in spite of the above successes, it cannot be denied that the general opinion of good sportsmen in the south has not been in favor of the breed since the institution of field trials, in which it has been brought into competition with the English and Irish setter. Both Rex and Young Kent had shown marvellous powers of scent, but exception was taken to their tiring action, and it must be admitted that six hours' work was enough at one time for either of them, and probably too much for Young Kent. Both dogs also were headstrong, and required severe treatment to keep them under command, and though neither showed the slightest disposition to unsteadiness on the point, yet both were jealous behind, and it was difficult to make them work to hand. Among the numberless specimens of the breed (black-tan) which I have seen at work, not one has shown the solicitude to catch the eye of the shooter which is so essential to the perfect correspondence of man and dog which ensures sport. The pointer or setter ought always to know where his master is, and if put into high covert, such as beans, should raise his head at short intervals above them to ascertain his whereabouts.
Now, as far as my experience goes, black-tan setters, and notably the Kents, never do this, and cannot be taken off a scent without very great severity, until they have satisfied themselves of its fallacy.
The points of the black-tan setter are very nearly the same as those of the English dog, the only deviations being as follows:
1. The skull is usually a little heavier than that of the English setter, but in other respects it resembles it.
2. The nose, also, is like the English setters; but it is usually a trifle wider.
9. The flag is usually a trifle shorter than that of the English setter, which it otherwise resembles in shape. 11. The coat is generally harder and coarser than that of the English or Irish setter, occasionally with a strong disposition to curl, as in the celebrated champions Reuben and Regent.
12. The color is much insisted on. The black should be rich, without mixture with the tan, and the latter should be a deep mahogany red without any tendency to fawn. It is admitted that the original Gordons were often black, tan, and white; but, as in all our shows the classes are limited to black-tan; the long arguments which have been adduced on that score are now obsolete. A little white on the chest, and a white toe or two, are not objected to; but a decided frill is considered by most judges to be a blemish. The red tan should be shown on lips, cheeks, throat, spot over the eyes, fore legs nearly to the elbows, hind legs up to stifles, and on the under side of the flag, but not running into its long hair.
I have selected Mr. Coath's Lang to illustrate, this breed, and the engraving, page 93, is a wonderful likeness of this elegant dog. On the show bench he has been very successful since the retirement of his sire Reuben from old age, having won first and champion prizes at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Crystal Palace (twice), Birmingham (thrice), and Alexandra Palace. At the Shrewsbury field trials of 1872 and 1S73, he was entered, and showed great pace and a fine style of going; but in the former year his pace was too great for the absence of scent and covert which prevailed there, and he was put out by Mr. Armstrong's Don, in one of those unsatisfactory trials to which owners of dogs have so often been reduced there. In the next year he showed well at first with Mr. Barclay Field's Rake, but was put out from chasing fur. At the same meeting he was bracketed with Mr. Macdona's Ranger in the braces, but not being quite steady behind, they were beaten by Mr. Barclay Field's Bruce and Rose. He is a fine slashing dog, of good size, possessing plenty of bone without lumber, and excellent legs and feet His pedigree is an excellent one, being as follows:
Lang (Mr. Coath's)
Rain (Lord Rosslyn's
Prom Duke of Buc-cleutrh's Kennels)
Old Moll, by Job-ling's Dandy,
It will be seen that he goes back to Jobling's Dandy, on the aide of both sire and dam.
The black and tan setter crosses well with the Irish, and Mr. Salter possesses an excellent specimen of the cross in his Young Rex, winner of the first prize at Brighton in the black and tan class in 1876. This dog is by Bex (son of Kent and Regent), out of Sal, a well-bred bitch descended from Major Hutchinson's Bob, and is a good looking dog, as well as a fine mover. Mr. Purcell Llewellyn has also crossed the Laveracks with it, the result, in 1872, being a very beautiful orange Belton bitch. Flame, out of Carrie, who was by Pilkington's Dash, out of a daughter of Hutchinson's Bob (winner of the champion prize at the Crystal Palace, in 1875); and also a 1st prize winner at the Crystal Palace in 1872, and a 2nd at Birmingham in the same year.