You have probably read quite a bit about how a Gordon Setter is going to enhance hunting for the man-of-the-house, so now I give you a woman's point of view to the Gordon Setter.
Having lived with Gordons, and having experiences with several other breeds of dogs as well, I feel that I can honestly say that there is nothing like having a Gordon Setter as a member of the family.
As a wife, I do my best to make sure that my husband is happy with his hunting partner (nobody likes a man that grumbles and complains, and a happy husband is so much more apt to want to please you!). However, I know no man that will have a moment's peace if the wife is unhappy with his dog. I could say this in capital letters, but I think that the point is well taken. Men, if you haven't caught on by now, if the woman of the house doesn't like the dog... FORGET IT! I don't care if the dog walks on water in the field, her resentment of the dog will be unbearable, and will more than likely last the entire life of the dog.
As a wife and mother, what I want in a dog is usually a lot more than what my husband is looking for in a dog. I want a dog that will be a wonderful companion to my family. I want the dog to be the greatest hunter that ever touched foot in the field, something that would make my husband very proud (there is nothing like a husband that is on cloud nine!). I want this dog to be completely trustworthy around kids of all ages (this includes infants), be a good protector but not looking at anyone coming into the house as an hors d'oeuvre. I don't want the dog to be a shedding fool, have oily skin, or stink to high heaven. I can't stand a dog that paces through the house with nervous energy (they give me a migraine trying to keep track of them constantly).
I simply ask for a relaxed, intelligent, gentle pet that can turn on the heat in the field, when needed. I want a dog that will housebreak easily, within a week or so, or less. I want a dog that my kids/toddlers can take for a walk (in or out of the house) until the dog drops from exhaustion (or boredom, whichever comes first!). And if my kids want to give this dog a cookie and decide after the dog has it in its mouth that they have a change of mind and want it back, I expect the dog to give it back, no matter how good that cookie is! (Unless, of course, he can swallow fast.)
Do I ask for too much? NO. Is there such a dog out there? YES! I have found all this and more in the Springset Gordon Setter. Mind you, I say Springset. I have seen the Gordons that are over 60 lbs. I don't trust most of them with my own left arm, let alone my kids' left arms (or any other part of their anatomy). Even some of the other field stock isn't trustworthy around children.
The Springset Gordons housebreak easily, they have endless amounts of patience (especially with young kids), they are intelligent (they don't have to be re-taught constantly), they have wonderful, social personalities (the more they are with the family the better they get), and they have an amazingly high pain tolerance (meaning that they are incredibly calm even when in pain). Springset has performed minor surgery on their Gordons (such as removing foxtails from the legs and ears, and stitching up wire cuts, etc.) without any anesthesia, just someone there to hold their paw, so to speak. The veterinarians love these dogs! In fact, many of Springsets' vets over the years have a Springset Gordon for themselves.
Their dispositions are incredible, whether they are male or female. In many cases, they are easier (and in some cases, more loyal) than many husbands! The males don't get aggressive, don't seek out other dogs to pick on, or females to have a romantic interlude with. One of the many Springset males I had and who was a career sire had a traumatic experience with my then 10 month old daughter who was learning how to walk. "Boogie" was laid flat out, in a deep sleep, when my daughter toddled over to him and accidentally stepped on his testicles (men, try not to cringe!). True to the Springset disposition, the dog's eyeballs darn near popped out of his head and he scrambled to get away from her, but he NEVER even turned his head at her, nor did any sound whatsoever emanate from his lips. He walked up to me for protection and I reassured him that it was an accident. He then went to my daughter and snuggled up to her as if to apologize for whatever he did to deserve that. He did keep his eye on her for a little while after that and more than likely didn't sleep as soundly either, I would imagine!
Springset Gordons are very welcoming, friendly dogs until they see someone do something wrong to you or to your property -- then they can get protective in a big hurry. This is something I value highly as I have had unpleasant experiences with people that my dog has gotten me out of, quite thankfully. Yet this same dog will go and sleep around the children moments later.
The same dogs that are so great in the household, that simply come in and lie down wherever you may be, are completely different in the field. When my husband takes my laid-back house pet out for a bit of hunting, this same dog becomes a stick of dynamite! The rapid change is amazing . Even out in the field the dogs control their actions, they pace themselves, preparing for an all-day, day-after-day hunt. Most of my Gordons are not only great family members and hunting dogs, but have also been field trial winners (some have even been National Dog of the Year winners)!
Until you have experienced a Springset Gordon, you will not fully understand what I'm talking about, but once you have had a Springset Gordon, you will never go back to anything else.