Canadian Kennel Club Official Breed Standards


Setter (Gordon)

General Appearance

A good-sized, sturdily built dog, well muscled, with plenty of bone and substance, but active, upstanding and stylish, appearing capable of doing a full day’s work in the field. Strong, rather short back, well-sprung ribs and short tail, a fairly heavy head, finely chiseled, intelligent, noble and dignified expression, showing no signs of shyness; clear colours and straight of slightly waved coat. A dog that suggests strength and stamina rather than extreme speed.

Symmetry and quality are most essential. A dog well balanced in all points is preferable to one with outstanding good qualities and defects.


Shoulder height for males, 24-27 inches (61-69 cm); for females, 23-26 inches (58-66 cm).
Weight: Males, 55-75 lb. (25-34 kg); Females, 45-65 lb. (20-29 kg).
As a guide, the greater heights and weights are to be preferred provided that character and quality are also combined. Dogs over and under these heights and weights are to be discouraged.

Coat and Colour

Coat should be soft and shining, resembling silk, straight or slightly waved - the latter preferred - but not curly, with long hair on ears, under stomach, on chest, and on back of the fore and hind legs to the feet. Deep, shining coal-black with tan markings, either of rich chestnut or mahogany red colour. The tan should be shining and not dull, yellowish or straw colour and not mixed with black hairs. Black penciling allowed on toes. The borderlines between black and tan colours should be clearly defined. There should not be any tan colours mixed in the black.

Tan markings:

  1. (a)  Two clear spots over the eyes not over 3/4 inch (2 cm) in diameter.

  2. (b)  On the sides of the muzzle, the tan should not reach above the base of nose, resembling a stripe around the end of the muzzle from one

    side to the other.

  3. (c)  Onthethroat.

  4. (d)  Two large, clear spots on chest.

  5. (e)  Ontheinsideofthehindlegsandinsideofthighsshowingdownthe

    front of the stifle and broadening out to the outside of the hind legs from the hock to the toes. It must, however, not completely eliminate the black on the back of hind legs.


        (f) On the forelegs from the knees or a little above downward to the toes.

        (g) Around the vent.

            A white spot on the chest is allowed, but the smaller the better.


Deep rather than broad, with plenty of brain room, nicely rounded good-sized skull, broadest between the ears. The head should have a clearly indicated stop. Below and above the eyes should be lean and the cheek as narrow as the leanness of the head allows. The muzzle fairly long with almost parallel lines and not pointed either as seen from above or from the side. The flews not pendulous but with clearly indicated lips. The nose big, broad with open nostrils and of black colour. Eyes of fair size, neither too deep set nor too bulging, dark brown, bright and wise. Ears set low on the head, fairly large and thin.


Long, lean, arched to the head and without throatiness.


Shoulders should be fine at the points, deep and sloping well back, giving a moderately sloping topline. Forelegs big-boned, straight, not bowed either in or out, with elbows free, well let down and not inclined either in or out.


Chest deep and not too broad in front; the ribs well sprung, leaving plenty of lung room.


The hind legs from hip to hock should be long, flat, and muscular, from hock to heel short and strong. The stifle and hock joints well bent, and not inclined either in or out. Both fore and hind feet should have close knit, well-arched toes with plenty of hair between with full toe pads and deep heel cushions.


Short and should not reach below the hocks, carried horizontal or nearly so, thick at the root and finishing in a fine point. The feather, which starts near the root of the tail, should be slightly waved or straight and have a three-square appearance growing shorter uniformly toward the end.



A smooth free movement with high head carriage.


  1. General Impression - Unintelligent appearance. The Bloodhound type with heavy and big head and ears and clumsy body, as well as the Collie type with its pointed muzzle and curved tail, or showing any signs of shyness.

  2. Head - Houndy, pointed, snipey, drooping or upturned muzzle, too small or large mouth.

  3. Eyes - Too light in colour, too deep-set, or too prominent.

  4. Ears - Set too high or unusually broad or heavy.

  5. Neck - Thick and short.

  6. Shoulders and Back - Irregularly formed.

  7. Chest - Too broad.

  8. Legs and Feet - Crooked legs. Out-turned elbows. The toes

    scattered, flat-footed.

  9. Tail - Too long, badly carried or hooked at the end.

  10. Coat - Curly like wool, not shining.

  11. Colour - Yellow or straw coloured tan or without clearly defined

    lines between the different colours. White feet. Too much white on the chest. In the black there must be no tan hairs which can appear often around the eyes.


Setter (Irish)

General Appearance

The Irish Setter is an active, aristocratic bird-dog, rich red in colour, substantial yet elegant in build. Standing over two feet tall at the shoulder, the dog has a straight, fine, glossy coat, longer on ears, chest, tail and back of legs. Afield, he is a swift-moving hunter; at home, a sweet-natured, trainable companion. He is a rollicking personality. At his best the lines of the Irish Setter satisfy in over-all balance that artists have termed him the most beautiful of all dogs. The correct specimen always exhibits balance whether standing or in motion. Each part of the dog flows and fits smoothly into its neighbouring parts without calling attention to itself.


There is no disqualification as to size. The make and fit of all parts and their over-all balance in the animal are rated more important. A height of 27 inches (69 cm) at the withers with a show weight of about 70 lb. (32 kg) is considered ideal for a dog; the bitch, 25 inches (64 cm), 60 lb. (27 kg). Variance beyond 1 inch (3 cm) up or down to be discouraged.

Coat and Colour

Short and fine on head, forelegs and tips of ears; on all other parts, of moderate length and flat. Feathering long and silky on ears; on back of forelegs and thighs long and fine, with a pleasing fringe of hair on belly and brisket extending onto the chest. Feet well feathered between the toes. Fringe on tail moderately long and tapering. All coat and feathering as straight and free as possible from curl or wave. Colour: mahogany or rich chestnut red, with no trace of black. A small amount of white on chest, throat, or toes, or a narrow centred streak on skull, is not to be penalized.


Long and lean, its length at least double the width between the ears. The brow is raised, showing a distinct stop midway between the tip of the nose and well-defined occiput (rear point of skull). Thus the nearly level line from occiput to brow is set a little above, and parallel to, the straight and equal line from eye to nose. Skull is oval when viewed from above or front; very slightly domed when viewed in profile. Beauty of head is emphasized by delicate chiseling along the muzzle, around and below the eyes, and along the cheeks. Muzzle moderately deep, nostrils wide, jaws, of nearly equal length. Upper lips fairly square but not pen- dulous, the underline of the jaws being almost parallel with the top line of the muzzle. Nose black or chocolate. The teeth meet in a scissors bite in which the upper incisors fit closely over the lower, or they may meet evenly. Eyes somewhat almond-shaped, of medium size, placed rather well apart; neither deep-set nor bulging. Colour: dark to medium brown. Expression soft yet alert. Ears set well back and low, not above level of eye. Leather thin, hanging in a neat fold close to the head, and nearly long enough to reach the nose.


Moderately long, strong but not thick, and slightly arched; free from throatiness, and fitting smoothly into the shoulders.


Shoulder blades long, wide, sloping well back, fairly close together at the top and joined in front to long upper arms angled to bring the elbows slightly rearward along the brisket. Forelegs straight and sinewy, the elbows moving freely. All legs sturdy, with plenty of bone, and strong, nearly straight pasterns.


Sufficiently long to permit a straight and free stride. Topline of body from withers to tail slopes downward without sharp drop at the croup. Chest deep, reaching approximately to the elbows; rather narrow in front. Ribs well sprung. Loins of moderate length, muscular, and slightly arched.


Hindquarters should be wide and powerful with broad, well-developed thighs. Hind legs long and muscular from hip to hock, short and nearly perpendicular from hock to ground; well angulated at stifle and hock joints, which, like the elbows, incline neither in nor out. Feet rather small, very firm, toes arched and close.


Strong at root, tapering to fine point, about long enough to reach the hock. Carriage straight or curving slightly upward, nearly level with the back.


At the trot the gait is big, very lively, graceful and efficient. The head is held high. The hindquarters drive smoothly and with great power. The forelegs reach well ahead as if to pull in the ground, without giving the appearance of a hackney gait. The dog runs as he stands--straight. Seen from the front or rear, the forelegs, as well as the hind legs below the hock joint, move perpendicularly to the ground, with some tendency towards a single track as speed increases. But a crossing or weaving of the legs, front or back, is objectionable.


Canadian Kennel Club Official Breed Standards