About us

I am Mervi Toivola. I live near Helsinki, Finland with Jukka-Pekka and my two sons, Samu and Juuso. Our family also includes two Gordon Setters and a German Shepherd. My first Gordon Setters were  my boy Limbo in 1988 from Sweden and later came "Donna" Vidjoels Don Chiquita who was my foundation bitch. My first litter was in 1995 and over the years, I have brought new blood into my European Gordon Setter line from America, Australia and Canada.
All my breedings are very carefully researched and planned. My main concern is for health and temperament, also good structure and correct Gordon Setter type. All my puppies are born and raised at home in the house and are with their mother for as long as possible to ensure good manners.
The G Litter of 2016 is only my 7th litter in 21 years. Sired by "Bilbo" Gordon Hall Zavier and my girl Uwexin Felicia.
                                      This is me, Mervi, with "Alf" Dunbarkins Moondance

History of breed

Beauty, brains and bird sense: these words describe the Gordon Setter. History suggests the existence of black and tan setters as far back as the 16th century in Scotland and England. The Duke of Gordon is credited with establishing the breed with its present characteristics in the 1820s. George Blunt and Daniel Webster imported the breed to America in 1842 with the purchase of two dogs from the Duke of Gordon kennels, Rake and Rachael. These dogs founded the breed in this country, which AKC officially recognized in 1892.

Gordons were initially bred as bird dogs. Although the hunting instinct remains strong in the breed, Gordons are equally at home as companion dogs, obedience competitors and show dogs. The official standard of the breed - a blueprint of the ideal Gordon Setter - allows for a considerable range of size and weight to suit a wide variety of hunting terrain. Gordons are heavier in bone and muscle than the other setters. Males range from 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder, weighing from 55 to 80 pounds. Females are generally smaller, measuring 23 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weighing 45 to 70 pounds. A copy of the breed standard can be found in many books devoted to purebred dogs or may be obtained fiom GSCA.

The Gordon Personality

Gordon Setters are alert and lively, pleasant and exceedingly loyal. They tend to be devoted to members of their household, but are not overly friendly to strangers. Gordons tend to tolerate attention from people they do not know rather than seeking such attention.

There is no denying a Gordon would just as soon stay a “puppy” forever, but with proper techniques young Gordons can be trained without breaking their spirit. Gordons are highly intelligent dogs, as quick to spot an advantage as to spot game, and basic obedience training will make your Gordon a better companion and a better canine citizen. Al-though Gordons are bright, they are not blindly obedient, and may seem stubborn. Firmness and consistency are the keys to handling Gordons; harsh treatment is almost NEVER necessary. Obedience classes, ranging from puppy kindergarten to advanced competition are available in most areas through local kennel clubs or humane societies.

Gordons are capable of adapting to a variety of living situations, as long as they are assured of the love of their masters. They do, however, need plenty of daily exercise to maintain peak physical and mental condition. Gordons need a safe, fenced area in which to run and play, and/or to be taken for frequent on-leash walks. This breed should never be allowed to roam freely because Gordons have the tendency to put their noses to the ground where the hunting instinct might lead them to follow a bird or a squirrel across a busy highway.
Children and Gordon Setters are a good combination, especially when the dog is introduced to children at a young age. Gordons tend to show strong protective instincts to their young charges. If a child persists in teasing a Gordon, the dog will tend to remove himself from the child’s reach rather than frighten the child by as so much as a growl. If you have children, please remember that children are not always aware of how to treat a dog, and must be taught to respect the rights of the dog as a member of your household.

Many Gordons are great talkers. They can develop quite a vocabulary with various tones to express themselves: pleasure at seeing the food dish prepared, needing a drink, greeting the family, or warning of strangers..Constant wagging of the tail seems to be part of their style as well.
As hunting companions, Gordons are frequently described as “personal gun dogs,” with emphasis on the word personal. Gordon Setters thrive when they share both hearth and field with their masters. They do not take well to being part of a kennel string.

Gordons possess top quality “bird sense.” They quarter the ground thoroughly and tend to stay close to the gun. Yet they won’t hunt for just anyone; a Gordon works best for his or her master. In other words, the same qualities that make Gordons an ideal family member make these dogs ideal personal hunting dogs.

Care of Your Gordon Setter

In addition to regular exercise, your Gordon needs regular grooming to keep the coat looking its best. The hair under the legs is likely to mat at any age unless it is brushed at least weekly. With puppies, short daily brushing sessions are a good way to get the dog used to being groomed.

Weekly grooming should also include toenail trims and ear cleaning. Nails that are too long weaken the feet because they cause the toes to spread, and ear infections can develop in long ears that are not cleaned regularly because the ear leather keeps moisture in the ear canal. Handling your dog in this fashion helps to socialize the dog and lets you spot problems before they have a chance to develop into something serious.

Even if your puppy arrived “with shots,” a trip to the veterinarian is in order. Puppy shots continue through 16-18 weeks of age to provide full protection, followed by annual vaccinations and continuous heartworm preventative.

Many medical problems are associated with poor diet, so feed your Gordon high quality dag food from a company whose labels meet or exceed the standards established by the National Research Council (NRC) and the Association of American Feed Controls (AAFCO). Given proper care and luck, your Gordon should live to be from 10 to 14 years of age.

Should I Breed My Gordon Setter?

A responsible breeder plans each breeding with the goal of improving the breed, avoiding genetic defects, and producing puppies that are not only better than their parents but one step closer to the ideal Gordon Setter described in the breed standard. Improving the breed means more than just appearance; the standard also describes the breed in terms of temperament and hunting ability. This is why field events and the show and obedience rings are considered important proving grounds for breeding stock.

Gordon Setters are basically healthy dogs. Still, as with many other breeds, Gordons as a group are subject to a number of genetic defects that can be passed on to puppies, such as hip dysplasia. Careful screening of dogs to be bred and their ancestors is necessary to maintain the integrity of the breed and reduce the likelihood of health or temperament problems.

So, should yau breed your dog? Only with careful research and a commitment to improving the breed.

For more information about GSCA (a national organization of some 1,200 members dedicated to the betterment of the breed), regional Gordon Setter clubs, or the GSCA Rescue program (a nationwide network for placement of abandoned or unwanted Gordon Setters), please complete and mail the coupon on this page or call the number printed at the bottom of the page.