Activities For Gordon Setters

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Introduction

The sheer presence of the Gordon Setter is every bit as regal as their aristocratic name implies. The Gordon is the largest of all setters. Males can easily weigh up to 80 pounds. This robust dog was clearly bred to withstand the Scottish Highland's harsh weather with their lush, full coat. An alert bird dog, the Gordon is always willing to please their owner. They are very affectionate and make an ideal family companion. Any activities that you choose to indulge in with your large dog will be well received because the Gordon is truly happiest when spending time with their owner.

Dog Marathon

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Collar
Water
Water bowl
Activity description
The Gordon Setter is an athlete. This dog was bred to hunt and run. Their long legs allow fluid movement which makes the Gordon an ideal companion if you enjoy jogging or other sports that require running. Across the nation, dog-friendly marathons have become commonplace. Most of the runs are only short distance because they cater to dogs of all levels and skillsets. The races last only an hour or two. However,  participating in a short or long run will make your Gordon happy. The activity allows you to exercise right alongside your dog. Most Gordons thrive on running and genuinely enjoy the sport.
Step
1
Choosing the race
Depending on where you live, you should be able to locate a race close to home. If your dog is new to marathon running then you will want to choose a race that is fairly easy and only a short distance. Make sure to pick a race that is at least two weeks away so you can work out daily with your pooch and get them (and you) ready for the run.
Step
2
Training
Leading up to the race, you should spend at least an hour per day walking or lightly jogging to build up your Gordon's endurance. Remember to offer ample praise during the training sessions so your dog genuinely starts to enjoy the activity. Consistent, positive runs will ensure that your running buddy looks forward to every outing.
Step
3
Race day
Some marathons require pre-registration but others allow registration on the morning of the race. You will need to determine the race's requirements. Most have their marathons posted online so you can read through the rules. On race day you will want to arrive bright and early. Typically, the participants line up as they prepare. Sometimes keeping your distance from other dogs is the best option if your dog is not used to large crowds of canines and people. Remember to start out slow and then move on to maintaining a steady pace. Offer your pooch ample praise along the way. Whether you come in first or last does not matter because the chances are good that you both had a wonderful time. Be sure to let your pooch slowly hydrate after the race but don't allow them to drink too much water or they may become sick.
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Biking

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Bike
Body harness
Dog bike leash
Water
Activity description
The body frame of the Gordon Setter makes the dog ideal for biking. Biking with your dog involves hooking your canine up to a specialized dog leash which is attached to the bike. You will also use a body harness on your Gordon Setter instead of a traditional collar. If your Gordon is in ideal physical shape then biking should not be a problem but if your dog is older or out of shape, you might want to slowly work up to biking by taking your dog for daily walks or jogs so they build stamina and can easily run alongside the bike.
Step
1
Introductions
If your Gordon is unfamiliar with a bike then you will want to introduce the dog to the bike by allowing your curious pup to sniff it. You might want to attach your dog to the bike using the harness and leash but abstain from riding the bike. Instead just walk your dog and the bike. Do this several times until your dog seems at ease.
Step
2
Take it slow
When it's time to actually ride your bike with your Gordon alongside you should take it slow. Only ride for five or ten minutes. You don't want to overdo it at first. Each time you can increase the ride time until you are easily riding an hour per day with your furry buddy alongside.
Step
3
Hydrate and have fun
When biking with your Gordon, be sure to stop frequently to give your furry friend a refreshing drink of water. Also offer ample praise as your trusty sidekick runs along beside you. Remember to never run your dog on hot asphalt or any other surface that can damage the dog's paw pads. If you cannot touch the ground with your hands then it is too hot for your dog's paws.
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Swimming

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Any Day
Free
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Collar
Life Vest
Activity description
The long legs and energetic nature of the Gordon Setter make the dog an ideal jogging companion, agility competitor or mountain hiker. No, the Gordon is not a Greyhound, but this dog was bred to run through the rough terrain of the Scottish Highlands. They are a supreme athlete that excels at physical activity, so you if you want a swimming companion then the Gordon will probably not disappoint you. However, as with all physical exercises, you should start out slow while your dog gets used to the physical requirements of the sport. If your dog is not used to swimming, then take them wading and use a life vest at first until you know that your companion is a proficient swimmer.
Step
1
Go slow
When you first start out, swim slowly with basic water introductions. Hook a leash to your Gordon's collar and walk your pooch out into the water. If you are unsure if your dog can swim, you might want to get them used to the feel of a canine life vest. If your dog hesitates to go into the water, offer words of encouragement. Many Gordons readily take to the water but others just need a bit of reassurance.
Step
2
Warm up
Your dog needs to warm up just like you do. You should both start out slow, walking and stretching before you actually embark on the process of swimming. It is imperative that you both loosen your muscles and ligaments with a warm up so neither one of you sustains an injury. Most Gordons are excellent swimmers and will happily indulge in the activity with a joyful exuberance.
Step
3
Take timeouts
As your dog start to swim, be sure to go slowly so your pooch doesn't become overly tired. If your dog is starting to show signs of tiring then you should stop swimming. Never force your dog to stay out longer than they want. You don't want to overdo the activity and take away the pleasure of frolicking in the water. Remember, it is supposed to be a fun time for you to be together.
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More Fun Ideas...

Swim Day

Many public pools offer canine doggy swim days. This is a great activity for owners and their dogs. It allows you to swim in the pool with your pooch. Most Gordon's love swimming so if you don't own a pool, the canine swim day is a great way to let your dog exercise and cool off. You can also take your Gordon swimming at a local lake or a dog-friendly beach. It is a rare occurrence that a Gordon Setter does not enjoy playing and swimming in the water. As with all activities, introduce your pooch to the experience slowly so you can gauge whether your pup is truly enjoying the activity.

Chuck It

Your Gordon Setter was bred to hunt birds, but you probably don't use them to bring in pheasants. Your dog's instincts run deep though, so why not pick a fun fetch activity like Chuck It for your pooch to enjoy? Your Gordon will be able to run out to retrieve the ball and promptly return it to you, which is similar to how your dog would act as a hunting animal. A Chuck It is a device that is sold at numerous pet stores and online. It allows you to throw a tennis ball an incredible distance for your active dog to retrieve.

Conclusion

The Gordon Setter is a prime canine athlete that enjoys getting out and having fun right alongside their owner. Most Gordons love physical activities. The Gordon relishes a run at the dog park or simply going for a walk with the family. Whatever activities you choose to share with your beloved pooch will undoubtedly be well-received. The Gordon is a wonderful family companion that has a special affinity for children. Whether it is a day at the beach, a walk in the park, or hike in the mountains, your dog is going to love every minute of the experience.