The AKC describes the Gordon Setter temperament as “alert, interested, and confident. He is fearless and willing, intelligent, and capable. He is loyal and affectionate, and strong-minded enough to stand the rigors of training”. Gordons are intensely loyal to their owners; thrive in an attentive, loving environment; and are good family dogs. Puppies and adult dogs can be quite boisterous, and although they are patient by nature, may not be suitable for households with very young children. Gordons are sensitive and empathic, eager to learn, and need firm but gentle handling. Early socialisation and obedience training is important. The breed is one of the slowest to mature, not hitting prime until three years of age or more, and will show puppy-like characteristics well into their older years.