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Dog of the Day
Today's Dog of the Day
Nestlé the Gordon Setter, the Dog of the Day
Name: Nestlé
Age: Deceassed, Seven months old
Gender: Female Breed: Gordon Setter
Home: Petaluma, California, USA
   Nestlé is described as a chocolate & tan Gordon Setter. While the AKC only recognizes the black and tan coloring, Gordon Setters come in about 8 different color combinations (white/choc/tan, red, lemon, white/lemon, white/red, etc.) Many breeders destroy puppies that are "off-color" because of the AKC limitation. Even the Duke of Gordon had tri-color setters (white/ black/tan) but often these are mistaken for English Setters, if they survive.

     Interestingly, the chocolate and tan coloring is considered a triple-recessive trait -- both the sire and the dam must carry the recessive gene in order to produce colored offspring. Even then, the genes don't always find each other and chocolate puppies are rare. When we were looking for another chocolate to replace Nestlé, it took 19 months to see another chocolate puppy born ... and then there were three in his litter, along with four perfectly marked black & tans. That's how Mousse (chocolate mousse?) came to our family.

     The chocolate Gordons can run from a dark chestnut brown to a light auburn brown with tan markings resembling a reddish tan or what I term "copper penny". In the summer, their coat is susceptible to lightening from the sun so blondish streaks will show up on their ears and along their backs which only heightens the uniqueness of their expressive faces. The eyes are light colored, usually an amber-brown or green, and the nose leather is reddish-brown. Nestlé always stood out in a crowd (of Gordons) and except for the eyebrows and contrast markings, would resemble a brown Irish Setter, if there is such a thing. Except for their coloring, the chocolate Gordon puppy has all the same traits and characteristics of their black & tan littermates. That's why it's so disappointing that the AKC won't recognize them and allow them to compete in field trials.

     Another interesting fact about chocolate Gordons is that they can have all black & tan puppies. Once again, unless they are mated to another dog carrying the chocolate gene and those two genes get together, the black and tan dominance will show up. But chocolates, as well as the tri-color and other unrecognized colors, are required to be neutered and their breeding is only accidental. That is truly a shame as they never fail to get noticed and many families, who have no interest in registration, breeding, or competing, but are looking for a dedicated companion would be happy to give them a happy home.

     She died in an accident at seven months old. We were crushed. She had been such a large portion of our life. She went with us everywhere: to church on Sundays, to business meetings, to the dog park; and was very content to sit at our feet while we worked at our computers in our home-based business.

     Nestlé had also been our first Gordon Setter and our first introduction to the field-trial size. She began pointing butterflies and dandelions at about 10 weeks with an intensity that seemed beyond her age. Even though we did not encourage hunting behaviors, Nestlé was also a "flashlight dog" and would point the beam on the ground plus shadows and glimmers during the day. Nestlé loved to retrieve and would offer her stick or toy to whomever was standing around with their hands empty.

     While Nestlé is no longer with us, the memories of her love and devotion still warm our hearts. On warm spring days she would lie on her bed at the front door waiting for "her master/best friend" to come home. During baseball season they would snuggle together on the couch and fall asleep around the seventh inning.

Nestlé the Gordon Setter Nestlé the Gordon Setter Nestlé the Gordon Setter Nestlé the Gordon Setter

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