Handsome and proud, the Gordon setter is the largest amongst the setter breeds, weighing 45–80 pounds and standing 58–69 centimetres at the withers. It sports an attractive, shiny coat, which is considered one of its beautiful features. The Gordon setter has a head that is deep than it is broad, a dome-shaped skull, a well-defined stop, and a wide, long muzzle. The breed also has nicely defined lips and a black nose that is broad and large with wide nostrils. With dark brown eyes, the Gordon setter boasts of a gentle and intelligent expression. Its ears are moderate in size, set low, and lie flat on its head. It carries itself proud and noble with its long and lean arched neck. This breed has a nice compact body that is moderately long with a levelled topline.
The Gordon setter has an attractive coat that is soft, shiny, and may be straight or wavy. It wears long hair (feathering) on its ears, chest, belly, and back of legs. The tail has thicker feathering at the base, but tapering to a fine point as it reaches the tip. Accepted breed colour is only the classic black and tan colour, with some tan markings in rich chestnut or mahogany colour on its muzzle, eyes, throat, chest, hind legs, and forelegs. However, the Gordon setter can be seen in other coat colours such as black, tan and white, liver and tan, or solid red, albeit not acceptable in the breed standard.
The Gordon setter is a moderate shedder, so brushing and combing its coat two to three times a week will prevent or remove tangles and mats and dead hair, and will distribute skin oils on its coat. Also, make sure to trim the hairs at the bottom of its feet and between the toes.