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Golden Retriever History

The history of the wonderful Golden Retriever shows that this dog is a truly British breed; they were ‘evolved’ in Britain back in the 1800’s.

A British lord called ‘Lord Tweedmouth’ likes to take credit for his part in the advancement of the Golden Retriever as a breed. Whilst living on his huge estate he wished to ‘design’ a breed of dog that was both kind and exceptionally loyal but whom also displayed a spirited nature together with abundant levels of energy.

He also wished this marvellous breed of dog to have a love of the water, as there were lakes positioned around his estate. The dog required the ability to retrieve from the land along with the water. Hence the Golden Retriever was born!

The parts of the Golden Retriever are made up from the Tweed Water Spaniel, now extinct,  this was the female of the couple and she was called ‘Belle’ and the male of the partnership was a yellow, flat coated Retriever named ‘Nous’, the other puppies in the litter were born jet black!

The pair had the initial litter of Retriever pups and they were born in 1868. Their names were Cowslip, Primrose, Crocus and Ada. Throughout the following years the Golden Retriever was crossbred with numerous other breeds such as the Red Setter, the Newfoundland and the Bloodhound.

You can see from these specific breeds of dog how the Golden Retriever ended up with its stunning coat; the Red Setter also has the feathering detail on its coat and the Newfoundland breed has a beautifully dense, bear like coat. The ability to retrieve so well has been ‘handed down’ from the original scent breed, the Bloodhound.

Golden Retriever history depicts that by the time we reached the early 1900’s the Golden Retriever had evolved into a superb hunting dog. The British lords wished for ‘their’ breed of dog to appear handsome. The Lords were considered to be gentlemen and every detail had to be perfect within the circles that they frequented.

They required a fast retrieving breed of dog and also one that was pleasing on the eye. The Golden Retriever is perfect, as they are a patient dog whom will walk to ‘heel’ happily or sit quietly next to its owner awaiting the next command. They are an excellent companion choice for a field trip as they will easily handle the distance covered and can be quiet and calm whilst their owner selects a spot. Then be like a coiled spring awaiting the command to ‘fetch’ or ‘retrieve’ the game.

The Golden Retriever possesses a wonderfully soft mouth that is specifically designed to carry the game very gently leaving it totally undamaged.

The English Kennel Club recognised the first Golden Retriever in the year 1903 these were the flat coated variety. They were first shown in 1908, then in the year 1911 were recognized as the breed we know today, the Retriever, both golden and yellow varieties. The title was changed from simple Retriever to Golden Retriever in the year 1920.

In the competitive world of the show dog a pure Golden Retriever that has been bred in England can be any shade ranging from cream through to golden, initially the cream shade was not accepted in the UK but by 1936 the rules were changed to allow cream. Mahogany and red are unacceptable though, on this decision the rules seem to be firmly set.

So the Golden Retriever’s history is quite a fascinating one, a dog bred for specific purposes but also bred to be pleasing on the eye.

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