The History of Goldens



Golden Retrievers were "developed" in Britain during the 1800's. Believed to be included in the formation of the Golden Retriever breed are the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel, the Newfoundland, the Irish Setter and a variety of water spaniels. Lord Tweedmouth takes credit for the development of the Golden Retriever. On his estate, near Inverness, Scotland, Lord Tweedmouth wished to develop a dog which was loyal and kind, yet spirited and energetic, with a love for the water and an ability to retrieve. His early vision of a Golden Retriever was for a dog that would have great enthusiasm for retrieving waterfowl.

Once developed, early Golden Retrievers were shown in England as Flat-Coated Retrievers under the variety Golden. Over time the Golden Retriever made it's way to North America, brought back by people visiting Britain. It is believed that Golden Retrievers came to North America in the 1890's, however, Golden Retrievers were not "exhibited" in dog shows until the 1920's. Golden Retrievers, in the early years were used primarily in hunting. Over time, as the breed gained popularity, the Golden Retriever became a valued family companion, a hunting companion, and a show dog.

Early golden retrievers ranged from medium gold to dark gold to a "copper" gold. As the golden retriever developed and became more popular in the show ring, the lighter colours, seen in today's Golden Retrievers, emerged. Today Golden Retrievers range from cream to dark gold with the lighter colours seemingly more preferred by many than the darker colours of the original Golden Retrievers.

Golden Retrievers today are certainly known for their beauty. They are a dog with a kindly expression, pretty dark eyes, and a wagging tail. Golden Retrievers are also known for their temperament. A well bred Golden Retriever is gentle, kind, loving, loyal, happy, confident and outgoing. Neither lazy nor hyper, today's golden retrievers blend easily into many family settings. But, despite the beauty and the gentleness, Golden Retriever excel at obedience as well. Golden Retrievers strive to please their owners and, once taught what the owner desires, the Golden Retriever will astound you with their willingness to please. It is of interest to note that the first three dogs to achieve their A.K.C. Obedience Trial Championships were Golden Retrievers.

The following history is quoted from the CKC's website on breed history


UNTIL 1952, the history of the Golden, the most glamorous of the retrievers, read like a fairy-tale. This is how it went: In 1858 Sir Dudley Majoribanks, later Lord Tweedmouth, a Scotsman, was on a visit to the English seaside town of Brighton. While there he attended a circus and was so taken by a troupe of performing Russian sheepdogs he tried to buy a pair. The dogs' trainer would not sell a pair, claiming that this would break up the troupe. Whereupon Majoribanks bought the lot, took them home to his estate, "Guichan," in Scottish Border country, bred them and thus created the Golden Retriever.

The public loved the story but knowledgeable sporting dog people had their doubts. Well founded as it turned out, because in 1952 Majoribanks' breeding records from 1835 to 1890 were made public and they contained no mention of the Russian dogs. They did reveal that the Golden was all sporting blood, having been developed by crossing the wavy-coat Retriever with a yellow-coloured Tweed Water Spaniel, a breed common in the Border country. The first litter of four puppies was whelped in 1868 and named Crocus, Primrose, Cowslip, and Ada. In turn these dogs were crossed with the Red Setter and
sandy-coloured Bloodhounds. Eventually line breeding created the Golden.

The breed was first exhibited in Britain in 1908 and was granted separate breed status in 1913. First classified as the Retriever (Golden and Yellow) in 1920, the name was changed to Golden Retriever. Since that year the breed has continued to grow in popularity around the world. Breeders have succeeded in retaining the Golden's sporting instincts as well as promoting it as a beautiful, top winning show dog. Mild mannered and extremely trainable, the Golden has excelled in obedience and has an outstanding record as a guide dog for the blind. It is reported that at the guide dog training schools there are fewer rejects among Golden Retrievers than there are for any other breed. The Golden Retriever was first registered in Canada in 1927.

Contact Details
Darren Grimes
Greenbank/Spring Mountain, QLD, Australia
Phone : 07-32975791
Email : [email protected]

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