Grantley Berkeley describes a working “red” retriever at Lulworth Castle, which worked very nicely for him. the following text comes from My Life and Recollections, Part 3. (Grantley Berkeley’s full name was George Charles Grantley Fitzhardinge Berkeley. His official first name was “George.”)
The assumed ancestry of this particular dog suggests that it would have been called a curly-coated retriever. It is also of interest that this dog was called “red” dog. It could have been a true e/e red dog, but if it definitely had Irish water spaniel ancestry, then it was much more likely what we’d call a liver. Some e/e yellow dogs were also called “light livers,” which makes things even more nicely confusing.
The confusion between e/e reds and livers still exists. Red dobermans and border collies aren’t e/e reds!
Judging from Berkeley’s relationship with Tramp, it seems to me that he just had a very good rapport with retriever-type dogs, which is probably why this particular dog performed so well. Some people are just naturally good with retrievers.