Posts Tagged ‘golden retriever history’

Her name is Daleside Vetch:

She was sired by Michael of Moreton, who was an early prolific stud in the breed.  Her mother was a Speedwell dog, and the first golden retriever to ear a championship in the United States was Speedwell Pluto, who was very similar to this dog in type.

You can see the full clip at British Pathé, which shows a 1934 newsreel covering Crufts, “The Greatest of All Dog Shows.”

HT to Jemima Harrison for finding this one. I’ve had bad luck finding golden retrievers on British Pathé. Every time I’ve come across a clip of a supposed golden retriever, it turns out to be that of a Clumber spaniel!


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Her name was Princess Christina of Kansas (b. 1989), and she was an obvious working type dog from the United States. (Kansas, in case you didn’t know, doesn’t actually have royalty– except for queens at country fairs.)

(Source for image)

Now, you can tell what lines of golden were eventually prominent in Russia following Christina’s import.

They went for the European and UK show lines, which you can tell by the color of these puppies, which were her grandchildren. They likely went for these lines because they would fit in more nicely with the FCI system, but the Russians themselves have always valued good hunting dogs. So it’s possible that there might be a future for other working-type dogs in Russia.

Christina died in 2001, which just shows you how recent the history of this breed in Russia actually is.

I guess she’s the first golden retriever that ever could accurately be called a “Russian retriever.”


Her pedigree shows that she was just a regular old working-type golden, but one of her great grandmothers was a Topbrass dog.

Her COI over 3 generations was 0.00%.

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Rory of Bentley is the grizzled ten-year-old on the left. Ch. Michael of Moreton is on the right– and in this photo, he is only little over a year old.

Michael would later become a very important sire in the early days of the golden retriever breed, and he was the sire of Ch. Noranby Diana, my favorite of the pre-war goldens.

Rory’s lifespan was quite remarkable. He was born in 1915 and died in 1932– a rather long life for even a modern golden retriever.

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I don’t know who this dog was, but I like it.

Does anyone know anything about this dog’s identity?

It’s very unusual to see a photo or a painting of a dog of any sort wearing a collar. And this is a fairly nice collar.

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Ch. Haulstone Dan’s sire was Dual Ch. Balcombe Boy, who belonged to a Mr. Hermon and was bred by 1st Viscount Harcourt. Judging from the appearance of both dogs, Dan very much took after his sire. Dan would become a Crufts Gold Cup winner and eventually earned 6 challenge certificates, achievements that a dog like him today simply wouldn’t win. He would probably be deemed a “red” and be penalized severely– perhaps more so than the KC standard requires. And never mind that his type is very different from virtually all European conformation dogs.

He was the maternal grandsire of the best known Haulstone golden, Ch. Haulstone Marker.

The Haulstones were an early line of goldens that were kept by a Mr. Joseph Eccles at the Halston Estate in Shropshire. Their initial golden retriever had been purchased as  a “liver flat-coat,” but the dog was definitely a golden.

The Eccleses’ breeding program was quite notable because of their experimental outcrossing to FT. CH. Haylers Defender, a yellow Labrador.


I don’t need to tell you that I really like this type of golden. They are the Robert Redfords of the dog world. Rugged but handsome,  perhaps even a bit elegant, but still without extremity or vanity. Something like a drop-eared, feathered dingo.



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From William Nelson Hutchinson’s Dog Breaking (1869) :

When recently salmon-fishing on the upper part of the Tweed, I occasionally met on its banks a totally blind man, and who, in spite of this great disqualification, continued a keen and successful trout-angler. He had been for some years entirely sightless, and was led about by a large brown Tweed-side spaniel, of whose intelligence wonderful stories are told. M—r travelled much round the country ; and it is certain, for he would frequently do so to show off the dog’s obedience, that on his saying (the cord being perfectly slack), ” Hie off to the Holmes,” [Holms Water] or, ” Hie off to Melrose,” &c., &c., the animal would start off in the right direction without an instant’s hesitation. Now, this Tweed spaniel was not born with more brains than other Tweed spaniels, but he was M—r’s constant companion, and had, in consequence, acquired a singular facility of comprehending his orders, and doubtless from great affection was very solicitous to please (225).

This was the regional working-type retriever that was native to the Scottish Borders and Northumberland. It was a mixture of St. John’s water dog and some regional water spaniel type and was quite commonly used in hunting waterfowl and helping fishermen set and retrieve nets and lines.

This dog was also an ancestor of the golden retriever, which is currently used as a guide dog for the blind, and is quited noted for being eager to please.

So it was probably a wise choice for the 1st Baron Tweedmouth to use this breed to help found his strain of yellow wavy-coated retrievers that would be at the root of the modern golden retriever breed.

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From a Life magazine article on the national retriever trial in Herrin, Illinois. The date of publication was 30 December 1946.

Three golden retrievers were among the Top 20 Retrievers in the nation that year.  Two of them were Tonkahof Esther Belle and Stilrovin Nitro Express, which I have featured on the blog before.

I think this golden is Stilrovin Nitro Express. His shtick appears to have been leaping fences with a bird in his mouth, but I can’t see the chest in this photo.  This particular dog had an extensive white mark on his chest, but the bird’s wing is obscuring the chest. So I cannot say for certain that this dog is Stilrovin Nitro Express, but that is my educated guess.

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