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Where Do Golden Retrievers Come From?

Where Do Golden Retrievers Come From?

Golden Retrievers are one of the most lovable breeds in the world. They are popular due to their loving personality and friendliness. For decades Goldens are among the top three most popular breeds in the USA. But how did it all started, and where do Golden Retrievers come from?

So, Where Do Golden Retrievers Come From?

Well, the origin of Golden Retrievers is Scotland, more precisely an estate in Scottish Highlands called Giusachan.

Who developed the Golden Retriever breed?

We, the proud owners of the most lovable breed, have one man to thank for our everyday happiness. The “inventor” of the Golden Retriever breed was Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, later 1st Baron Tweedmouth. Majoribanks was the banker’s son. However, his older brother was to take over his father’s business. Nonetheless, lord Tweedmouth inherited a large chunk of his father’s wealth. This enabled him to buy a retreat in Scottish Highlands called Giusachan. This estate would soon become the birthplace of Golden Retrievers.

How Majoribanks developed Goldens?

There were two stories about the origin of Goldens. We now know only one is true. According to the first story, Goldens origins lead to a group of Russian circus dogs Majoribanks allegedly purchased on one occasion. This was the accepted origin story for decades.

However, in the early 1950s, a descendant of Lord Tweedmouth made available all of his original studbooks. By examining these books, researchers have concluded that the story of the Russian origins of Goldens was completely wrong.

In the studbooks, Lord Tweedmouth has explained how he bought an unregistered Yellow Retriever from a local cobbler in Brighton in 1865. He later bred this dog to a Tweed Water Spaniel. Water Spaniels also have their origins in Scotland, they were very similar to Golden Retrievers. However, this breed is now extinct.

Who were the father and mother of the breed?

The name of a Yellow Retriever Lord Tweedmouth bought from a cobbler was Nous. Tweed Water Spaniel bred with Nous was called Belle. They were the father and mother of the breed. All Goldens today are direct descendants of Belle and Nous.

First Golden Retrievers in the world

Nous and Belle produced a litter of four females. These females were the world’s first Golden Retrievers, and the origin of all Goldens today can be traced to these four girls. They were a basis for later breedings, which included sandy-colored Bloodhound, Irish Setter, and the St. John’s water dog of Newfoundland.

What was the role of Golden Retrievers in the past?

The original role of a Golden Retriever was to work in the field and retrieve gunned down fowl. They were perfectly suited for this role as they are an energetic breed able to run and work the whole day. Goldens also have thick double-coat that protects them from elements and they have duck-like feet for better movement in the water. Intelligent and easy to train they were perfect hunting dogs. The breed was powerful and yet it had a gentle mouth for retrieving game, exactly what Lord Tweedmouth wanted.

What is the current role of Golden Retrievers?

Goldens today have a completely different role. They are now considered perfect family dogs due to their kind nature and friendliness. Goldens have also shown they can be extremely good service dogs as they are easily trainable and highly affectionate. However, some Goldens still work in the field and retrieve gunned down fowl.

When were Golden Retrievers recognized as a breed?

The Kennel Club first recognized Golden Retrievers as a breed in 1911. under the name Retriever (Golden and Yellow).

The American Kennel Club followed the steps of its English counterpart and recognized Golden Retrievers as a breed in 1925. And the Golden Retriever Club of Ontario did the same in 1927. 


Goldens have come a long way from a working field dog to one of America’s favorite family dogs. While the question of where do Golden Retrievers come from is certainly important, the most important thing is that they are here with us, making us happy and forever grateful.

I'm Michael, and I absolutely adore dogs. My faithful companion, Toby, is a Corgi who means the world to me. I'm passionate about building strong bonds with dogs and providing them with all the love and care they deserve.

David Thompson

Monday 1st of August 2022

Golden retrievers are a Scottish breed, from Scotland -not 'Scottland.'

James Kirkland

Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

Hi David,

Thank you, we misspelled that, it is fixed now. :)