The Golden Retriever breed is relatively new, having originated in Scotland in the 1860's. Lord Tweedmouth is credited for buying a yellow retriever named "Nous" from a cobbler in Brighton, who in turn, had taken him in exchange for an unpaid debt.
Lord Tweedmouth had a liver-colored Tweek Spaniel named, Belle, who was bred to Nous in 1868. This breeding produced four yellow puppies named
; Ada, Cowslip, Crocus and Primrose. Cowslip was bred to another Tweed Water Spaniel named Tweed. One of their offspring, Topsy, was bred to Sambo (assumed to have been a black retriever), and from this a bitch named Zoe was born. Zoe was linebred back to Crocus and produced three yellow puppies in 1881.
In the 1870's, Lord Tweedmouth presented some of his dogs to his friends in Great Britain. He and his friends established the earliest Golden Retriever breeding programs.
Around the turn of the century, both Flat-Coats and Labradors were used in the English breeding programs. There are rumors of a bloodhound outcross, as well as an Irish Setter outcross.
The first Golden Retrievers were introduced to North America around the turn of the century. They arrived in Canada from Great Britain, brought there by retired English Army Officers.
Today's Golden Retriever may look a bit different than the first of more than 100 years ago, but some things will always remain constant: the wonderful, happy temperament, the incredible drive to please his owners, and the instinctive birdiness - all inherent in our beautiful breed.