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The Creator

Meet The Creator

Even with the pressing duties of CEO and running Amaranth Publishing, much time is also spent on more important pursuits such as chasing balls, walking, playing, snacking or contemplating The Creator. The Creator of the Golden Retriever, was Sir Dudley Majoribanks, the first Lord Tweedmouth in Scotland.

Here is a picture of Sir Dudley,

The Creator...

Sir Dudley -
The Creator

The Golden Retriever originated in Scotland in the 1860s on the estate of Sir Dudley Majoribanks, the first Lord Tweedmouth of Scotland. (In case you are interested, "Tweedmouth" refers to a place in Scotland, and not a condition of Sir Dudley's mouth or speech.) The picture below shows the estate where The Creator bred the first Goldens.

Here is another picture of
The Creator

One version of the story concerning Sir Dudley's breeding of the first Goldens goes like this:

While on a visit to Brighton on the English south coast Sir Dudley was impressed by the intelligence of a troup of performing dogs and took one home to Scotland. This was a large male with a gold colored coat whom he named `Nous'. Sir Dudley mated Nous to a Tweed water Spaniel (now-extinct), named Bette who produced four puppies which bore similarities to today's Golden Retriever.

But as with most situations, there are of course,
two sides to the story...

There is certainly a clear and striking resemblance between the Russian Yellow Retrievers and the modern day Goldens. The painting at the left is a 19th Century painting of Yellow Russian Retrievers by artist Wright Barker.
(I am not kidding, his name was "Barker" and he liked to paint dogs, barking and not barking.)

The Russian circus dog story of origin became the accepted version of the beginnings of the breed and appeared in the Crufts catalogue until 1960. One of the greatest proponents of this theory was Colonel Le Poer Trench who had his St. Hubert's strain registered with the Kennel Club as retrievers (Russian Yellow). To the left is a painting of one of the Colonel's Retrievers. At Crufts Dog show in 1913, there were classes for Goldens and for Russian Retrievers, but only one set of C.c.'s. The best Goldens had to challenge the best Russians for the C.c.'s, and the Russians won both of them!

Pictured at the right are
the Colonel,
his brother and
some of their retrievers



In 1960 the Crufts catalogue contained what they say are the true origins of the breed as approved by the Kennel Club. This history of the breed was supposedly discovered in Lord Tweedmouth's carefully kept private stud book and notes, first brought to light by his great-nephew, the Earl of Ilchester, in 1952. Why it took as long as 1952 to come to light, almost a century after Tweedmouth's first Golden breeding experiments, is a mystery that causes those who still believe the Russian circus dog version of the story to shake their heads with doubt.

Here is the mid 20th Century version of the story of the Golden Retriever and The Creator:

In 1868 Lord Tweedmouth mated a yellow Wavy-Coated retriever (Nous) he had bought from a cobbler in Brighton (bred by Lord Chichester) to a Tweed Water Spaniel (Belle) from Ladykirk on the Tweed. These Tweed Water-Spaniels, rare except in the Border Country, are described by authorities of the time as like a small Retriever, liver-coloured and curly-coated. Lord Tweedmouth methodically line-bred down from this mating between 1868 and 1890, using another Tweed Water-Spaniel, and outcrosses of two black Retrievers, an Irish Setter and a sandy coloured Bloodhound. (It is now known that one of the most influential Kennels in the first part of the century which lies behind all present day Golden Retrievers was founded on stock bred by Lord Tweedmouth.

Whatever the case may be, Sir Dudley Majoribanks,
Lord Tweedmouth of Scotland, is:
The Creator.
All Praise Sir Dudley!

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For Dog Lovers.....

Scans of many original 19th Century American articles about dogs of all kinds. With some great art and engravings. Prepared as PDF files in an an easy to print standard size format.

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