The Golden Retriever is one of the most loved dog breeds in the world, so it may surprise you to know that its history is a little hazy in parts. It’s thought that the foundations of the breed were developed by a member of the British aristocracy, Sir Dudley Marjoribanks (Lord Tweedmouth). It’s said that he took a liking to the striking yellow colouring that was sometimes found in Retrievers, so he set to creating a new breed with the dazzling golden hue. To begin, he acquired a dog called Nous from Brighton, the only yellow puppy in a litter of black Curly-Coated Retrievers, then bred this to a liver coloured Tweed Water Spaniel bitch called Belle, who was said to be an excellent retrieving dog. The produced litter contained four yellow puppies and in the following 20 years of further breeding he continued trying to perfect the breed by bringing in Red Setters, other Tweed Water Spaniels, Retrievers and possibly even a Bloodhound or two. Finally, in 1908 the breed was registered and shown as Golden Flat Coats until 1913 when they claimed the Golden or Yellow Retriever name.
The Standard Poodle originated in Germany as a water retrieving dog, specifically bred for the purpose of hunting waterfowl. This breed is commonly depicted donning haircuts which are thought to be all about fashion, but their unusual style is actually far more than that. The haircut was developed to prevent the dogs from getting waterlogged and too heavy to swim, so they trimmed off as much hair as possible, whilst still keeping their vital organs and joints protected. The Miniature and Toy Poodles came later as a result of individuals wanting all the charming personality of the Poodle but didn’t want such a large dog.