hundreds of golden retreivers turn out at Guisachan estate to celebrate 155 years of the breed.

2 Golden retrievers sit beside each other with water in background

In what could be described as a dog lover’s heaven, hundreds of golden retrievers turned out at Guisachan estate in Scotland where the breed originated.

Golden retriever sitting with mouth open, appearing to smile

Celebrating 155 years

Every 5 years, The Golden Retriever Club of Scotland organize a four-day anniversary event at the ruins of Guisachan(prounounced KUSH-igan) House, where the dogs were first bred. The event was marked with talks, training workshops, a picnic and a night-time procession.

But the best part was the hundreds of dogs (and their owners) from across the world in attendance.

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Golden retrievers from more than 12 countries including Canada, the U.S., New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands, Romania, the Czech Republic, Italy, Croatia, Estonia and Japan participated in the event, BBC reported.

Earlier on Tuesday night, the dogs gathered for a mile-long procession from Kennel Field to Guisachan House where the dogs and their owners were met by a piper and delivered a toast to their founding father Lord Tweedmouth.

A brief history of Goldens

Sources: Golden Retriever Club of America Golden Retriever Club of Scotland

Unlike many ancient dog Breeds, the Golden Retriever in historical terms is relatively recent. Thanks to painstaking research carried out by Breed historians, the history is quite defined and documented.

The Golden as we know it today was bred at Guisachan, Glen Affric, near Inverness, the Scottish Estate of Lord Tweedmouth, from a series of matings which commenced by mating a good looking yellow coloured Flat Coated Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel called ‘Belle” (a breed now extinct but believed to be a small liver coloured dog with a curly coat). This first mating happened in 1864.

The good looking yellow Flat Coated Retriever is listed in Stud books meticulously kept from 1835 where all dogs bred at Guisachan were noted was ‘Nous.” The stud record states he was purchased in Brighton from Lord Chichester who said the dog was the only Yellow puppy in a litter of black wavy coated Retrievers – and was given to Lord Tweedmouth by a Keeper in lieu of a debt.

Lord Tweedmouth then bred from the offspring of this mating using outcrosses to the Irish Setter, another Tweed Water Spaniel, the St John’s Water dog of Newfoundland and the breeding lines also incorporated two more black flat coated retrievers. The record books show some carefully chosen inbreeding was also involved, to ensure the true likeness to the ultimate hunting dog that Lord Tweedmouth foresaw. His vision included a more powerful and vigorous dog than other retrievers, yet one that would still be gentle and trainable.

Some of the puppies thought these further matings were given to neighbouring Estates and others to friends and family. The dogs proved t be excellent workers, attractive in their appearance and biddable. Puppies were also given to Lord Ilchester who also bred them, the breed stayed true to type and so the forerunners of the breed were established.

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