Labrador retriever

We take a closer look at Britain's most popular gundog breed.

History: In 1836, seamen from the UK first came across labradors in Newfoundland, where they were being used to pull trailers full of logs and fish, and swim out in the icy waters to retrieve floats and nets for their fishermen owners. Identifying a market for such a dog back in England – where duck shooting was particularly popular with the aristocracy and landed gentry – the seamen returned home with several dogs which were acquired by Walter Francis Montagu Douglas Scott, the 5th...

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Golden retriever

A closer look at one of the world's favourite dog breeds, the golden retriever. 

History: Golden retrievers have their roots set in 1864, after a series of matings between a yellow flat coated retriever and a tweed water spaniel (a now extinct breed) were carried out by Lord Tweedmouth on his Guisachan estate in Inverness-shire, Scotland.  Later down the line, the offspring was again crossed with Irish setters, bloodhounds and black flat coated retrievers, resulting in a good looking and hard working dog. For many years they remained relatively unknown, as puppies...

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Flatcoated retriever

In part eight of our 12-part series with working dog food manufacturer Chudleys, we take a look at the flatcoated retriever.

History of the flatcoated retriever: The flatcoated retriever was undoubtedly the favoured retriever breed in the late-1800s to early 1900s on large shooting estates, and have long been described as the gundog of Edwardian England. Used by both Guns and gamekeepers alike, the elegant breed was capable of performing a number of roles in the field, from flushing game to picking-up on the peg.  It is believed that the breed was developed from crossing newfoundlands, setters, water dogs...

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Born in the USA

Author: Patrice Fellows

Patrice Fellows takes a closer look at the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a fearless retriever and was a favourite of General Custer and President Teddy Roosevelt. This dog may look somewhat like a labrador, but the similarity ends there – it has a tenacity, stamina and personality all its own.    The breed’s foundation reads like a romantic tale of windswept seas and sunken ships on America’s north eastern seaboard, when the codfish trade brought the first water dogs to Britain’s shores. In 1807 an American ship named...

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The secret to goldens

Author: Patrice Fellows

Golden retrievers have a charm all of their own, as Patrice Fellows reports.

Photography /  STEVE MAGENNIS One of Britain’s best-kept secrets is the quality of its working goldens. Since their foundation in mid-19th century Scotland, these attractive retrievers with a keen desire to work in both cover and water, and famously soft mouth, have contributed massively to shooting. Although not as common as the ubiquitous labrador, goldens have made up for the disparity in numbers by the quality of their contribution to the field. And at the highest level – the annual...

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Minority Report

Author: Oscar Will Tarbox

The creation of the new Working Minority Retriever Club provides due recognition and opportunity for disciples of the rarer breeds, as Oscar Will Tarbox reports.

Most people who own a minority breed dog have at some point in their lives had a standard breed as a family pet, but as the interest of owning a dog grows, many like to take the time to research breeds that are a little bit different, with a quirkiness not seen in your standard labrador or cocker spaniel. Talking to the public at country fairs and similar events, promoting the most vulnerable of our gundog breeds, it’s clear that most people seem to know about the more regular gundog breeds....

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