Breed History

Water Spaniel. Original oil by Scottish artist John Carlton, signed by monogram J.C. 1864. Gerald Massey, Britain’s renowned researcher and dealer in sporting art and old dog books, considered the subject of this painting to be one of the three varieties of the Irish Water Spaniel, known as the Tweed Water Spaniel. Though the work is untitled, the dog clearly resembles all descriptive references found to date. Courtesy R. Page Elliott

Brief History of the Golden Retriever

The GRCA is proud of the Golden Retriever’s rich heritage and invites you to share it with us. All pictures on this site have been obtained from the Golden Retriever Club of America Archives. Learn more now!

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Origin of the Yellow Retriever

The name yellow retriever was the original name of the breed, but this has been largely superseded in later years by that of golden retriever, one coined by the late Lord Harcourt. Learn more now!

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Early Ancestors of the Golden Retriever

After the founding of the Golden Retriever Club of England, in 1911, the British Kennel Club granted official recognition to the yellow retrievers as a separate variety, classifying them as “Yellow or Golden”. Learn more now!

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Elma Stonex

Mrs. Stonex was a pioneer in researching facts relating to the origin of the breed, research that continued even after the publication of her book The Golden Retriever in 1953. Learn more now!

Setters and Spaniels by Reinagle from Daniel’s Royal Sports 1802.
Original copperplate engraving by J. Scott. 
Upper right-The Old English Setter: Lower left-The Setter 
(Featherstone Castle breeding-not Irish). Courtesy R. Page Elliott

The Origins of the Golden Retriever Revisited

Golden Retrievers have become on of the most popular breeds in the United States during the last decade yet there are many who are still confused as to the true origins of the breed. Learn more now!

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Notes and Quotes from the Archives

This small book will serve as a jumping off point for what will become a series of articles based on the GRCA Archives. GRCA has been fortunate to have had members who recorded the story. Learn more now!

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The Day We Met Dileas

As we left Tomich, we thought of the uniqueness of Guisachan – its isolation and its beauty – and the strength of character and purpose of the Scottish nobleman who bred the first Goldens… Learn more now!

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Historical Golden Retriever Kennels

The kennel names that appear on this list have been designated as Historical by GRCA. They represent breeders who had significant impact on the breed in either conformation or performance. Learn more now!