The beautiful Golden Retriever was developed by the wonderfully named British aristocrat, Lord Tweedmouth, in the late 1800s, as a handsome and practical gentleman’s hunting companion. Tweedmouth was an avid hunter and well connected gentleman in Victorian society.
In 1865 Lord Tweedmouth bought the only yellow pup from a litter of black wavy coated retrievers and crossed him with the (now extinct) Tweed Water Spaniel, a rugged water dog with excellent retrieving abilities. He wanted to create the perfect sporting dog to retrieve upland game and waterfowl on his Scottish estate, but also an animal that was handsome and of a biddable, sweet disposition — an ideal a family pet. Today’s Golden Retrievers are a testament to those early ideals.
Handsome as a Hollywood movie star, sensitive and intelligent companions, with smiling faces and heart-melting eyes, its hard to resist the allure of a Golden! Their inherent retrieving instinct and strong desire to please their people means that they love to carry things in their mouths - shoes, underwear and soft toys rank high on theirs list of favourite things to collect and present as gifts to their cherished family.
Yet these dogs are so much more than a pretty face. Behind all the glamour lies a versatile and accomplished hunter who loves to be at one with nature. I always smile when I meet a mud-covered Golden out on a walk, fresh from romping through the undergrowth, wallowing in the mud and rolling in all manner of unmentionable substances. They simply love to have a good time with their people. What more could you ask from a dog?
The 'Dog Tag' prints celebrate the history and characteristics that define particular breeds. The "dog tag" design idea came from thoughts about the plight of dogs in rescue centres and shelters. Debbie from The Enlightened Hound imagined that they might be wearing a dog tag that helped prospective owners find out more about the dog in the hope that they might be rescued and given a ‘forever home’.