The Golden Retriever is an even-tempered and adaptable dog breed. It was bred to be a hunting companion deployed together with other dogs, which can explain its extraordinary tolerance of fellow dogs, animals and humans too. The Golden Retriever is characterised by its will to please with a high level of attention and easiness to train. This tendency makes the breed a perfect family dog, very affectionate, gentle and happiest participating in all family activities. It easily fits in with its intended role. Along with its even temper, the Golden Retriever is a cheerful and lively dog with a high urge for activity, remaining playful into old age.
All Retriever breeds are proven to come from Newfoundland. In the 19th century, there was lively fish trading between Britain and Newfoundland. When staying in Newfoundland, British sailors were able to observe the island's robust and weather-resistant dogs at work. They were enthused by how these water-loving dogs retrieved mooring ropes from the water and fish that had fallen from fishing nets even in tempestuous weather. The sailors brought a few of these dogs known as little Newfoundlands or St John's dogs with them to Britain, where they were crossed with British hunting dogs, resulting in the Wavy-Coated Retriever. In 1864, Lord Tweedmouth purchased a striking yellow-coloured Wavy-Coated Retriever called Nous. He paired this male with a female Tweed Water Spaniel called Belle. This breed was also famous for good, tenacious retriever dogs. During the next 20 years, the Golden Retriever came into existence following further pairings of the offspring of Nous and Belle with Wavy-Coated Retrievers and Tweed-Water Spaniels, as well as Irish Setters. Golden Retrievers were then deployed for hunting, particularly of ducks, in order to retrieve dead birds from the water too. Their intelligence and adaptability also make them excellent guide, rescue, explosive or sniffer dogs.