222 Golden Retrievers Come Home for Scottish Ancestral Gathering

Wednesday, 14 Aug 2013 10:42 AM

By Michael Mullins

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More than 200 golden retrievers gathered at their ancestral homeland in Scotland at what remains of the Guisachan House, where in the late 1800's Lord Tweedmouth developed the breed.

The event was sponsored by the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland which held a similar gathering in 2006 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club's formation. At the time, 118 Golden Retrievers gathered, setting a world record.

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The July event, which the group has named the "Guisachan Gathering," shattered that record with its gathering of 222 golden retrievers at the same location.

Jim Richardsson, who organized the mass gathering, admitted that the logistics of the event, in particular getting all the dogs to remain in a relatively small patch of grass in front of the Guisachan House's fa├žade, was a challenge.

"The last three months of planning were a bit manic, but it was all worthwhile. I had a PA system and I was shouting at the owners 'Get out! Get out of the photo!'" Richardsson told the Daily Mail.

"And it was a free-for-all afterwards," Richardsson added. "Of course, everybody knows their own dog though, and your eyes are glued to it the whole time."

According to the event organizer, golden retriever owners came from all over the world to have their dog participate in the event, with at least one owner flying in from Hawaii.

The club's purpose is to encourage breeding of the golden retriever, according to the GRCS website.

An intelligent breed, the golden retriever was bred for hunting.

Tweedmouth crossed his original "yellow retriever" with the Tweed water spaniel (now extinct) to "create a superb retriever suited to the Scottish climate, terrain and available game," the American Kennel Club notes on its website.

Now primarily a companion dog, golden retrievers were the third most popular dog in the U.S. in 2012, according to AKC. The German shepherd came in second and the Labrador retriever first.

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