The Golden Retriever Club
of the Transvaal

GRC Club web site: follow this link!


The gentle, responsive Golden Retriever has a well-deserved reputation as a family companion, but commitment from the owner is essential. Make sure you are willing to cope with the Golden's lively, sometimes excitable nature, its great need for exercise, and its continuously shedding hair.


Remember that your cute, fluffy puppy will grow into a large vigorous dog, who will need looking after for up to 15 years. Like a child, it depends on you to provide its nutrition, education and overall well-being. Consider the amount of time you can dedicate to your dog, the space available in your home, the cost of veterinary attention and most importantly, your dog’s essential food requirements - Goldens are among the dog world’s greatest eaters!


A BOUNCING “HALLO”- If Goldens are not trained early in life to keep all four feet on the ground, you and your friends can expect a very warm welcome from this friendly but sometimes clumsy breed. Choose a Golden only if you can accept such affection and the odd broken object caused by its wagging tail.

IRREPRESSIBLE RETRIEVERS- Goldens are natural retrievers who cannot resist picking up stray items, especially those with an interesting odor. Consider a Golden only if you are prepared to be extra tidy, or if you are amendable to having shoes, socks, and even under garments presented to both family and friends!


Although now a popular pet, Goldens were originally bred to work outdoors, retrieving in rivers and thick undergrowth. Therefore, no stream or dirty puddle can be passed without investigation, requiring you to clean your dog and your car on a regular basis.


If you want a good natured, sociable dog, then a Golden Retriever is ideal. Selective breeding has created this potential, but it is only through appropriate training that these desirable traits can be developed. The Golden Retriever is a lively dog that enjoys the exhilaration of outdoor activity as much as it does the relaxation of being at home. By nature, the Golden is generally placid and friendly seeking the company of other dogs or people for frivolous play. It is this affectionate, even temperament which draws most people to the breed, but if you require guarding services rather than companionship, choose another breed


Extract from MichaeI A. Darwin

For a great many years it was truly believed that the story of the origin of the Golden Retriever went something like this. A Scot, Sir Dudley Marjoriebanks (pronounced Marshbanks), later the Lord Tweedmouth, was visiting the Sussex seaside town, Brighton, in 1858. Whilst there he went to a circus and was so taken by some performing Russian sheepdogs that he tried to persuade the owner to sell him a pair. This the owner refused to do as he said it would break up his act. So Marjoriebanks purchased the whole troupe and took them to his country estate, “Guisachan” on the Scottish Border and it was from these dogs the Golden came. This story never appears to have been denied and was supported by the fact that dogs known as Russian Setters and Russian Retrievers were mentioned and described by several 19th century writers.

Almost a hundred years later than the circus story, in 1952, new information was brought to light in an article written by Tweedmouth’s great nephew, the sixth Earl Ilchester. He revealed that his Grand Uncle had kept a detailed record in his own hand of his breeding operations between 1835 and 1890. From examination of these it emerged there were no Russian dogs mentioned in the breed annals, but that in 1865 he did buy a dog in Brighton. This dog Nous (pronounced like house), and meaning Wisdom, was purchased from a cobbler who had received it in lieu of a bad debt from a neighbouring gamekeeper. The dog being only the yellow puppy in a litter of black Wavy coated Retrievers. This dog became the foundation stud of the renowned Guisachan strain. Nous was mated to Belle, a bitch from a breed now extinct, the Tweed Water Spaniel. According to Dalziel these dogs were light liver in colour and so close in curl as to give the idea they had originally been across from a smooth haired dog: long in tail, ears heavy in flesh and hard like a hound’s but only slightly feathered; forelegs feathered behind, hindlegs smooth, head conical and lips slightly pendulous.

‘Stonehenge’ and other 19th Century authors described the Tweed Water Spaniel as being like a small brown or liver coloured retriever. In 1868 a litter was whelped by Nous ou of Belle and the puppies named Ada, Cowslip, Crocus and Primrose. There then followed a programme of carefully considered line breeding to establish uniformity of type, There were outcrosses to another Wavy Coat and also at least once to an Irish Setter and a sandy-coloured Bloodhound. The Lord Ilchester, of that time, aquired Ada from the first litter and used Wavy Coats and Labradors in his breeding programme. The Breed was first exhibited at the Kennel Clubs Show in 1908 both as Flat Coated and Wavy Coated Retrievers. In 1911 the Golden Retriever Club was founded and two years later the Kennel Club granted the breed separate status as the Yellow or Golden Retriever. It was not until 1920 that the breed dropped the “Yellow” in its official Breed name.

The first Golden Retriever to be registered by KUSA, as such, was 34 094 GOLDEN LAD by PETER OF QUEST out of WENDY OF QUEST. Whelped on 24 February 1929 and registered on 3 October of the same year. The owner is given as A. Treadea of 93 Du Toit’s Pan Road, Kimberley. Whether this was the first could be open to question as there was a Scottish Retriever 5656 JOCK McPHAIL registered in February 1904. Even by 1947 the breed was relatively rare in Southern Africa as “Dogman” writing in “Guide to Dogdom in South Africa” says “. . . in the Union and Rhodesia one seldom comes across them”. The first Golden to be made a Breed Champion was a dog, 85083 EDMUND’S PRIDE on 21 November 1949. 32435 Ch SUJMMERFOLD TEAK, a dog, became the first of his breed to become a Field Trial Champion (April 1980). The only other Discipline in which Goldens have become Champions is Dog Carting when in January 1991 BZ 671596 KINCORA FLINDERS, also a dog, was made up.

It was decided to form a Golden Retriever Club in 1971 and a steering meeting was held at the end of that year, attended by prominent members such as Flo Roberts, Peter Collins, Roger Kearney, Dorothy Summer, Mike O’Leary and Carole O’Leary. The inaugural meeting of the club was held at the Wanderers on 28.02.72 and, with a nationwide membership of 40, Mike O’Leary in the chair and his wife Carole as Secretary, it was all systems go. The club, even in those early days offered field training, ringcraft classes and open breed shows. The first open show was held in 1973, but it was decided not to hold a championship show at this early stage so the first championship show was held in 1983.

Field Qualifying tests were introduced, followed by field trials. Carole O’Leary’s Ch. Stubblesdown Jingle of Summerfold FQ was the first ever “Gundog” to be field qualified.

The Club continues to go from strength to strength, upholding the aims of the club at all times and Golden Retrievers in this country are continually proving that they are true, balanced, dual purpose gundogs with sound temperaments.



The Golden Retriever Club of Transvaal
Honorary Secretary
P O Box 981
Gallo Manor

Tel: +27 (0)11-802-4848
Mobile: +27 (0)82-220-3683
Email: secretary@goldenretrieverclub.co.za
Website: www.goldenretrieverclub.co.za 

General Enquiries: info@goldenretrieverclub.co.za
Puppy Enquiries: puppies@goldenretrieverclub.co.za

Patron: Mrs Veronica Watson
President: Mrs Christine Sandford
Vice Presidents: Mr Greg Eva, Mrs Carole O’Leary
Chairperson: Ms Ulrike Schmidt
Vice Chairperson: Ms Helen Derrett
Honorary Treasurer: Mrs Brenda Anderson
Honorary Secretary: Mr Chris Begbie
Committee Member: Mr Brian Derrett
Committee Member: Ms Arnel Sauer

Field Trial Sub-Committee
Mrs Di Phillipson

Open Show Sub-Committee
Mr W Lines


Labrador Retriever Kennel Club
The Working Spaniel Association
The Transvaal Hunt, Point and Retrieve Field Trial Club
Natal Gundog Club
The Weimaraner Klub of Gauteng
The Golden Retriever Club of the Transvaal
The Working Gundog and Conservation Club - WGCC
Transvaal  Field Trial  Association - TFTA
The Working Retriever Club
Cape Gundog Club
Cape Field Trial Club
The Gundog Club

Retriever Field Trial Results for this year Download (PDF)

Retriever Field Trial Results for 2009 Download (PDF)

To view recent changes in dogs' SAHR status follow this link

The key to abbreviations used may be found here.

This year's Field Trial Calendar
Download (PDF)