Buccleuch Avon, considered to be the ancestor of all modern Labrador Retrievers, 1890
It was the 2nd Earl of Malmesbury who bred the Buccleuch Avon for use in duck shooting on his estate at Heron Court on the south coast. He chose this particular breed because of their expertise in waterfowling, their thick but short coat– which ‘turns water off like oil’ and their tail which he likened to an otter’s.
In the early 1880s, the 6th Duke of Buccleuch and the 3rd Earl of Malmesbury met while hunting and the Duke of Buccleuch was gifted two Labrador Retrievers by Lord Malmesbury. These dogs were mated and a strong bloodline was developed between those dogs. In fact, all Buccleuch Labradors can be traced back to those first imported dogs.