The gundogs of Downton Abbey…did the producers make a mistake?

Highclere Castle, where parts of Downton Abbey are filmed
Highclere Castle, the real Downton Abbey

Fans of the TV show Downton Abbey, you know that attention to detail is one of the things that makes this period drama so much fun. From the tea set used on Lady Mary’s breakfast table to the cut of Lord Grantham’s suit, Downton Abbey gets things right — most of the time, anyway.

In a passed episode, Lord Grantham was shown shooting with a yellow Labrador Retriever at his side. While most of went on in the scene was correct, the Lords loyal companion was not. According to this article in The Field, there’s almost no way the Lord Grantham would have had a yellow lab — or any lab– at his side. Why? And which breed of dog did most posh people in the UK favor around WW1? Click through and read The Downton Abbey Gundog to find out.

Flat Coated Retriever
Flat-Coated Retriever, once the breed of choice for shooters in the UK

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2 thoughts on “The gundogs of Downton Abbey…did the producers make a mistake?

  1. I believe that in the 1985 movie, The Shooting Party, set in 1913, James Mason had a yellow lab as well. Maybe that was the source of the anachronism for Downton Abbey

  2. That could be the source. I think the most likely cause of the mistake is that few people can imagine a time when Labs weren’t everywhere. They’re so common now.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Gregg

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