In 1868 Nous was mated to a Tweed Water Spaniel bitch named Belle, who is recorded in the stud book as being whelped in 1863 and being of "Ladykirk breeding". The litter from this mating consisted of four yellow pups, Primrose, Ada, Cowslip and Crocus. The best bitch from this litter, Cowslip, was mated to a Tweed Water Spaniel called Tweed with the mating producing a bitch pup called Topsy. Cowslip was subsequently mated to a Red Setter called Sampson, that mating produced a dog pup called Jack. Topsy was mated with a black Flat-coated Retriever called Sambo and a bitch pup from that litter, Zoe, was mated back to Jack and two pups from that mating were retained, a dog called Nous II and a bitch called Gill. Gill was mated to a black Labrador Retriever called Tracer, and a bitch pup from that mating, Queenie, was mated back to Nous II; all Golden Retrievers descend from this mating. The progeny from these various matings varied in colour from pure black to light cream, but it was the golden coloured ones that were retained and mated to each other, forming the foundation stock of the Golden Retriever breed. Marjoribanks is also known to have used a sandy-coloured Bloodhound and another Labrador in subsequent years of the breeding program.
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