Fantastic commentary, Gerry! Thanks for sharing your insights. Never knew of the spaniel theory. My pup has the white freckled feet. Can't imagine the white freckled faces you mentioned! Haven't noticed any white feet or patches on the photos of UK Goldens I've seen in recent years. I see quite a few of their photos on facebook etc as an observer of several UK Golden field clubs.
What got me thinking me of importing UK seed was the pedigrees of the UK FTCH studs of today. You can see many shared ancestors to those in Barty's and Stilrovin dog's pedigrees. Some of the Irish and Scottish field line types also look very similar to some of our field lines. At least the females do. FT CH Gorton's Red Ruby Rascal "Heidi" as an example.
So the history of similar successful ancestory along with the potential perceived benefit of outcross genes, seemed attractive to me. However, the UK dogs generally have a large COI number. Many are in the 25% to 35% range. Is it beneficial to breed a closely line bred bitch to an even closer line bred male even though they are of different lines? I don't know. Haven't taken the genetics classes yet.
But I digress. Great post Gerry. Thanks for that!