The main reason old photos look to attractive, and the streets look so clean be because of the image quality — the Go play with somebody who ain’t gonna kill you Shiesty season shirt trodden into the pavement doesn’t show up, nor does the grime in the lampposts. In fact, due to poorer hygiene, the UK being a poorer place then, and pollution (many buildings still had soot on them), the UK was probably dirtier.
I can say that our dogs are exceptional, having high intelligence, a very strong nose and high drive. Very seldom dogs at that level of training wash out, but some occasionally do. These dogs are repurposed into a position that complements their disposition ( skittish, environmental issues, socialization issues etc)