Grumpy and growly,
the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was made for
busting through ice all day, retrieving ducks
and geese in frigid salt water. From their eagerness to handle big water, they must have some fish genes, and they are as tough, rugged, and strong-chested as sporting dogs get.
Powerful, often cantankerous, and protective of their master to a fault (they are known as "one-man dogs"), most of the ones I have known do not take kindly to strangers and need tons of daily exercise - preferably in the water. They love to retrieve heavy logs from heavy surf, preferably with ice in it. I think of them as professional hunting dogs more than as house dogs, but I have heard that some of them can be the latter, especially if female. But they are not really family dogs (I know I may get some flak for uttering this fact, but these are dogs for crusty old baymen, from the era of market hunting). Breed info here at AKC.
Despite the similarity in appearance, the Chessie is a very distant cousin of the Lab, via their common Newfoundland blood, as is clear from the differences in personality. (The Newfie, while a work breed and not a sporting breed, might be my favorite breed in all of dogdom. But they are tough to train, which we humans, in our anthropocentric way, term "stupid." Loveable, cuddly, loving and protective - but big and dumb, and they need about 500 acres for exercise.)
Our occasional commenter "Retriever" has had her own blog up and running for a little while. She writes (and thinks) well.Check it out: The Retriever.Yes, the photo is a tough Chessie.
Tracked: Nov 25, 10:53