I married my husband 10 years ago and he came with a 4 yr old Labrador. She was phenomenal and introduced me to the world of dog obedience and hunt retrieving.
She passed away in 2012 and it took us a while to recover, she was one in a million.
We finally agreed that we were ready for a new retriever but both felt that we should avoid Labradors least we constantly compare them to our old Lab. We looked at several breeds and even had a deposit down on an American Water Spaniel litter before backing out.
In September my husband told me about an upcoming litter of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers that were from a Master Hunt Stud and a Senior Hunt Bitch. We met the breeder and the bitch and eventually the pups and it all felt right. My husband is a Veterinarian and I am a Vet Tech so we both have experience working with all kinds of breeds on a daily basis but Chessie's were fairly new to us.
We put down our deposit on a promising female who was very "birdy" and picked her up when she was 8 wks old.
We expected to confront some differences in this breed compared to a Lab, we expected more stubbornness, more independence, and possibly some aggressive tendencies.
We weren't wrong.
She has exhibited every kind of dominance, she has tried to possess her food, her toys, her kennel, and most recently the water bowl. Each time we correct her behavior and the behavior subsides somewhat. All that doesn't bother us so much as her unwillingness to please does. She seems to only work for her own benefit. Retrieving is a game for her, she has no interest in bringing "her toy" back to you she just expects you to throw it when she wants to play.
More specifically, when my husband works her on or off the lead he has her heal and sit and wait while he throws the dummy (we've tried several kinds of dummies, even real bird wings). She is great, waiting patiently for the release when she is told to "Fetch." She makes a straight line to it and snatches it up, then proceeds to run circles around my husband completely indifferent to the command "Here." which she obeys on other occasions. She won't bring the dummy back ever! She doesn't care if you're excited, angry, or whatever, she seems to want us to chase her or something.
I need someone to tell me that she will grow out of this, it's just a puppy phase. I need reassurance that this Chessie's stubbornness isn't really selfishness. Do Chessie's have no desire to please, or engage with their owners? She seems to like us well enough otherwise.
Currently, she is 50lbs and just turned 5 months old and our hope was turn her into a Field Trial competitor but at this point my husband is just worried about getting a decent duck hunting dog out of her.