This argument is very similar to the AR-15 vs M-14 debate in High Power Match shooting.
There's an expression; "Shoot an AR, or get beat by one."
And, it's valid.
I really like the M-14 a lot more than I like the AR.
But, it's not because I believe that it's a better performer. I just don't like the AR nearly as much as I like the M-14
If I was competing and I really wanted to win, I'd sell out and shoot an AR.
Because, it IS a better performer. And the stats back that up.
Basically you have to match a breed's characteristics and your preferences. I like Labs because of their overall drive and trainability. I like the Lab's sweetness and people orientation. They may not keep a burglar from the silverware, but they won't eat your children either. They don't seem to have a bad day.
The Chessies I have seen tend to be kind of a crap shoot. I have seen Chessies that are mellow and sweet, others have been ornery and obtuse. They tend to pay homage to their owner, only, and view all others with suspicion. I have seen some great ones in the field like FC AFC Atlas Goes To War. Others won't get out of the truck if they woke up wrong that day. They do have bad days. They are more sensitive to pressure and can shut down if they don't like the way training is going that day. On the other hand they have greater tolerance for cold water than Labs. In that category, they can be outright masochists.
Last edited by zeus3925; 01-14-2013 at 11:41 AM.
I don't want to feed an ugly dog!
Physically tough, mentally soft is how I'd describe most CBRs. I do think if you took a retriever with a total "nothing" pedigree (no titles in the first 3 or 4 generations) your chances of making it a serviceable gundog are greater with a Chesapeake. Probably because the breed never attained the popularity of Labs or Goldens as pets, so it will likely have working gundogs up closer in the pedigree. Same holds true for show bred CBRs. Of course if you want one for hard core hunting and/or HTs or FTs, it's definitely helpful to get one from proven working stock, either HT or FT titles or first hand knowledge that they were used to hunt. Sadly, far too many breeders (of all retrievers) will claim they hunt if they chase squirrels in the backyard.
Let's face it, how many of us, especially those of us that got our first dog pre-internet, knew enough to get one from the 'right' pedigree? More likely, we found someone who had a litter of the breed we wanted, checked to make sure the pup had 4 legs and a tail and brought it home. Hats off to those "no pedigee" learner dogs most of us started with, whatever the breed.
Julie R., Hope Springs Farm
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers since 1981