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Hello all,
I'm starting up a search for my first retriever and needing all the help I can get! I've hunted for years but never with a dog so I'm very much a newbie when it comes to picking a breed and training and all that. I'm torn between whether or not to get a Lab or a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. I'm interested in both breeds but I've always loved the look of the Chessie. I'm just not sure if it's a good choice for a 1st time-er though, haha. I've owned dogs my entire life though, so I'm not inexperienced with dogs, just inexperienced with anything beyond obedience training. I've heard Chessie's can be harder to train and more stubborn than a Lab and that they can also be more aggressive towards other dogs. Not sure if that's true or not, which is why I'm asking for advice. What breed would you recommend for a "beginner"? Also, any breeder referral's would be great! I'm in central NC but willing to drive within a few hours if I need to. Thanks in advance for any information!
 

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I am currently training my first chessie (8 months old female) after 4 labs. The big difference I see is you cant be physical or force a issue with a chessie like a lab. My girl learns fast and handles pressure well if she understands why and how to get out of pressure. We just finished FF and thought is went easier than my labs. She is great with other dogs but much more leary of strangers than my labs who loved everyone. In NC I would contact John and Amy Dahl of Oak Hill Kennel. My girl is out of a MH x MH breeding from Cur-Sans kennel in Wi and I am hooked on chessies!
 

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That's a loaded question...Lab

I love Chessie's and there are good and bad individuals in all breeds, but on the average I think a Lab would be easier to train for a beginner. That being said the most important parts are the breeding, environment, training and proper socialization...not necessarily the breed.
 

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There are lots of people here with both breeds and everyone has thier own preferences. Broad generalizations are just that. Dogs are individuals. That said, in my opinion a well-bred lab might be easier to train and may progress a bit faster than a chessie. But I would recommend finding people in your area with well-bred, highly-trained examples of both breeds and try to spend some time around them in order to help make your decision. A hunt test would be a good place to start. Go to the Master or Finished stake and watch the dogs and talk to the owners.
No matter what you decide, make sure you do your homework and get a WELL-BRED puppy and you more than likely won't be disappointed.
Just whatever you do, don't get a Golden. Everybody knows they won't get in the water.
 

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Your in NC. This is predominitly ha hot climate most of the time. As I understand it chessies have a heavy coat and training in your climate might be a little hard on that breed of dog. Do you hunt big water. Chessie are excelent for that. If ya don't I suggest a lab as your first dog to hunt with. Very versitile dogs. Check out the pups here, there is a breeding in Va south of richmond from Big Boy and a Choc female. These pups should be good ones for you to look at. The female is a real nice hunting dog, good sized. I know chessie owners but all are in the cold country. I have seen many run hunt tests in the north and are very good at what they do. The owners tell me that they are predominatly a one person dog. They listen to the owner but no one else. Thats what they say anyway. Good luck but I would get a lab.
 

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Do yourself a favor and go watch both the breeds, at home, in the field, wherever, Agility competitions, dock dogs, etc. Get your hands on them see what *you* find as a difference then you decide.
I have owned Chesapeake Bay Retrievers over 30 years and find them entertaining, intelligent, and animals that love/need a job. Yes, they can be protective. I have told many that the owner of the Chessie needs to be smarter than their dog.
There are many people in North Carolina who own Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, the breed does well in that climate- really the breed seems to adapt to any climate.
 

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Kathy Case at Whiskey Creek's Chesapeakes is a great source of both info, and puppies. She is in the mountains. She has some pretty exciting litters coming on line.
 

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I bought a Caroway pup from Carol Andersen just outside of Chicago. Couldn't have been more pleased with my purchase. She's a very knowledgable Chessie breeder and has been doing it since the mid 70's. Another good source to look into. She has a litter this fall that is a repeat breeding that produced my litter.
 

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What's the old saying...Goldens you tell to retrieve...Labs you ask them to retieve...with Chessies you negociate!
You order a lab, ask a golden, and negotiate with a chessie. That being said, I've been around them all my life and will never have anything but chessies. I've kicked around getting another lab, but I'll end up keeping a pup from one of my girl's litters here in the next couple years. Can't go wrong with a peake. I love em to death.
 

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And what about the rest of the Retriever world: Curly-Coated, Flat-Coated and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling. Everything doesn't revolve around Labs, Goldens and Chessies.

Just sayin'! ;)
 

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I'm in NC and have had 3 labs now. Although I have to say that every time I see a Chessie doing good work at a Hunt Test I always think about getting one as my next dog.

Here in NC I would speak with John or Amy Dahl about a Chessie. If your close to Charlotte, either Terry Price or Joel Porter would be good sources for Labs. The good thing about being here in NC there are a quite a few breeder/trainers for labs.
 

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My .02 as a NC resident first time Chessie owner...

My wife and I both grew up with labs but we recently got our first Chessie. As much as I love labs I'm hooked on Chessies. While some don't like it, I was drawn to the breed's independent streak. I also travel frequently leaving my wife at home alone which means I like that the dog is a little more protective than the avg lab. That being said I'm yet to see my Chessie show the slightest aggression towards anyone or any other dog. My neighbor has a golden and they get along great. I think the aggressive reputation Chessies have is a bit overplayed. I do however believe that socialization at a young age is mandatory for a Chessie. Like any dog, if you fail that stage you will have issues later on. This seems especially true for CBR's. It's an easy process that shouldn't intimidate you but you need to be aware of its importance. If you like Chessies, the breed fits your lifestyle, and you have the time/desire to put into training them, don't let the hype discourage you because you will be very happy. If you have serious doubts go with a lab. It sounds like you want a Chessie but are hesitant to take the leap. I had similar reservations when I was looking and now I couldn't be happier.
 

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And what about the rest of the Retriever world: Curly-Coated, Flat-Coated and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling. Everything doesn't revolve around Labs, Goldens and Chessies.

Just sayin'! ;)
Your sig line has more letters than the Chinese alphabet.:razz::cool:
 

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If your near Laurinburg NC I'll be down April 7-14 at Chris Locklear's training aand there will be chessies there training.
 

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^^ what he said. Chessies are like a drug. You'll get addicted to seeing that brown dog give the look of protection when he hears something go bump at night. I never get tired of seeing my brother's Peake do that. Ginny gives the look, and you know you're safe. That's what I truly love about chessies. They're loyal till death.
 

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Don't get me wrong I like my labs, but for eating ice and retrieving birds in 3-4footers I want a chessie. Training a lab is like killing a deer with a shotgun, vs training a chessie is like killing a deer with a knive. Challenging but rewarding in the end:D
 
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