All over North America, hunters rely on retrievers to assist in waterfowl hunting. Working dogs retrieve game while providing company and security for their masters. Two of the most popular retrievers for duck and goose hunting are the Labrador retriever and the Chesapeake Bay retriever. Both breeds are large, heavy built dogs with waterproof coats, capable of swimming in the coldest of water.
The Labrador retriever is a solid, muscular dog, slightly longer than tall, with a short, hard, easy-care, water-resistant double coat of solid black, yellow, or chocolate. Labradors have a broad head, chestnut eyes, thick nose, wide muzzle and thick muscular neck. They have heavy limbs and webbed feet aid in swimming.
Labrador retrievers are loving, affectionate, intelligent, and very loyal. They love to play, swim and spend time in the field. Most labs begin retrieving instinctively. They have an excellent demeanor with children and other dogs. Labs are easily trained and are popular for hunting, dog competitions and other activities.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is one of the most popular hunting dogs in North America. Their powerful, muscular body and waterproof coat make them an excellent retriever for waterfowl hunting. Their coat is short, dense and wavy, usually brown, red or tan. The head of the Chesapeake Bay retriever is broad and wide with a powerful but yet endearing appearance. The head and face of this breed is short haired. The eyes are yellowish or amber in color.
Chesapeake Bay retrievers make friendly, intelligent and obedient dogs. They are known to be courageous, loving and very trainable. The breed has a reputation for being affectionate and good with children. Chesapeakes often join a family as a puppy and take on a variety of roles which may include being a companion and protector of children while also acting as a working dog during the hunting season.
According to local legend, the Chesapeake Bay retriever breed originated when a shipwreck occurred off the coast of Maryland in 1807. A pair of Newfoundland dogs survived the shipwreck and found shelter with a local family. The pair were bred with local retrievers which eventually led to the development of the breed. The result was a type of dog that is well suited for hunting and swimming in the Chesapeake Bay.