Hunting Dog

Hey all - I'm thinking of getting a Chesapeake Bay Retriever for westside bird hunting and family (sometime soon). I'm just starting my research, but have this breed stuck in my mind as my first choice. I would like to take a look at someone's dog if they live nearby (Edmonds). What do you guys think of this breed?


I don't have to badmouth Chesapeake Bay Retrievers just to tell you how great labs are. I miss my lab she was a loving beuatiful girl who hunted like a champion. We also had a Chesapeke until my dad gave him away because we couldn't trust him around other dogs/kids/cars. He was an intense dog with an imposing 120 lb frame of duck tailed hair.

Buy a lab for the hair alone.


Active Member
Chessies are great hunting dogs and can be absolute hunting machines. If you do a lot of hunting in rough (big water) and cold conditions they are hard to beat. Seen Cheaspeakes that were great family dogs and very loyal. While I have never attempted to train one heard they are a little harder than some other breeds. They tend to be larger than some of the other hunmting breeds. Most of the folks I know that have one love them.

That said I'm a lab man. We have had 3 (Sauk is now 8 and I am looking for my 4th lab). A well trained lab will do more than an adequate job for you for both upland and waterfowl. Sauk is a pheasant finding machine, a joy in a snow goose spread, and well behaved in the duck blind or sneak boat.

The reality is the for most of us we have limited space and for the vast majority of the year our hunting dogs are family pets (and likely to be very spoiled - a good thing). For great fishing /hunting buddy that is relatively easy to train as well as a joy in the home my preference is a lab. I opt fo female from the smaller "English" stock ( full grown weighting 50 to 60#) from a solid proven hunting stock.

Because of the popularity of labs as a family dog one has to be more careful in selecting the breeder for dog with good hunting instincts and good eyes, hips, etc than some of the other hunting breeds.

any lab should be yellow - LOL


Rick Todd

Active Member
The two I've been around were great hunters, but didn't mix well with other dogs on a hunting trip. Kind of aggressive personalities! I would also stick with a lab. Rick


Active Member
Puget Sound Retriever Club is having a training day in Dewatto on 12.10.11. I highly suggest you put the time and gas into coming down. Several members have Chessies and it would provide you with a great opportunity to talk to some experienced dog trainers and get their opinions. One member has a puppy that was maybe 16 weeks when we had our December hunt test. I think he's had one other dog - a Lab - so it would be good for you to get his read. More importantly, it would give you an opportunity to see Chessies and labs handled in identical situations and let you draw your own conclusions about which breeds from that sample perform best in the field with regards to marking ability, handling ability, obedience, etc..

IMO, and my opinion is from judging hunt tests, training dogs, and running dogs in hunt tests for 35 years you'd be better off with a Lab. If this is your first hunting dog, I'd definitely point you towards a Lab. Unless you've successfully trained 5 to 10 dogs to mid level titles a Chessie (and this is a generalized statement because there are particularly hard and soft dogs within any breed) will eat your lunch. Unless you are going to spend money on a large, high and roofed over dog run, spend $500 on a good remote training collar, and spend money on a trainer, just don't go there. As a first time dog owner I'd still HIGHLY recommend that you invest in those things, but with a Chessie they are not optional.

One person recommended a solid breeder, and I could not agree more with ANY breed. Plan on $1,500. You might get one for less, but you get what you pay for. Sometimes you luck out, but relying on luck for anything is a poor place to come from. I'd rather be good than lucky. Unless the breeder's sire and dam both OFA good or excellent and have clearances on eyes, OSD, EIC, CNM and thyroid you'd best look elsewhere. All of these tests cost money, and that cost is compensated for in the cost of a puppy. The alternative is that you get a $250 puppy of of CL, hope that your lucky, when the dog is 18 months old it may be diagnosed with degenerative hip disease and you have a choice between the $2,000 hip surgery or the $50.00 shot to end its life - and that is after you and your family have invested so much emotion in the dog. One of the best breeders in the country is I have several dogs from them and they are superb. I will also be running them at Dewatto.

PM me for more details and good luck! Dogs are a treat!


Active Member
Hey all - I'm thinking of getting a Chesapeake Bay Retriever for westside bird hunting and family (sometime soon). I'm just starting my research, but have this breed stuck in my mind as my first choice. I would like to take a look at someone's dog if they live nearby (Edmonds). What do you guys think of this breed?
rfyall - building on my last post - check out the breeding between Trip and Sally - both are excellent dogs.

As far as all the drivel about the perspective owner picking out the dog, flipping it on its back, blehblahblah... Don't believe any of it. You are seeing the litter for one tiny slice of one day. Some puppies may be napping, maybe one is subdued because it ate too much grass, etc. - you will NEVER get an accurate picture of a puppies personality in a few hours spent in the puppy pen. First I buy from reputable breeders. Second, I let the breeder choose the dog, and I want the most wired, most driven dog that I can put the most pressure on in training (that is me and will not work for many people). I have never been disappointed and frequently purchase dogs at a distance, with my first time meeting them being at Seatac.


Active Member
If your looking for a retriever I'd vote Lab...tough to beat and as readily available as Ford parts. I have a 4-year old chocolate that isn't from hunting stock (the result of two families thinking it would be fun to breed their black and choc lab...afterwards neither one said it was fun) and she is decent for upland and ducks, but excels as a family dog. I have a two year old that believes Libby is his personal horse, step stool, punching bag, pillow, and plate cleaner...I have yet to see or hear a single sign of aggression as an ear, tongue, jowl, or handful of hair is attempted to be removed. The little training that I had time for was fairly easy...she was a knuckle head and at times needed to be reminded who was boss. But overall I'm happy, she has a great nose for dead birds, and she is definitely a part of the family.

I read an article about Curly retrievers being the latest hipe...if looking for thicker coated dog.
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I had a lab growing up and can agree with everyone that they are great dogs. I was just thinking about getting a chessie to try something different, but then again it sounds like they are much more of a challenge. I haven't trained a dog to hunt so it is probably best to go with a lab. I like the big size of the Chessies. To get this same size out of a lab I will probably need to get a male. Any thoughts male/female? I've only really spent time with female dogs.

Thanks again


Active Member
Hey just saw your post re large dog.... Keep in mind that larger dogs eat more, shit more, take up more room in a vehicle, take up more room in a boat and generally cannot run all day because they are big. My male is under 60 pounds.

Interestingly enough, when I am with my buds and their field bred dogs - of all breeds - all of the dogs are about the same size - 60 - 70 pounds and about the same height. Once you start to breed for athletic performance and genetic predisposition in hips and elbows a certain build and body types emerges.

My sense is that if you went for a larger dog you would be limiting yourself in the amount of time you can hunt. We hunt 50 -100 days per year, and in mid season my dogs can hunt for 6 hours, day in and day out.
I'm into golden retrievers myself and have only known two Chessies and both were super hunters when it came to the water stuff, neither got along with other dogs unless the other dog could kick their ass.
Finding good golden hunting stock is a little hard to find.
Don't just settle for a cheap hunting dog unless you know the parents.


Active Member
I'd lean towards a female if you think you are going to hunt upland...they tend to stay closer. However, males seem to be more gung ho. I've only had female labs...definitely next time around I might change it up.:hmmm:


Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge
I am in no way an authority on dogs but I have a new dog owners experience to share. The breeder I chose, simply because he is close (Ellensburg) and I hunted with the parents of my dog (Jesse) probably the best situation to be in as I knew the stock I was getting, this is priceless.
The breeder will help you pick a dog to your needs, ie; hunting style or even non hunting, they will or should advice you on temperment and hyperness. They should use a pidgon or other live bird to show you there "birdyness" and "Speed" , very important!
A pedegree is not the same as registerd AKC, any dog can be registerd but only the pedegree will show the past acomplishments of lineage.
Any reputable breeder will guarantee, hips, eyes, and some other thing that escapes me right now,,,.

I have NEVER trained a dog before Jesse, I read a book and took advice from the breeder Ryan Fortier SHe basically trained herself, hell I had just the time to give her, she is a fantastic duck dog at 8 months old. I really think that good bloodlines is KEY to any dog selection.
Brazda - I grew up in the burg and have heard of the breeder you mentioned before. Sounds like you got a good one from them so I'll have to give them a call.

What book did you use?


Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge
I used two actually one was and older book called WATER DOG, very good info he raised his dog as a family member and I liked that. The other one I followed as well is Tom Dokens RETRIEVER TRAINING, I followed fairly well but short cut it and did not work the leash as much as he recomended. But at the end of the day she is MAD about retrieving and totally fearless, well socialised, and lives for the water, in just ten hunts she has evolved from needing ecouragemnet to unable to hold her back when other dogs need a retrieve, I can but she is pissed. I guess manners will be next but I am letting her have fun for now..

Jesse's father is Delta and the mother is Hershy.

Another really good dog he has is Mac he and Delta went to the Nationals this season and Mac made it to the finals!

He has dogs that will be all three colors. I purposly bought a dog in Spring (born March) and she was ready for hunting by October...