I read through this thread. Some of you guys should not comment on Chesapeake's you are clueless, there is one comment stating you have to watch out for Chesapeake breeders because of the show titles rather than field trial titles. Good breeding starts with looks, breed standards. A Chessie without the double thick oily, curly coat is what? A dog that can't do what the dog was originally intended to do. Retrieve 100s of birds in icy water for market hunters.if the genetics are right the dogs are right. Lab owners should know this. Backyard breeders have made it difficult to sort through the crap to get a good dog. Although if you make the mistake of buying a $400 or $500 dollar dog from a backyard without checking pedigrees you get what you deserve. I did that with a Chessie, she was a great hunter, outstanding hunter, @ 7 she developed spinal problems, that were caused by a genetic disorder, so now that I have taken on the breeding role, I have done everything to breed a superior dog, my female came from Washington from a reputable breeder, she has genetic clearance, hips and elbows and eyes. The male is a show dog, but his siblings referenced to be good hunters.
Truthfully a good breeder will breed dogs that match the entire breed standard description. A sporting dog that isn't capable of doing his job in the field would be a poor breeding program. Lab , Chessie or other wise, a Chessie will not thrive in a field trial environment. Although I have seen some that compete well. A Chessie instinctively does their job, my dogs only know basic commands. That's all they needed to get done what I need done.
There are traits that make Chessies not for most. They are intelligent they can make decisions in the field that may be the difference between recovering a downed bird or not, they are sensitive you break the dogs will by being to harsh you break the dog. If you need a dog that you need to control with a whistle and signals to impress you hunting partners. don't purchase a Chessie, you will ruin the dog.
People that say they are stubborn need to pay attention to the dog a bit more. I've herd trainers talk mad garbage about training Chessies with 2x4s referring to stubbornness. Personally anyone who knows the breed a Chessie should be trained by the owner. The person who hunts them needs to be the trainer. If you are not capable or don't have time don't purchase a Chessie