Hot damn, another chance to post a pic of one of my intact adult male Chesapeakes going for the throat of a stranger who made a move on the duck pile:
OK, so it was just a smooch. But it brings us to the part of Chesapeake history about the breed being standardized by the likes of the Carrol Island Club, that's wealthy patrons probably wouldn't have taken kindly to being menaced by surly dogs. And some modern breed historians have suggested that The Complete Chesapeake Bay Retriever
author, Eloise Cherry, championed the romantic image of a protective market hunters' dog to explain away her own dogs' surly nature. They point to the earliest breed records and largely discount market hunting's influence in favor of the gentlemen's clubs'.
I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle, with the best local gun dogs also having some influence on the clubs' stock. But I know none of my four Chessies have shown protective tendencies some of my pointing dogs haven't also shared. And the sweet old Brittany that just passed has been the only one of my ten dogs to date to actually bite a stranger (to him) for walking into our home unannounced. Good thing, that, as our door is open to an awful lot of folks, and all of the Chessies have spent their working lives at a busy commercial camp with strange men and dogs coming and going daily.
The Chesapeake bird "protectors" I've known belonged to men who let them think that it was acceptable, just like the Labrador bird protectors I've known. Indeed, whenever I've seen excessive Chesapeake possessiveness of any nature, it's invariably been excused by the owner as "a Chesapeake thing," so I wish folks would quit perpetuating such self-fulfilling nonsense. It's a dog thing that shouldn't be tolerated, let alone perpetuated.
If you think I'm wrong, you might be right.