They can be fantastic hunters.
They can posess great desire to hunt.
They are not for everyone.
The big difference between chessies and labs, are chessies take a little longer to train. They learn slower, but when they know it, its solid. Chessies like to be at your side, all the time, worse than a lab. Chessies need to be socialized very well early on to make sure they are not mean or aggressive. They shed balls of fur a couple times a year, not little hairs everywhere like labs.
Chessies are extremely smart. They need to be doing something, all the time, or they are destroying something of yours!
What are you looking for in a dog? I am not trying to discourage you from getting a chessy, I doubt I will ever own anything but one! Let me know if you need more help, there are a few guys on here with chessies.
What Ram said is true; you can tell he has one. When you start telling your hunting buddies you might hear, what are you nuts? they are mean, stubborn, and hard to control. Why, you're going to need a 2 x4 to train that dog. Most of what you hear is not true. I'm on my 3rd one, they're great dogs.
I never owned a lab, so I've never trained one, but the time it took to train my three chessies didn't seem to take that long, but I have nothing to compare it to. They are demanding and mine insists on being worked every night. Don't plan on sticking him in a kennel for a few months then just before hunting season bring him out to work, that might work on labs not on chessies
This might help, on my third one I didn't look for the large pedigree with show / field champs. I did that on my 2nd one. He was the worst of the three, besides I paid $800 for the pedigree, I thought that was the way to go. Boy was I wrong. On my third one I called around, I was looking for a breeder who hunted over their dogs. Those are the puppys to look for. I found one and I couldn't be happier with my dog. He has a good pedigree and I only paid $450 cause I got him in Canada and took advantage of the exchange rate. A good dog in the US costs around $700.
Before you get one try to find this book "The Complete Chesapeake Bay Retriever" by Eloise Heller Cherry published by Howell Book House. I hope this helps.
Yeah the 2x4 statement gets thrown around a lot. I think it is completely opposite. My chessie is tough as hell, but he is a big baby when it comes to me disciplining him. If I get too hard on him, he will lock up and he is done for the day. I made the mistake one time hunting, I got a little frustrated and yelled at him pretty good. He went out to the middle of a field in the cold snow and sat down, he woudn't budge.
With chessies you have to keep your patience, make sure they completely understand. Once you learn how to read your dog and he wants to please you, your good to go. Hitting my chessie does nothing but make him piss on the floor. All I have to do is walk away and ignore him, and he is heartbroke.
Hopefully we didn't scare mudroller off from buying a chessie! They are great dogs, I am just always upfront and honest when it comes to dogs. I want to make sure that if someone is going to get one, they have it for life. Chessies are not adaptable to different owners like Labs, if you get one and descide you can't have it, it is VERY difficult for the dog to accept another owner. It can be done, I did it with mine, but it was a long period of hell to develop the right relationship with him.
People need to hear the truth. You' re right, chessies aren't for every one. Those who want one must first count the cost, and I'm not talking about the price of the dog. It's the time spent in working your dog after he is trained. As you know they're a one man dog. They can be a little pushy, though I'm sure some lab owners would say the same thing. The kind of pushy I'm talking about is the kind when you get home from work and just feel like relaxing and the dog comes up and wants do some retrieving. Guess who doesn't get to relax! I would gladly give up my time to spend with a dog that gets so exited about retrieving. The payoff is in the fall when you have a dog that is completely at attention and follows my every comand without question every time.
It seems like I spend more time talking people out of getting chessies, than getting them. What I mean by that is, around here we have alot of pickup hunters. You know the type, camo hat, gun in the back window and dog sitting in the passenger seat. They look good, but they couldn't tell the difference between a hen mallard from a black duck. Chessies weren't created to be seat covers, They were created to do one thing, and that's to retrieve ducks.
Ram, look up how many chessies were registured with AKC last year compared to labs. The number will suprise you. Our blood lines are cleaning up. The temperments are becoming more mild. The breeders I've talk to say we are producing better dogs. One breeder I've talked to told me over 75% of her dogs go hunters. If you want to be a little different from most the other hunters out there, get a chessie.
Have you ever shot a mallard and just as your dog was reaching for it, it rolls over and dives, then your dog swims in circles looking for it?
I trained Max to dive after it. I'm sure that's hard to believe, but its true
I started him in shallow water with a retrieving dummy hooked to a decoy weight. He first stuck his nose under, then his head, then body. Talk about cool, the duck dives and your dog go's after it and comes up with it.
I bet you have some great stories about your chessie. Sometime I would like to here them.
Ten months ago I was faced with the same question. For the past three years I have had the pleasure of hunting over a Chessie bitch named Bailey, who also happens to be one of the sweetest, well-mannered dogs I have ever kept company with. After seeing some crazy retrieves on the Ohio River one day, I came home and read the following quote that sealed the deal in my contemplation of which breed to go with. Regarding the Chesapeake Bay Retreiver-"He'll outswim, outweather and outfight any other breed of dog on the marsh. He will be loyal to you and you alone; showing great (if somewhat rare) affection in his own way provided no one is watching. He has a low tolerance towards fools, children and amateurs. He's the biggest, roughest, toughest professional in his line of work."(Bob Hinman) My pup just turned 6 months old thirteen days ago. Are they alot of work? Hell yes. You could say the same of other dogs, I'm sure. Honestly, I have probably missed six or seven days of training since I brought him home at eight weeks old. The look in his eyes when its time to go to work is like nothing I have ever seen in an animal. I would describe it as a fierce determination and eagerness. Candidly, this boy sure does know how to play. I've never seen such a shoe chewin S.O.B. in all my life. Last weekend I decided that it was overdue time to shoot a gun over him. Pup and I where 60 or so yards away from my shotgun brandishing wife. She would shoot when the dummy was at the top of its arch, over water. I would not send pup for around ten seconds after dummy hit water. First shot didnt even faze him--off he goes. I cut the distance away from gun in half with the same results. Cut the distance in half again, and again the same results. Guys, he didn't even flinch. So I decided by his body language that he didnt give one good crap about the gun and wanted to do nothing but retrieve that dummy. Pup and I are now 3 feet from wife and gun. Dummy goes, she fires twice and that dog just stared after that dummy and didnt budge. It hit the water and he took one step forward, shaking all over just waiting to be sent. Well I sent him and he must have cleared 8 feet of water before he splashed. It was quite thrilling. The past 6 months for me has run the gammit of emotions on the ifs, ands and buts regarding dog training. With the help of tons of reading, the desire to do things that best way according to YOU, advice from those who are qualified, it has been worth every day spent frustrated and confused ten fold.
I have noticed the new chessies are a lot more mild of temperment. I think they are bred better in general. Not that labs aren't. There are just a lot more people breeding labs, and a lot more people breeding who shouldn't. I can't imagine having a chessie and not hunting him. My dog is so pissed when I leave with camo and don't take him. I mean pisted! He won't even give me the time of day when I get home. I have some pretty good stories of hunts with my chessie, it was his first year and he did pretty damn good. He was gunshy in september, and from late october to the end of January he retrieved almost 300 ducks. A few were cripples that were so far I couldn't see him in the middle of the river. I look forward to having more hunts with him.
great accounts y'all. i have considered chessies before also. i have small children though and don't really feel comfortable putting either the dog, nor kids, in that situation. besides, i have a big chocolate lab that, from y'all's accounts, sounds like he is chessie instead. anyway, i'll revist that idea when all the kids are grown up and gone.
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