RETRIEVER CHESAPEAKE BAY
Let’s Talk Breed Education!
Judges & Breeder Concerns Chesapeake BayRetrievers:
Articles Provided by the American Chesapeake Club
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever in the Field BY EMELISE BAUGHMAN
M aryland in the 1800s was a sportsman’s paradise, with a variety of waterfowl in the Chesapeake Bay as well as the surrounding lakes, rivers, and marshes. This required a superior dog for hunt- ers, and became the birthplace of the premier waterfowl dog, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Two Newfoundland puppies rescued from a shipwreck in 1807 were bred with local dogs towards the goal of developing a strong, determined, yet gentle retriever for both local watermen and gentlemen hunters. Their success was formalized in 1878 with AKC recognition, with that success still evident today. Although the Chessie ranks below Labs and Goldens in terms of numbers registered, many hunters would have no other dog. They retrieve ducks and geese, of course, but also upland birds like pheasant, quail, and doves. This means they have to be strong, able to navigate all bodies of water and varieties of
terrain, and tolerant of both cold and heat. Chessies are intel- ligent, independent thinkers, but little will stop them due to their strong drive and desire to retrieve; so the hunter must be careful to not send them into risky situations, such as ice shelves in strong current or overly hot, humid upland hunts. Many dog fanciers also prefer Chesapeakes because they are dual purpose, successful in both the field and show ring. The dense double coat offers great protection for the field dog, but needs minimal grooming; so they can easily do both in one weekend, showing one day while hunting or compet- ing in hunt tests or field trials the next. There have been 140 Champion/Master Hunter Chesapeakes, more than twice the total of Labradors achieving both titles. They com- pete less often in field trials, but there have still been some great Field and Amateur Field Champions as well as 19 elite Dual Champions.
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CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVERS: JUDGES AND BREEDER CONCERNS
J udging your first Chesapeake assignment may convey surprises. You’ve attended seminars and specialties, received mentoring, and reviewed educational materials. What follows is advice to further prepare. (a.) Outline: Some breeds have a square proportion and a level topline. The Chesapeake is slightly longer than tall (thus variance in the proportion). The Chesapeake rear is as high as or a trifle higher than the forequarters (thus topline variance). Topline can also vary with an approximate gentle “S” curve or, in fact, a level topline. While viewing profile, you must also consider the head, neck, size, angula- tion (front and rear), underline, feet, and tail as they appear within the profile. The Chesapeake is definitely not a cookie-cutter breed. As you walk down the line you may have six dogs that show good profiles with vast differences. (b.) Condition: The Chesapeake must have the strength and stam- ina to perform all day long, with proper muscle tone comparable to an athletic swimmer or marathon runner. He must be capable of per- forming on both land and in water. Slight weedy specimens or bulky, over-muscled specimens are not desirable. Focus on the ideal. (c.) Head: Head type can vary within the specifications of the standard. To avoid mistakes, understand the nuances: The expres- sion must be intelligent with a willing-to-work attitude; the implied oval eye is medium large, yellowish or amber; broad, round skull and tapering muzzle of equal lengths, medium stop; ears small, hang loosely, with medium leather; lips thin, not pendulous. The standard provides information and measurements as guidance. For example, eyes wide apart (guideline 2 ½ to 2 ¾ inches). (d.) Coat: The double coat’s texture, length, density, and degree of waviness within the description are a knowledge judges need to develop. The coat color and how to judge it must be studied. Some of the more common shades of sedge, deadgrass and brown are eas- ily recognizable. Be prepared as a judge to deal with specimens that may have a coloring that is atypical: For example, color variation, face masking, stripes, tan points, and grey color. SUGGESTIONS FOR New Judges BY NATHANIEL HORN
Just for fun, a two-month-old puppy walking on a teeter shows excellent movement for her young age.
A four-month-old puppy showing balanced front and rear with desirable angulation, good coat, and a chest that already reaches to his elbow. He has correct length of body proportions and length of leg. Correct head proportions of muzzle to skull and lovely neck into shoulders.
(e.) Gait: The front should have full liberty of action and a well-angulated rear of great strength. Gait should be consistent with the vision of a well-toned athlete with good reach and drive from the side and deliberate soundness both coming and going. If unsure while judging, check your standard.
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Living with the CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVER By Joanne Silver
C ongratulations! You are thinking about getting a new puppy. With this comes joy, happiness, anxiety, stress and work. Getting your puppy o ff to the right start is the most important and rewarding thing you can do. You will hopefully have this puppy for 10 plus years of joy, doing things right from the begin- ning will pay o ff in the long run. Th e Chesapeake Bay Retriever was named for the famous bay where the breed originated. Th e Chesapeake is one of the few American Breeds and the only
American Retriever. As the story goes, in 1807 a ship the Canton rescued the crew and two Newfoundland puppies from a sinking ship in the Chesapeake Bay area. Th e Chesapeake is not a breed for every- one they are powerful and strong willed. I highly recommend meeting the breed before you buy one. Okay, you have done all your research, found the right breed for your fam- ily and found the right breeder. You have dis- cussed with the breeder the exact puppy you want whether for companion, show, breed- ing, hunting or fi eld trials. Th is is important information to advise the breeder so that they put you on the right litter and puppy.
Th e Chesapeake is a versatile breed and can be used in many areas. Th e Chesa- peake’s are a fun breed and can be very entertaining. Th ey are famous for their work in the fi eld but today they are excel- ling in the show ring, obedience, rally, agil- ity, tracking, dock diving and lure coursing, barn hunting, hunt tests and fi eld trials. Th e Chesapeake can also make wonderful pet therapy dogs because of their outgoing per- sonalities. Some have been used in Search and Rescue and law enforcement. It is of the utmost importance to have your Chesapeake puppy well social- ized and start early training. Many dog
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training schools can be found through your local vet’s o ffi ce. Another great source is the American Kennel Club to fi nd a local dog club near you. Many of these clubs hold a variety of group train- ing classes. To start your puppy o ff right fi nd a Puppy Kindergarten that trains with positive reinforcements and obsta- cles for con fi dence building. Chessies are extremely smart and very misunderstood by trainers who are not familiar with the breed. Why group classes? Chesapeake puppies need to be well socialized. Train- ing in groups gives your pup the experience to meet other humans, dogs, and to learn to listen with distractions. Many trainers have heard that Chessies are di ffi cult and stubborn; this cannot be further from the truth if you don’t know how to handle the breed. Chessies are extremely smart and have an outstanding memory. Chessies are problem solvers which mean they are always thinking. Th ey can be extremely easy to train basic obedience commands with positive reinforcement method such as food, balls, bumpers, wings, and praise. A Chessies will always ask, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Your new puppy will want to please you so make it fun for him. If you only try pop, jerk and negative methods you could run into a Chessies pup thinking this is no fun and nothing in it for me. Th e Chesapeake has a strong human bond to the family. You and your puppy will be a team for life. Every team needs
a leader. You must establish yourself as that leader to earn your Chessies respect. Given the opportunity, your Chessies pup will easily take over this position and may at times test your leadership. Th erefore, early training will help establish your leadership. You will also have to be consistent in your training and use of commands. Please be sure that everyone in the household is on the same page using the same command. It can be very confusing to a young puppy to have several commands being used for one requested behavior. Example: Sit is “sit” and not “sit down”. You have given the puppy two commands, does he sit or down? Th e Chesapeake is a devoted family member and is good with children and can be protective of them. Th e fi rst thing you want to do is get your Chesapeake o ff to the right start. Th ey will make wonderful family companion dogs. Th ey will dedi- cate themselves to the family. Since they are a watch dog you want to be sure you get them well socialized Th e Chesapeake is an extremely strong swimmer and will seek out water when giv- en the opportunity. Many a Chesapeake will swim for hours and enjoy swimming and retrieving with the family. Th ey are a moderate exercise breed. Usually in the house they will go and lay down. However, make a move towards the door or car and they are there. Th e Chesa- peake will be more active outside when playing. Once a day a nice walk or 15 min- utes of retrieving will make them happy.
“The Chesapeake is an extremely strong swimmer
AND WILL SEEK OUT WATER WHEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY.”
Sassy & Joanne Silver
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Together withmy late husband Bill, I have been a breeder of theChesapeake Bay Retriever since 1976.Wewere the FIRSTAKCPlatinumBreeder ofMerit of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers-357 plus AKC titleholders. 195 Champions with 31 group placers; 157 AKC Hunt titlists with 24 Master Hunters (13 also Champions), 44 Senior Hunters and 89 Junior Hunters; 2 Agility MACH; Top Derby CBR in 2011; 7 dogs with AKC Field Trial awards. National Specialty BOB/BOS/WD/WB & Best In Sweepstakes winners. Pond Hollow has produced outstanding Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppies for hunting, conformation, field competitions, obedience, tracking, agility and most importantly, healthy and temperamentally sound companions. Our aim has always been toward an all-purpose dog; soundmentally &physically, good looking andwith retrieving desire. The majority of our dogs are bred to be hunting companions, conformation competitors and selective breeding dogs. Our dogs are known and highly regarded nationally and internationally for their excellence. Success is not achieved in a vaccum. With MUCH appreciation to Kathy Heintel (Treasure Lake), Patty Martin (Aridawn) and Marie Stump (Frosty Hills). Thank you for working with me and taking the dogs to their achievements. You are loved.
D Y A N E B A L D W I N
BERY Ch * Pond Hollow Bering Sea
Is the #4 sire All-Time in the breed-49 champions. #1 sire 2003, 2004 & 2005 US; #1 sire 2007 & 2010 UK.
His offspring won MBIS, #1 CBR rating; Master Hunter titles, MACH titles. He had 30 group placements including 5 group Firsts-all owner-handled. NBISS AOM from veteran class in 2008 & 2009. He finished in the Top Ten Chesapeake ratings in 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004.
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RETRIEVER (CHESAPEAKE BAY)
BOGEY BISS Ch * Pond Hollow Casablanca
Is the # 2 Sire All-Time in the breed-60 champions that include a Best in Show winner; a National Specialty BOB and a QAA FT dog. #1 sire in 1996/1997 & 2000 in the breed. He won First in Group in a 750 Sporting dog entry as well as 14 other group placements-all owner handled.
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POND HOLLOW C H E S A P E A K E S
DENVER Ch Pond Hollow Continental Divide He was #1 sire in 2012 and had a total of 21 champion offspring; MH titled; MACH; CT, first tracking Ch CBR in Canada; Best in Show son German Retriever Club; International Ch daughter; group placing offspring. He left a mark here and in Europe.
SPECIAL GChS * Pond Hollow Special Delivery
TRIO GChP * Pond Hollow Third Times The Charm Was #1 Chesapeake in 2019 in breed points; BOS NSS in 2018; BOBWestminster 2020. He is a multiple group 1 winner. He was handled by Angela Lloyd. Owned by Chris & Karen Beste.
Was #1 CBR in breed points in 2012. She was BOS at the NSS in 2012 and BOB at Westminster in 2013. Her son in 2019 repeated the #1 rating in breed points and also won BOB at Westminster in 2020. Handled by Angela Lloyd. Co-owned with Linda Cayton
© John Ashbey
© JC Photography
ROCKY Ch Pond HollowMorocco
DOUBLE BIS SEVCH SEU(U)CH GCh * Pond Hollow Doublecoat Icebreaker WDX
Was a multiple group winner and placer. He won BOB at the Westminster KC in 1998. In 2000, he was BOB at the NSS. Top sire in 1999- he produced group placing and MH titled offspring.
Lives in Sweden where he has won multiple group placements and Swedish Chesapeake Club Specialty. He was BIS at the German Retriever Club selected by 5 judges for the win. He came to the US in 2016 earned a group placing and AOM at the 2016 NSS and AOM 2017Westminster KC. He is owned by Kaj and Catherina Lindstrom of Langas, Sweden.
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RETRIEVER (CHESAPEAKE BAY)
BITCHES ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE BREEDING PROGRAM. The following
MOLLY HRCH Ch Pond HollowOtter Point UDMHQAAWDQ CGCA Is the first Chesapeake to earn CH/UD/MH/ QAA titles. She is the first Chesapeake in 70 yrs to title with a Ch/UD/QAA and the first bitch to ever do so. She won the Qualifying stake at the 2020 ACC FTS. She has won awards in All Breed FT too. For each of her obedience titles, she earned first places. In 2019 & 2020 her daughter was #1 Derby Chesapeake. Molly is owned by Frank Pittelli (field work), Linda Pittelli (obedience) and finished her Ch handled by Craig Larson. Photo by Linda Pittelli
are some of our “girls”
HOPS SHR GCh Pond Hollow Duck Duck Gooze Exemplifies exceptional coat and movement, she easily made her Ch title with BOB from the classes. Handled by Darlene Bell-Bergman.
BUDDHA ChS * Pond Hollow The NorthWind
GINGER GCH * Pond HollowMore Joyful CD RM OA NAJ CGCA Is a multiple group placer owner handled. She has 7 champion offspring including 3 group placers. Foundation bitch for Chessieville Bay-Heike Frattalone, Ginger was bred by Marie Stump and Dyane Baldwin.
Is a multiple group placer. She finished in the Top Ten Chesapeakes in 2018 & 2019. She was awarded an AOM at the 2017 NSS. Her offspring have excelled in the hunt test-1 Master Hunter, 1 Senior Hunter (with 2 Master legs) and 2 Junior Hunters.
© TomDi Giacomo
BRIE Ch Pond Hollow Brilliant
MANDY Ch Pond Hollow Kilimanjaro A Casablanca daughter, who along with her sister (Ch Pond Hollow Skies Cry Geese) produced some significant Chesapeakes in the breed. Mandy only had one litter-5 champion including a multiple Group 1 winner; 5 hunt titled offspring and one FT pointed. She is the dam of Ch Pond Hollow Three Rvrs RoyalT.
KEEN Ch Pond Hollow Three Rvrs RoyalT She came back to us at 3yrs old. Outstanding in balance, angulation, rib spring and movement, her title was easily earned. She had 7 champion offspring and was #1 Brood Bitch in the breed 2010. In 2012, a son and daughter were #1 sire and #1 Brood Bitch. Another son was NSS Best In Sweepstakes 2007.
Is the dam of 5 champion offspring including a BIS/Grp placing son. Her offspring have earned 1 Senior Hunter and 4 Junior Hunter titles.
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CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVERS: JUDGES AND BREEDER CONCERNS
CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVERS— CURRENT CONCERNS
BY BETSY HORN HUMER, JEC
S ize: our standard allows a variance of 3" at the top of the withers for males 23-26" and also for females 21-24". You could have a smaller bitch at 21" and a taller dog at 26" in your ring with a difference of 5". In some parts of the country, you will see taller dogs. In other areas, the average males being shown are 24 ½ ". If a dog is taller than the majority of the entry, he is not wrong. There is no height preference within the stated heights. It is important to know the size ranges. Feet: The Chesapeake should have hare feet. It is the only retriever breed with a hare foot which gives the dog a better grip when climbing muddy banks or encountering ice during winter hunts. You will see some rounded cat feet instead of a correct foot with two longer toes on the center of each foot with less arching. The cat foot does not cover as much ground and offers less trac- tion when the dog is on mud, ice or uneven ground. Short Legs: It is very strongly stated in the breed standard that “shoulder to elbow and elbow to ground should be equal.” Short legs do not permit the Chesapeake Bay Retriever to run as quickly or efficiently. There is not only a disadvantage in the field, but swimming strokes are also impacted. Legs that are equal from
elbow to shoulder and from elbow to ground provide a longer stroke; fewer strokes and more endurance for the swimming dog. Lack of Balance: As with so many breeds there are problematic straight shoulders, but even more cases of short upper arms. Many rears are correct and are well-angulated, but the dog is not bal- anced. To quote from the breed standard: “Shoulders should be sloping with full liberty of action…” Bad fronts are the major fault in our breed. In addition, unknowledgeable breeders are also pro- ducing “balanced dogs” that lack an adequate amount of angula- tion, both front and rear. While sound, unfortunately, they have restricted movement on ground and inefficient swimming ability. The Good News: The Chesapeake coat is the Hallmark of the breed. The breed standard says: “The double coat consists of a short, harsh, wavy outer coat and a dense, fine, wooly under- coat...” Coats have improved tremendously over the years. More Chesapeakes have better coats than in the past. Quality is bet- ter and there is more consistency with harsh, dense coats and the desired undercoat. In addition, the trend and temptation towards over grooming is not as prevalent as it used to be.
JUDGING THE CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVER
BY JOANN COLVIN
J udging of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever begins before any hands-on examination. When the dogs first enter the ring, have them stand to be able to see the outline. The outline of the Chesapeake is different from any of the retrievers. One is looking for a dog exemplifying strength, adequate bone, slightly longer than tall. Most importantly, one is looking for a level topline or one that rises slightly to the rear—no sway or weak back. And equally, one is looking for a distinctive bottom line—chest at least to elbow, well-developed barrel rib cage, short flank and a distinctive tuck-up under the loin. As one initially moves the dogs around the ring, evaluate the strength of the drive in the rear, the reach and, equally important, the return of the front leg under the body. Look at tail carriage— horizontal to the back. [The tail] can be held somewhat higher when excited, but not curving in a semi-circle over the back. Approach the dog for the hands-on part of the exam, at a slight angle. Avoid [approaching] straight-on to the front and staring eye contact. Examine only the front of the teeth for bite. The standard calls for scissors or level bite. There is no mention of missing teeth and the dogs may be uncomfortable with a side exam. At this point, one may want to tilt head up slightly to check for disqualifying white which extends above the breast- bone onto the neck. Major points in examining the head are: The equal length of muzzle to topskull; tight lower eye rims; moder- ate stop; pointed, but not sharp, muzzle; and high-set, short ears. Continuing over the dog, one will be looking for a strong, moderate length of neck blending into the shoulder. There is no mention of a prominent forechest in the standard, but do check for good fill of the chest. Check the dog’s elbow and extend fin- gers to the chest to be sure depth is at least to the elbow. No gaps should be felt or seen between the elbows and the chest. Note the
feet next. The standard calls for hare-shaped feet; white on toes is permitted as well as a white spot on the back of the foot. Finally, the coat—there is no preferred waving pattern and one will see several. The main important aspect of the coat is the texture—coarse, waved outer coat and dense, wooly under- coat. The coat should not curl, meaning a full ringlet (think Irish Water Spaniel). The coat may also wave in a kinky pattern and give the appearance of a straight coat, but the individual hairs do wave. Color can be any shade of brown, from a light blonde color (light deadgrass) to shades of red (sedge) to tans and dark browns. Solid or self-colored is preferred. There are no faults for patterns such as masking or saddling. The eyes do not have to match or blend with the coat color. A dark brown dog with a light yellow eye is within the standard. Let’s discuss DQ’s. The DQ for lacking in breed character- istics is plural, so there is not a DQ for one characteristic. How- ever, it is up to the judge to decide if the dog is lacking merit, so certainly withhold or excuse if that is the case. The DQ for black in the coat would only be applicable if the nose leather is black. Length of coat on tail refers to furnishings or fringes of hair. Do not unwrap the tail hair to check for length, but look at the underline of the tail for long hanging hairs. When assessing if a dog should be excused for temperament, a dog that seems timid or unwilling to stand should be excused. Don’t push to examine the dog as it could escalate the behavior. In conclusion, one is looking for a strong, active, alert, will- ing dog with a good textured double coat, strength and effortless in movement especially in the rear, and balanced front and rear. Look for a dog in condition and appearing as if he/she could work all day, in any weather.
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*AKC STATS AS OF 6/30/21
RETRIEVER (CHESAPEAKE BAY)
AMERICAN CHESAPEAKE CLUB BREED STANDARD DISQUALIFICATION
BY JUDGES BREEDER EDUCATION COMMITTEE
T he purpose of this article is to inform readers of the current situation in countries that have laws forbid- ding the removal of dewclaws (front and rear). In no way does this article suggest that dogs be eliminated from our gene pool because they had rear dewclaws. The JBEC and the ACC Board want members and breeders to be aware of legislation in other countries (most of Europe), and the possibility that, in the future, laws may be passed in the United States forbid- ding cropping, docking, and dewclaw removal. REAR DEWS AND DON’TS The first AKC-approved Chesapeake Bay Retriever Standard in 1918 listed six disqualifications, including: “Dew claws, under- shot, overshot, or any deformity.” This disqualification remained the same through the 1933 Standard revision. However, in 1963, changes were approved that remain part of the current (1993) Stan- dard. Dewclaws were given their own line and clarified to indicate rear only. Since 1963, DQ number three simply states: “Dewclaws on hind legs.” Reviewing past publications, there is little information about the intent behind rear dewclaw disqualification. Janet Horn, in * The New Complete Chesapeake Bay Retriever , addresses all breed disqualifications in general and states: “The seven disqualifications in our Standard were first laid down in 1936, and at that time, I was told by one who had worked on the Standard Committee in the 1930s, these items were made disqualifications because they were serious problems in the breed. If they are now found only infrequently it is a tribute to the emphasis implied by the poten- tial for disqualification. We need to retain these disqualifications, for anything that has previously been a problem in the breed can become one again if we do not keep alert and guard against it.” The incidence of rear dewclaws and their mode of inheritance in Chesapeakes is relatively unknown, as most breeders and own- ers do not actively track or relate the occurrence. Puppy buyers or breeders in the US don’t usually think or find it necessary to ask about rear dewclaws in parents or past generations. The Breed Standard makes no mention of removal of rear dewclaws being a disqualification, just that they should not be allowed, so it is near impossible to track, anecdotally, in adults. Currently, there is no genetic testing available for the occurrence of rear dewclaws and no research planned for the future. In the upcoming breed health survey, the question of rear dewclaws will be addressed to have bet- ter information available about the prevalence in the breed and its potential genetic transmission. In the United States, CBRs with dewclaws removed are allowed in the conformation ring. So, why is this a concern? The American Chesapeake Club is the authority over the official AKC Standard, which is used not only in the US, but also in countries governed by
the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale). CBRs shown in conformation classes in these countries are held to this Standard. Canada and Great Britain have written their own Chesapeake Bay Retriever Standard based on the ACC version. Canada has only six disqualifications, with the rear dewclaw DQ eliminated. Great Britain has no disqualifications included in their version and no mention of dewclaws at all. Other countries vary widely in their laws that regulate, or out- right prohibit, docking, cropping, and the removal of both front and rear dewclaws. For example, in Canada, a number of provinces have banned the procedures, and the Canadian Veterinary Medi- cal Association has stated (2018) that they are formally opposed. In the United Kingdom, removal of dewclaws is permitted without anesthesia only if the puppy’s eyes have not opened or with anes- thesia (only by a licensed veterinarian) if the eyes have opened. In some countries, removal is only permitted if it becomes medically necessary for trauma or therapeutic reasons. Groups in the US are lobbying for similar bans of cropping, docking, and dewclaw removal. If such laws are ever approved, the ACC would likely be mandated to revise our Breed Standard. The conflict is: • Rear dewclaw removal is illegal in some countries outside the US • Rear dewclaws are a disqualification according to the ACC (and FCI) official Breed Standard National purebred dog registries in many foreign countries require conformation certification from a qualified judge before a dog or bitch can be bred or any litters registered. CBRs with rear dewclaws present are disqualified under the FCI Standard and may not be able to obtain this certification in countries that specifically prohibit dewclaw removal. As breeding stock is much more limited outside the US, this becomes a concern for CBR fanciers abroad. Prior to these laws being enacted in other countries, breeders had no real reason to record information on puppies born with rear dews. However, CBRs are sold to buyers and being bred in countries where removing rear dewclaws is an issue. US breeders can help foreign breeders by recording and sharing information with them on rear dewclaws that may be present in their lines. In addition, when selling dogs, bitches, or semen outside the US, the specific laws addressing dewclaw removal in the destination coun- try should be discussed.
Judges Breeder Education Committee – February 2021
* The New Complete Chesapeake Bay Retriever by Janet and Dr. Daniel Horn. Howell Book House, NY, NY. 1994 p. 32
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CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVER THE
1. Where do you live? What is your occupation? How many years in dogs? 2. Do you have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? 3. What’s it like living/working with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever? 4. Can you speak to the breed’s size and substance? 5. How does the breed’s silhouette differ from that of its Retriever cousins? 6. Can you describe the Chessie’s ideal expression? Ideal coat? 7. Do judges (and breeders) ever betray a preference for color? 8. Any words about this Retriever’s temperament? 9. The AKC standard has seven disqualifications. Care to elaborate? 10. Are there any well-kept secrets about the Chesapeake Bay Retriever? 11. Are there any current “trends” in breeding that should be continued or should be stopped ? 12. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. KAREN ANDERSON I live in Monrovia, Maryland. I am secretary for my husband’s business. I have been in dogs for 57 years and in Chesapeake Bay Retrievers for 51 years. We (my husband and I) purchased our first Chesapeake Bay Retriever from Roedown Farm in Davidson, Maryland. He was from the old Native Shore lines and our foundation bitch was from Eloise Heller Cherry’s Baronland Kennels in California. Our ken- nel name is Chestnut Hills. We have won six American Chesapeake Club National Specialties, produced the number one Champion- producing sire for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and have multiple tracking, obedience and working/hunt titles. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? I was a Master Falconer and I still enjoy bonsai trees. What’s it like living/working with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever? Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are a part of my family. They are intel- ligent, devoted, loyal, and protective. Can I speak to the breed’s size and substance? When I look at a Chesapeake in a line of Retrievers I see a burly, full-coated, substan- tial waterfowl Retriever. Can I describe the Chessie’s ideal expression and coat? Chesa- peakes are alert. They have a double coat with a thick undercoat and a harsh outer coat with an oily base that helps protect them from the elements. Do judges ever betray a preference for color? The major- ity of judges seem to have a color preference, usually for shades of brown. All the colors, sedge, dead grass and brown should be treated equally. Any words about this Retriever’s temperament? They are not a Retriever for everyone. Most people do not put the time in for prop- er socialization of their puppy. I believe the breed has received a bad reputation because they are protective of their families and their
family’s possessions, just as if they were used to guard the hunter’s camps years ago. The AKC standard has seven disqualifications. Care to elabo- rate? The disqualification for undershot, overshot or any deformity lacks an explanation for what clarifies the deformity. I have always understood that to mean deformities of the dog in general. DIANE BAKER Diane Baker has been involved in purebred dogs since the early 1980s. As a professional handler, she has finished or specialed dogs in all seven AKC Groups. A career highlight was winning the Working Group at Westminster Kennel Club in 1999 with Bernese Mountain Dog, Ch. Mentmore’s Windy Meadow. Breeding under the “Sandbar” prefix, her career in Chesapeakes has spanned well over three decades. She has bred, owned and/ or handled three National Specialty winners, multiple Best in Show dogs as well as many dogs that have risen to the number one spot. Sandbar continues to produce Champions, Hunt Test and performance-titled dogs. I currently own and operate Paws Here, a full service pet resort in the Illinois Valley west of Chicago. We board, groom, train and show dogs. The resort is also the home of Sandbar Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and Xoloitcuintli. I also have a home on the Virginia side of the Chesapeake Bay. Much of my youth was spent watching Chesapeakes work in their native territory. It’s my pleasure to still be able to maintain my family home there. My first litter of purebred dogs was almost four decades ago. They were 13" Beagles. After seeing a pair of Rottweilers at a horse farm I worked at, I acquired a few and developed an interest in showing and in obedience. My involvement with Chessies came soon thereafter when I was hired to show a Special that later became the foundation bitch for Sandbar. Hobbies and interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? After many years as a professional horseman, I still maintain an active interest in horses and ponies. What’s it like living and working with a Chesapeake Bay Retriev- er? The characteristics that make a Chessie a superior hunting dog can make living with them a pleasant challenge. They are problem solvers, tenacious, protective and driven. As a market hunter, these are all traits that made them exceptional at their job. They have a “never give up” attitude. The same things that keep them going after waterfowl and upland birds despite the most adverse condi- tions are also the traits that keep them going after your trash can after you told them no repeatedly! You must be a creative trainer. If you’re looking for a devoted worker, this breed has no equal. We say they are like the Marine Corps: “First in and last out!” Can I speak to the breed’s size and substance? Chessies have a fairly wide range in ideal height from the bottom of bitches (21") to the top of dogs (26"). This range allows for Chesapeakes to be a working Retriever in a variety of different scenarios and conditions. A smaller dog may be well-suited to a tree stand in a Louisiana swamp, while a bigger dog might be necessary to clear cut corn stalks in the frozen plains of the upper Midwest. It is most impor- tant that this breed maintains its versatile and functional working characteristics. Proportion and substance are also important fac- tors. A Chesapeake should be a powerful dog, showing no sign >
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judges have opted to express their preferences by disqualifying dogs based on patterns or colors they found objectionable. Judges are instructed that “specimens lacking in breed characteristics are to be disqualified.” Note the plural (characteristics). Some judges have used this as a justification for disqualifying dogs with allowable pat- terns or color. This is a problem. Lastly, it should be noted regarding patterns and colors, as a working Retriever, a Chessie should blend to their surrounding environment as closely as possible. They should be camouflaged and inconspicuous. When learning the breed, it helps to observe the dogs working in a variety of environments and then apply those mental images when judging in the ring. A few words about temperament: I spoke a little earlier about temperament but, to expand on it a bit, I find that outside the breed, Chessies are not well understood. You hear quite often that they can be stubborn and difficult and some people express a perception of hardness or sharpness. These are traits that should not be associated with the breed. These dogs are very intelligent and require creative training techniques. They do not typically do well with repetitious pattern training. They learn quickly and bore easily. This is a breed with a very keen sense of fair play. They will accept a justified cor- rection, but will not tolerate constant or unnecessary manhandling. They love their people. They are protective and loyal. They are often indifferent to strangers [since] their people make up the whole of their universe. This leads to a misunderstanding for those who expect all Retrievers to be happy-go-lucky like a Golden or a Lab. Because of the close bond they form and their workmanlike attitude, Chessies see themselves as a partner, not a tool. Truthfully, in most every endeavor, one couldn’t ask for a better partner or companion. The AKC standared has seven disqualifications. Care to elabo- rate? I think the disqualifications in the breed are pretty clear for the most part. As I mentioned earlier, the disqualification for lack of breed characteristics should not be used as a loophole for per- sonal preferences or agendas. For disqualification, there should be multiple traits and they should be very clearly and easily tied to the breed standard. It is also notable that there is a DQ regarding feathering on the tail or legs over 1-3/4 inches long. Chesapeakes should not have feathering of any kind. There are dogs produced that throwback to long-coated ancestors. These dogs are fairly rare and not correct. As breeders we now have a DNA test to help us avoid producing long-coated dogs and as exhibitors they should not ever be presented in the ring. Are there any well-kept secrets about the Chesapeake Bay Retriever? Chessies are their own best kept secret! Are there any current “trends” in breeding that should be con- tinued or should be stopped? One of the most important aspects of the breed is its functionality as an all-around, dual-purpose dog. Thankfully, we have not experienced the “split” some other Sport- ing breeds have gone through. Our show dogs are the same as our working dogs. There is little difference in style or temperament. The same dog can hunt, compete in companion or performance events and still succeed in the show ring. A dog I bred and co-own recently became the only Retriever in history to be a multiple Best in Show winner, AKC Grand Champion, Master Hunter, Qualified All-Age. It is not unusual to see dogs in the show ring with AKC or UKC hunt test titles. Often dogs will hunt during the week and go to shows on the weekend. We have many younger breeders who are following along with this concept. I believe the future looks bright for this great breed! DYANE BALDWIN I have bred 191 AKC champion Chesapeakes as well as 155 per- formance titled Chesapeakes, including placements in AKC field trials under the Pond Hollow prefix. I have personally trained and
of weakness. It is vital to have sufficient substance to bust through the thickest cover and ice, and power through the highest waves and brutal winds. Substance should not be so much, though, as to inhibit agility, dexterity or endurance. How does the breed’s silhouette differ from that of its Retriever cousins? One of the distinct features of a Chessie is its outline. Our standard calls for the rear of the dog to be as high or a trifle higher than the dog is at the shoulders. This is an important feature of breed type and makes the outline of a Chesapeake very unique and easily identifiable from a distance. Can I describe the Chessie’s ideal expression and coat? AChessie’s expression should reflect its intelligence and bright, happy disposi- tion. This breed also has an intensity when on task that can be seen in its facial expressions and demeanor. This should not be confused with unhappiness or aggression. A surly temperament should not be excused. However, the Chesapeake is a stoic breed and can appear quite serious when working. This can betray their often clownish personality and very light-hearted sense of humor. Coat! This is one of the most important factors of a Chesapeake. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most misunderstood aspects of the breed. The breed’s founders developed the unique coat of this dog to weather the extremely harsh conditions of the Chesapeake Bay. Because of close proximity to the icy Atlantic and prevailing weather patterns, the weather on the Bay can be very brutal. Native waterman found many Retrievers of their day lacking in the ability to hold up to the rigors required for long hours and harsh conditions required of a market hunter. This was a blue collar Retriever, not a gentleman’s hunting dog. Owners depended on their Chessie to put meat on the table and bring money home from market. It made for long days and sometimes hundreds of retrieves. Endurance and sturdiness was a must. A Chessie might spend the majority of its day in the icy water or on a snowy bank during hunting season. This makes the ability of repel water vital! After a swim, a Chesapeake must be able to shake the majority of water from its coat and be barely moist to the touch. Improper texture, length or volume would render this feature ineffective. Soft and/or profuse coats do not dry properly and leave the animal susceptible to pneumonia or hypothermia. A Chessie’s coat should have a wooly undercoat to provide insulation and a top coat that has the tendency to wave (not curl) over the neck, shoulders, back and loins. Side coat can appear to have more or less volume depending on the dog, but it must always have proper texture. The wave of the coat can be loose or more tightly patterned. It can even take on a kinky appearance. When being judged, as long as texture is correct, one style of wave should not be preferred over the other. A coat in correct condition should have sufficient oil to be water-resistant. However, a Chesapeake does not have to have an unpleasant odor to achieve this. Overall, proper coat carries the highest number of points in the positive scale of points as part of our breed standard. Do judges ever betray preferences for color? Judges and breed- ers can sometimes have preferences on color. As long as a color is within the allowable range, all should be considered equally. Some breeders have concentrated on certain colors throughout the years and, therefore, you often see a distinctive style that may dominate a color in a particular region. It is therefore hard to say if these style differences account for judges preferences or if it is strictly a color issue. A big area of misconception, however, is the patterns allowed within the breed. There are several allowable patterns: white mark- ings (within very strictly specified areas), stripes (brindle), saddle mark, agouti, tan point and masking. These patterns can overlay any allowable color. Ideally the Chessie is a self-colored dog, mean- ing one color overall with or without shading of the same color. While judges may have preferences regarding color or patterns, it is important to note that color is accountable for only four points on a 100-point scale. Unfortunately, there have been instances where
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titled dogs in conformation (Group wins and SS wins), obedience (all levels) and hunt tests to SH level. I have edited a book on Chesa- peake Bay Retrievers, written on the breed and have given numer- ous seminars here and abroad. I have judged Chesapeake National Specialties in the US, England and Sweden. I have judged the breed in Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic and Switzerland as well. I am approved for all Sporting breeds with the AKC. For the American Chesapeake Club I have served in numerous positions; Historian, Club Secretary, Chair of Judges Education, Judges Education Coor- dinator, and AKC Delegate. In 2018, I was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the club. I am retired and live in central Pennsylvania on 31 acres that includes a pond for the dogs. 2020 is my 43rd year involved with the Chesapeake and dog competition. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? I have a large garden—flowers and shrubs—and spend a fair amount of time in it. I also enjoy traveling in the US and abroad. What’s it like living/working with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever? Living with a Chesapeake you are well loved, with a golden eye always keeping you in sight. You are never alone. They are intel- ligent dogs and learn quickly, but bore easily too. You need to be an innovative trainer. Can I speak to the breed’s size and substance? The Chesapeake has a larger size range than the other retriever breeds (21" minimum female; 26" maximum male). This wide size spread is due to the various settings the Chesapeake works in: boats, ponds, large bays and swift big rivers. How does the breed’s silhouette differ from that of its Retriever cousins? The breed has a distinctive underline in comparison to the other Retrievers. There should be an apparent tuck-up in the loin area from underneath. None of the other Retrievers have this obvious tuck-up. They also have two acceptable toplines: level (as high as shoulder) or slight rise to the rear in a steady line from the withers. Unlike several of the other Retrievers, they do not have a prominent projection of the fore-chest bone. It is not a requirement in the standard at all. The legs should be well-placed under the body by correct, sloping shoulders. Can I describe the Chessie’s ideal expression and coat? There is not an ideal expression or coat for the breed. There are a number of coat styles that are equally acceptable—some with more wave than others. The coat must have undercoat that is thick and a somewhat harsh outer coat. There also is a slight oily feel to the coat. Expres- sion is best seen when the dog is working in the field: intensity, alertness and determination. In an everyday setting they look bright and intelligent and aware of all that is going on around them. Do judges ever betray a preference for color? Sadly, yes. A color preference is not uncommon with judges. Brown is often favored over the sedge (red) and deadgrass (blonde) colors even if the brown is not the same quality. Breeders too can have a preference (brown), but that is not as common as it once was. Most breeders have dogs in all of the color range. Any words about this Retriever’s temperament? They are well- tempered dogs, very devoted to their family. Sensible dogs and usu- ally easy to live with—calm indoors. However, they have a watch dog nature too. As young dogs they must be socialized, trained in obedience, and the owner needs to be in charge. They need to be prepared for the conformation ring. If not, they can be reluctant to be examined and even shy away. Aggression should not be tolerated under any circumstance. The AKC standard has seven disqualifications. Care to elabo- rate? Sometimes judges misunderstand the DQ for a tendency to curl all over the body. There may be areas of the coat with a ten- dency to curl. To be disqualified the tendency must occur all over
the body. A few areas of the coat with a curling tendency is not a disqualification. Are there any well-kept secrets about the Chesapeake Bay Retriever? The breed is a very loving and devoted companion. You may never be loved by anything as much as your Chesapeake loves you. They often become part of you. Are there any current “trends” in breeding that should be con- tinued or should be stopped? There has been a trend toward over- angulation in the rear—legs too far back of the dog—and an overly prominent forechest. All those angles fore and aft make a “fancy” dog that is not correct Chesapeake type. The breed is a workman- like dog with moderation and balance. The rear has a well bent stifle, coupled with a medium hock length, creating a broad second thigh. The rear legs should not extend back much farther than the point of the buttock. JOANN COLVIN I began in dogs in 1976
and Chesapeakes in 1982. In 1990, I added Pekingese to my household and also showed and bred them. I have had numerous champions in both breeds, and multiple Group Placements, RBIS, and BIS Chesapeakes under the Cal-I- Co kennel prefix. I began judging in 1998
and judge the Sporting Group, three Toy breeds, Jrs, Misc, and BIS. I am past President of the American Chesapeake Club as well as VP, Board Member, JBEC Chair and Show Committee. I am current VP of my all-breed club, Kanadasaga KC, and I co-chair our show at the Wine Country Circuit in New York. I am an approved men- tor for the American Chesapeake Club. Even though I had thought to downsize on dogs, I discovered I still enjoyed breeding and having my dogs shown. So I have several Chesapeakes at home and share my bed with two Tibetan Spaniels and a very special Chihuahua. I live in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Currently, I am retired from teaching English. I’ve been in dogs about 38 years. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? I am a certified End of Life Doula and spend many volunteer hours every week caretaking for hospice patients in our local Care Home. What’s it like living/working with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever? It is much like teaching school. Chesapeakes need to understand what is being asked and why. Each [dog] of the breed is an indi- vidual—no two [are] alike. Can I speak to the breed’s size and substance? The breed is moderate. Top of the standard for a male is 26". The weight and bone and substance of the dog should balance with its height. Many people call looking for the “old type” 100-plus pound dog. This was not characteristic and is out of standard. How does the breed’s silhouette differ from that of its Retriever cousins? The Chesapeake has a unique outline. The topline may be level, but may also rise slightly to the rear. This does not read as sway or dip in the back. The underline of the breed differs as there is a distinct tuck up under the loin. Can I describe the Chessie’s ideal expression and coat? A Chesa- peake should have an alert, intelligent expression. Although they can be aloof, many display a happy expression and some even smile. The coat has a variety of waving patterns, none preferred. >
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the shoulders. The well-tucked-up flanks should be obvious in the underline which flows smoothly into the loin. Can we describe the Chessie’s ideal expression,? Ideal coat? A Chesapeake’s ideal expression is alert, intelligent, and happy. It will often be one that is questioning: “What do you need me to do for you next?” The ideal coat is crisp and harsh to the touch and will spring back when a hand is pressed into it. Do judges ever betray a preference for color? Yes. Although everyone is entitled to their preferences, the standard states, “Any color of brown, sedge, or deadgrass is acceptable, self-colored Chesapeakes being preferred. One color is not to be preferred over another.” We are seeing less bias lately with judges, but there are some strong differences of opinion among breeders regarding mark- ings in self-colored dogs and other colors. Our feeling is that color should be the last thing to be considered when breeding or judging. Any words about this Retriever’s temperament? Chesapeakes are headstrong at times, yet emotionally sensitive. They are protective, perceptive, dedicated, and happy to please. The best, well-rounded Chesapeake has a clear understanding of what the rules are and lives in the home as a family member. The AKC standard has seven disqualifications. Care to elabo- rate? Only on the first one, as the others are fairly clear: “Speci- mens lacking in breed characteristics.” When considering whether to DQ an exhibit, judges should keep in mind the distinguishing breed characteristics: Eye color, topline, and coat; all of these are described in the standard. If a dog is lacking in more than one of these, it should be DQ’d. Otherwise, no placement should be given, or a ribbon should be withheld at the judge’s discretion. Are there any well-kept secrets about the Chesapeake Bay Retriever? No secrets here! Are there any current “trends” in breeding that should be con- tinued or should be stopped? We are seeing dogs that are too heavy in bone. They should be athletic and powerful with moderate bone for efficiency and endurance. We are also seeing less angle in rears. Stifles should be “well angulated.” We’d also like to share about the breed that Chesapeakes can be superb working companions and devoted family dogs. When not working, this breed is most content in the home or anywhere the owners choose to be. They can also be formidable and protective to a fault without assertive leadership, proper training, and complete assimilation to family life. Chesapeakes do not do well in a kennel or living outside or away from their family. GINA DOWNIN Gina Downin lives in the
They should have a coarse textured outer coat, and a dense and wooly undercoat. Do judges ever betray a preference for color? There was a time when the preference was for a dark brown dog. This seems to be behind us now, but still it is more difficult to campaign a deadgrass or sedge dog than a brown dog. Any words about this Retriever’s temperament? The owner/ trainer needs to be in charge. If not, the Chesapeake will be glad to take the job. The AKC standard has seven disqualifications. Care to elabo- rate? Just a couple of points: The DQ for rear dewclaws is not for the dog having had them—it is for the dewclaws not being removed; and the “tendency to curl” refers to actual curls or ringlets—not to a tight wave. Are there any well-kept secrets about the Chesapeake Bay Retriever? The Chesapeake can be a very soft dog. They take things to heart and never forget. Are there any current “trends” in breeding that should be con- tinued or should be stopped? We did have some people purposely breeding for long coats. That needed to stop. We also need to retain the working history of this breed and be sure that the dog doesn’t become exaggerated or fancy. BRIAN & ANGIE COX Brian and Angie got their first Chesapeake in 1982 and have enjoyed much success in conformation, obedience, hunt tests, agil- ity, and rally. With the gracious help of their mentor for many years, Mildred Buchholz, their breeding program has been success- ful for over 35 years. The Coxes breed a litter every one-two years on average. They breed to continue exhibiting and enjoying their own dogs, but also strive to improve quality with every litter while preserving the attributes of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever based on the standard, and on the intentions as written by the developers of this wonderful breed. Brian and Angie Cox live in Millington, Tennessee, just north of Memphis. Angie has recently retired after a 41-year multi-faceted career with International Paper Company. Brian is a carpenter by trade and is also retired. We have been breeding Chesapeakes exclu- sively since 1984. Do we have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? Brian enjoys gardening and playing his guitars. Angie likes to travel, and exhibits in obedience, agility, and rally. What’s it like living/working with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever? The Chesapeake is a serious, dedicated, and hard worker as long as the task to be done is made very clear. Clarity in training is key because a dog that is confused about what is being asked of him will make up his own rules and/or become very resistant. He is extremely active in work and play. In the home he is calm, yet the Chesapeake’s protective nature can present challenges without proper obedience training. He is mostly calm and content to be your shadow, but always watching for the slightest cue that the next outing is coming. Can we speak to the breed’s size and substance? In the standard there is a large margin for acceptable height in males and females. For males, height to the shoulder should be 23" to 26", and for females, 21" to 24". Substance should indicate strength and power with moderate heaviness in body and bone. How does the breed’s silhouette differ from that of its Retriever cousins? Looking at a correct Chesapeake silhouette, one should be able to see the high ear set and a medium length neck, tapering smoothly into the shoulder. The back is short and well-coupled, with the front and rear showing equal power. What really distin- guishes the Chesapeake from other retriever breeds is in both the topline and the underline. The rear may be a trifle higher than
Chesapeake Bay watershed in Maryland. She breeds the occa- sional litter under the name Weatherdeck Chesapeakes. Dogs of her breeding have competed in conformation, obedience, rally, hunt tests, field trials, working tests, barn hunt, and dock div- ing. Weatherdeck Chesapeakes have proven to be valued hunting
companions as well. I live in Maryland where I teach English Language Learners in my neighborhood elementary school. I’ve been enjoying the world of exhibiting, competing, and breeding Chesapeake Bay Retrievers for 18 years. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? Our dogs are central to so much that we do for fun and enjoyment. As a family, we spend our time hiking, camping,
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