Tips for Correcting Your Excited Golden Retriever’s Greeting Habits

Last Updated: September 21, 2016 | Posted In: General, Training

Greeting HabitsThe Golden Retriever is a breed that is naturally friendly and full of life. Unfortunately, this often correlates with over-excitement, especially when new people come to the door. If your Golden Retriever has developed a bad habit of jumping up or barking at new people, you may need to work with him a little bit to reduce these behaviors.

Why Do Dogs Jump Up on People?

If you have ever visited the home of a fellow dog owner, there is a good chance that you were greeted by their dog in a very enthusiastic and energetic way. Even if your friend tries to hold the dog back, he may have just been too excited to contain himself and that excitement frequently manifests in the form of jumping, licking, and barking. Seeing this kind of behavior in someone else’s dog may make you realize that your own dog has the same issue. What you may not realize, however, is that you probably played a role in reinforcing that behavior. Think back to when your Golden Retriever was a puppy – how did you react when he got excited to see you? You probably returned that excitement by speaking to him in a positive tone, petting him, or even picking him up. In doing so, you reinforced his over-excited behavior and taught him that jumping up and barking at people gets him the attention he craves. To curb this behavior, you will have to work with him to teach him that this behavior won’t get him what he wants.

Teaching Your Dog Not to Jump Up

The key to curbing undesired behavior in dogs like the Golden Retriever is to stop rewarding the dog for exhibiting that behavior and, if applicable, to teach him that said behavior does not get him what he wants. To teach your dog not to jump up on people when they enter the house, you may need to enlist the help of a friend and work through a training sequence to teach your dog that he will only receive attention when he is calm. Start by asking your friend to step outside then stand with your dog on the other side of the door. Have your friend ring the doorbell and as soon as he starts to get excited, tell him to Sit. If he complies, praise him and reward him with a treat. If he doesn’t, repeat the sequence until he gets the hang of it.

Once your dog has learned to sit when the doorbell rings you can actually have your friend enter the house and start working on your dog’s overly excited greeting behavior. Have your friend step into the room – your dog will probably make a beeline for him and start jumping up. Instruct your friend to freeze as soon as the dog starts jumping up and to turn around, ignoring the dog. Your friend should avoid engaging with the dog in any way until he calms down, at which point your friend can turn back around and pet him calmly as a reward. Repeat this training sequence until your dog learns that jumping and barking will not get him the attention he craves – he will only get that attention when he remains calm.

Curbing your dog’s overly excited greeting habits may take some time, but if you are consistent with it you will be successful. You can also adapt this training sequence for other situations, making sure to only reward your Golden Retriever for the behaviors you desire and to stop reinforcing bad behaviors by giving your dog what he wants.

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How to Find a Reputable Retriever Breeder

Last Updated: May 9, 2016 | Posted In: General

retriever-puppyIt’s official, you have made your final decision to welcome a Retriever into your family and your home. The moment has arrived that you are beginning your journey of finding a reputable breeder. Finding a responsible breeder that has healthy dogs available can be a long task. The tips below will help you find a healthy, happy Retriever pup from a reputable Retriever breeder.

  • Ask Friends and Family – Begin your search by asking those closest to you if they can recommend a reputable breeder that is trustworthy. Ask family members, close friends, co-workers and local veterinarian office staff. There’s a possibility that someone may have an excellent referral for you.
  • Search Your Community – Search within your community by going online to your local community website. You can also broaden your search to surrounding communities. You will be searching for dog breeders that have Retrievers available.
  • Contact the Breeder – Speak to the breeder of the telephone to see if they have Retriever pups available. If they do, set up a day and time to meet with them. If you have a variety of Retriever breeders in your area to choose from you can set an appointment with each one.
  • Keep Your Appointment – When you arrive you will want to focus and observe the area where the pups live. Responsible breeders provide a clean environment and easy access to fresh water and food. They also exhibit caring emotions towards the pups. If you meet a breeder that has more than two litters available at one time, chances are it is a puppy mill. If this is the case remove yourself from the facility immediately.
  • Interview the Breeder – When you meet the breeder ask for references from previous customers. Also take the time to get to know the breeder, ask why they enjoy breeding Retrievers, their interest in the breed, if they can provide medical documents from a veterinarian for the pup. Also discuss if there are any known health issues with the parents of the litter.

Remember that reputable breeders do not hand over a pup to the first person that gives them money. Responsible breeders take their time interviewing you and getting to know more about where you live and the type of lifestyle you are going to provide for the pup. They will ask questions that will help them get a clear picture if you will be a responsible Retriever dog owner. They also have the right to deny you a pup if they feel you are not suitable for a Retriever.

While the process may seem lengthy and even bothersome, especially since you are eager to hold your Retriever pup in your arms and take him or her home, it is essential to endure when dealing with a reputable Retriever breeder. To make things easier you may want educate yourself on the breed, learn the requirements they need to live a happy, healthy life and express your desire to become a pet parent to a Retriever. This will help the breeder understand you are responsible as a pet owner. Find a reputable Retriever breeder today and bring your pup home!

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Is a Retriever the Right Dog for You?

Last Updated: April 8, 2016 | Posted In: General

Is a Retriever the Right Dog for YouYou may have just looked into the soulful brown eyes of a Retriever and immediately known he or she is the dog for you. While this instinct is most-likely right, you still should consider if a Retriever is the right dog for you. This will help you feel confident in your choice as well as assure you that you can provide a safe, healthy environment and lifestyle for a Retriever.

  • Veterinary Care – Providing regular veterinarian care for your Retriever includes costs for office visits, vaccinations, necessary tests, emergency care, medicine and other costs throughout his or her lifetime. There is the opportunity to purchase pet health insurance and some veterinarian offices offer payment plans, but either way you still have to be capable of affording yearly veterinarian bills throughout the entire lifetime of your Retriever.
  • Food – Retrievers might be soft, furry pups when you first get him or her home, but within three years they are a medium-sized adult dog that requires a good amount of food on a daily basis. Feeding one Retriever per year can cost up to $400 depending on the type of brand and food you choose.
  • Necessities – Your Retriever will need dishes, toys, bedding, crates, collars, leashes, brushes and much more throughout their lifetime. These essentials for living a good life will become costly over the years.
  • Regular Grooming – Retrievers have beautiful coats that need attention on a regular basis. You will need to brush your Retriever at least every other day. In addition, you may have to visit a groomer every six to eight weeks for nail trimming, ear cleaning and more.
  • Exercise – Retrievers are energetic and have enthusiasm for life. To keep your dog healthy you will need to dedicate at least one hour a day to exercising your dog. This can be broken into 20 to 30 minute increments too. You will also need to have the energy to exercise and walk this amount of time on a daily basis. If you are not physically able to keep up with the exercise demands, you will want to at least have a fenced in yard for your Retriever to run around in to keep him or her healthy.
  • Shedding – If you are a person that is more comfortable with a well kept home than a lived-in look, you may want to reconsider getting a Retriever. First, as Retrievers grow up they go through stages of chewing on objects. While every pet parent hopes it is their toys they desire the most, it is common for Retrievers to chew on furniture, shoes and other objects. Also, Retrievers shed hair all year long. There are times of the year when the shedding increases as they lose their winter coat. This means you will have hair sporadically located throughout your home on a regular basis, no matter how much you vacuum and clean.

Now that you have learned more about Retrievers, you can make a good decision if the breed is the right one for you. Remember to take into consideration all of the needs that are required to be a pet parent. If you spend most of your time away from home and at work, you may not be ready to be a pet parent. However, if you always have family members at home that enjoy caring for a Retriever and are seeking a rewarding bond with a dog, a Retriever might be the best choice for you.

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Essentials for Traveling with Your Retriever

Last Updated: December 2, 2015 | Posted In: General

Essentials for Traveling with Your RetrieverTraveling with your Retriever can be stressful and sap their mental and physical energy. Retrievers enjoy living a routine life and when a trip comes along, even if it is to their favorite camp ground, it can cause anxiety. To make your travel experience more enjoyable and lessen stress, you will want to be prepared with essentials that will keep your Retriever safe and happy.

  • Favorite Items – Does your Retriever have a favorite toy, blanket or object they enjoy cuddling up with? Bring it along on your trip. This will provide your dog with something familiar and help him to feel more comfortable.
  • Travel Kennel – A travel kennel should be spacious enough for your Retriever to stand up and turn around easily. Place a mat or blanket and some favorite toys in the kennel with your Retriever. The kennel can be secured in the back seat and is a safe way to allow your dog to travel in the car. The kennel will also come in handy at hotels, lodges, plus relatives and friends homes. Since dogs are den animals it also provides a sense of security for your Retriever.
  • Food and Water – Bring your Retrievers current brand of dog food in dry and wet formula. Also bring along your dog’s favorite treats. Make sure you have enough food packed to last the entire trip plus an addition two days in case of delays. Bring along fresh bottled water too. You can choose to bring along your Retrievers regular food and water bowls or purchase travel size and portable dishes.
  • Medication and First-Aid Kit – If your dog takes medication on a regular basis you will want to bring it along on the trip. Remember to have prescriptions refilled and make sure the medication amount is capable of lasting throughout the entire trip and afterwards. Pack a canine first-aid kit and make sure it has hydrogen peroxide, tweezers, scissors, medical tape, gauze wrap and any other item you feel is necessary for your specific dog.
  • Emergency Contact Information – Before leaving your home, program your travel destinations local animal hospital and veterinarian offices phone numbers and addresses in your cell phone. Or, write down the details on a piece of paper and keep it close by during your trip.
  • Collar, Tags and Leash – Most destinations such as campgrounds, hotels, lodges and other locations require dogs to be on a leash in public areas at all times. Bring along a leash and collar that is comfortable for your Retriever. Also link identity tags with your dog’s name, your phone number, address and medical conditions on the color. If your dog gets lost it will help with a safe and quick return.

Always keep in mind that traveling may seem fun, but if your dog is not use to riding in a car for extended periods of time they may become anxious and nervous. When taking a road trip, schedule stops and breaks to allow your Retriever to get out of his travel kennel and walk around to stretch his or her legs. Also provide fresh water at all times to avoid dehydration. Enjoy traveling with your Retriever and remember to bring these important travel essentials along on your trip.

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Preparing to Bring Home Your Retriever Pup

Last Updated: October 28, 2015 | Posted In: General

Preparing to Bring Home Your Retriever PupCongratulations! You are becoming a pet parent to an adorable Retriever that will depend on you to care for them and provide them with all of their needs. While this may seem overwhelming it is also one of the most rewarding experiences pet owners receive. Before you panic, try your best to take a deep breath and prepare to bring your pup home. The following details will guide you towards successfully preparing for the arrival of your Retriever pup.

  • Choose a Veterinarian – You will most-likely be visiting the veterinarian within the first two weeks of your Retrievers arrival. This is to get a check-up, prepare a vaccination schedule and discuss any health issues your pup may be experiencing. Choose a veterinarian that is in your community that makes it quick and easy to reach in case of emergency situations.
  • Purchase Food and Treats – As a dog owner you will want to choose to provide your Retriever with a healthy diet for his or her size and age. You will also want to have delicious treats handy.
  • Purchase a Crate – All dogs are den animals and your Retriever enjoys feeling safe. A crate acts as a den and will provide your Retriever with much needed feelings of security and safety.
  • Choose a Bed – Purchase a soft bed large enough for your Retriever to fit into comfortably. You can also choose to add a soft blanket for him or her to cuddle up with and sleep.
  • Provide lots of Toys – Toys may not seem like an essential for dogs, but the truth is, they are a necessity. Toys keep your pup’s mind occupied, intrigued, captivated and allows them to be playful. Soft toys can also act as a security blanket and a cuddle object that can ease stress and anxiety in your pup.
  • Purchase a Collar, Identity Tag and Leash – Choose a collar that is comfortable for your Retriever. You have options such as harnesses or standard neck collars. You will also want to have an identity tag created with the name of your pup, your phone number and address. This will be beneficial if your Retriever gets lost and can’t find his or her way back home. Choose a leash that will fit comfortably in your hand and allow your Retriever to walk side-by-side with you.
  • Puppy Proof Your Home – This is an essential step to keeping your Retriever safe and healthy. You will want to remove any objects in your home, yard or car that your pup can choke on or can be toxic. Remove any toxic plants from your living space and yard. You can replace them with dog friendly plants, trees and bushes.

Now that you are all prepared for the arrival of your Retriever pup, keep in mind that you will have to begin training him or her the moment they arrive. This is important because you immediately need to show that you are the pack leader at their new home. Luckily, Retrievers are one of the smartest dog breeds in the world and are obedient. Welcome your Retriever to a safe, healthy, happy home today!

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10 Cool Facts about Retrievers

Last Updated: July 14, 2015 | Posted In: General

Retrievers are sweet, kind, loving family dogs and companions that bring joy every day to the lives of dog owners. If a Retriever is already part of your family or you are thinking of welcoming one into your life soon, there are some cool facts that everyone should know about Retrievers. Enjoy learning more about Retrievers and welcome one into your life today.

1- There are a Variety of Retrievers – Retrievers are in the gundog grouping and have a keen ability to work alongside game hunters. They have a lively manner, highly enthusiastic, high aptitude for training and extremely obedient. There are a variety of Retrievers including the Chesapeake Bay, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling, Flat Coated, Curly Coated, Golden and Labrador Retriever.

2- Their Lifespan has a Long Range – A good healthy diet, plenty of exercise and a loving dog owner helps Retrievers live a lifespan that reaches between 10 to 12 years of age. There have been times that they have lived a few years more and reaching 14 years.

3- They are Working Dogs – While they make excellent game hunting companions they are more commonly known for their compassion and intelligence that makes them excellent guide, search and rescue and therapy workers.

4- They Love Children – When socialized early Retrievers have the ability to become best friends with children. They will happily and energetically play alongside kids and later nap beside them. They are gentle and caring towards children.

5- They are One of the Smartest Dog Breeds – Retrievers are highly intelligent and easy to train. Dog owners can teach obedience and agility training with ease. Since Retrievers have superior intelligence they are also known to be creative when escaping a fenced in yard.

6- They have an Excellent Sense of Smell – They have an extremely powerful sense of smell that is commonly used to seek out game in the field during hunting season. Due to their keen sense of smell police departments and the military often assign them to work side-by-side with personnel as search-and-rescue dogs and bomb sniffers.

7- They are Paid Actors – Due to their high intelligence they are easily trainable as actors. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Retrievers appeared in popular television sitcoms as well as movies. Their kind, gentle appearance and well behaved manners caused them to be in high demand for television and movie studios.

8- They Love to Swim – Since Retrievers were bred to work as game hunting dogs, they naturally enjoy swimming in water. Often times game will fall into water and the Retriever has to swim to reach the object. As a family dog, owners can enjoy swimming alongside their Retriever in the pool, lake or ocean.

9- They Can Become Watchdogs – Although Retrievers are known today as a family dog, they are also very loyal to their owner and can be trained to be a guard dog.

10- They Shed All Year – Retrievers have a beautiful coat that sheds all year long. This means owners will need to brush and groom their dog on a regular basis to remove excess hair.

Now that you have learned these cool facts about Retrievers, you most-likely have fallen in love with the breed even more than you did before. These sweet, kind, gentle dogs have an energetic personality and enjoy being part of a family. They are loyal, obedient and wonderful companions. If you don’t already own a Retriever, make today the day you welcome one into your life and family.

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Socializing Your Retriever

Last Updated: June 22, 2015 | Posted In: General

You just brought your Retriever pup home and now you want to make him or her as comfortable as possible. You will begin obedience training right away, plus you will want to introduce socialization too. Socializing your Retriever is important for him or her to live a positive and healthy lifestyle. You don’t want your pup being afraid of their surroundings or people throughout their entire lifetime. Begin socializing your Retriever as soon as they arrive at your home.

  • Introductions – First introduce yourself and your immediate family that lives in your home to your pup. Allow them to sniff your hands and toes and get use to his or her new family. Next, you will want to introduce your pup to their new environment, your home and yard. Allow your pup to roam around exploring your home and yard.
  • Extended Family and Friends – Once your Retriever pup has become familiar with you, your family and your home, introduce him or her to your extended family and friends. Invite your loved ones over to meet your pup and new family member. Allow them to play toys and hold him or her.
  • Environmental Surroundings – Allow your pup to discover his or her new neighborhood. Whether you live in a home or an apartment you will be bringing your pup outdoors for walks and playtime. Your pup will gradually become familiar with the sounds within your neighborhood. You may live in a quiet area that has children playing and other dogs barking. Or, you may live in a busy city that has honking horns, loud buses and busy streets. Either way, you will want your pup to become comfortable with environmental surroundings. You will achieve this by exposing them to the outdoors on a daily basis.
  • Meeting other Dogs and Animals – If you have other pets in your household you will want to introduce your Retriever to them as soon as possible. Always observe the introduction and never leave your pup alone with your other pets until you are sure they get along well together. Your other pets may not be welcoming to an energetic ball of fur so quickly. If you have friends that have dogs you may want to set up play dates for them to meet. This will allow your dog to play with other dogs in his or her home environment. Once you see that your pup is comfortable with other dogs, you can venture out to the dog park. Keep a close eye on your pup at the dog park since other dogs may be highly energetic and play rough with your pup.

Socializing your pup is easy and involves you encouraging exposure to a variety of sights, sounds, places, voices, people, animals and other dogs. It is highly important to bring your dog to certain places on a daily basis that will be a regular part of your life. For example, if you plan to bring your dog with you to an outdoor café a few times a week, you will want to begin this adventure as a young pup. Begin socializing your Retriever today so he or she can live a happy and fulfilled lifestyle.

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Summer Fun for Retrievers

Last Updated: May 20, 2015 | Posted In: General

The summer has arrived! Clean up the yard, fire up the barbeque pit, invite family and friends over and plan outdoor fun with your dog. Summer is the perfect time of year to get out of the house, breathe some fresh air and invite your sweet companion along for the adventure. There are a variety of fun activities that your Retriever will love to participate in all summer long.

  • Summer Drills – Retrievers are known for their keen duck hunting skills. Allow your dog to practice drills during summer. Even though it is the off season, it will allow your dog to gain experience and enjoy bonding time with you.
  • Swimming – You can either choose to join your dog in the water at the pool, lake and beach or you can allow your dog to cool off and exercise by throwing sticks, toys or balls into the water for your dog to retrieve. Your dog will enjoy cooling off, swimming, running into the water and splashing around on a hot summer day.
  • Hiking – Many dog owners have kept their Retriever cooped up inside during the harsh winter weather. Summer is a perfect time to take your dog hiking. It will allow your dog to get much needed exercise, captivate his or her mind with new surroundings and enjoy bonding time with you.
  • Sprinklers – If you don’t live near a water source that allows swimming, you can turn your yard into a mini water park for your dog. If you already have a sprinkler system set up just turn them on and encourage your dog to run around and play in the water. If you don’t have a sprinkler system, you can purchase a sprinkler that attaches to a water hose. Set the sprinkler in your yard, turn on the hose and watch your dog run, jump, splash around and play in the water. This is also a child-friendly activity that is fun for the entire family.
  • Kiddie Pools – Cooling off during the summer heat is important for dogs. Providing a kiddie pool filled with refreshing water and some waterproof dog toys is a great way for your dog to play and cool off.
  • Camping – Retrievers love being part of the family. Enjoy a weekend camping trip and bring your pooch along. You can play outdoor games such as fetch and Frisbee with your dog to pass the time. It also allows your dog to be closer to nature and breathe fresh air.

Enjoy these fun summer activities and many more with your Retriever this summer. Remember not to overdo it, provide plenty of fresh water, avoid the hottest part of the day and supervise all activities. Retrievers are known to be strong swimmers. However, not all retrievers find it easy during certain times in their life. If your Retriever has difficulty swimming but seems to enjoy the water, provide him or her with a life jacket. This will keep him or her safe during water related activities. Make your dog’s summer the best by allowing him or her to participate in a variety of activities.

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The St. Johns Water Dog – Ancestor to all Retrievers

Last Updated: March 19, 2015 | Posted In: General

Although they may not look much alike, the retrievers all share at least one common ancestor. It is a Canadian ancestor that was developed on the east coast of Canada in Newfoundland. Like many dogs of the time, he had a specific job to do was more than a pretty face. At the time, it is unlikely that the many contributors to the creation of the St. Johns Water Dog would know how far reaching the result of their efforts would go in creating retrievers that would become among the world’s most popular breeds.

In the 1500s, European fishermen would venture out to the shores of Newfoundland in Canada to take advantage of the bounteous quantities of fish available there. They brought their own dogs with them and these animals interbred along with the Native Indian dogs in the area. This meshing of dogs evolved into a premier quality retriever that was known by various names, most commonly the lesser Newfoundland and the St. Johns Water Dog.

The dogs served multiple purposes, helping to haul in nets, tow boats, and carry ropes between boats. When on land, he acted to retrieve shot game and waterfowl for his master. They were strong swimmers and excellent retrievers. Fishermen and hunters alike extolled their virtues. They had shorter coats than the greater Newfoundland who would ultimately develop in the modern Newfoundland dog. The two types of Newfoundland were not bred to one another and would develop distinct talents of their own.

The St. Johns Water Dog was usually black with white on the chest, feet, and sometimes the face. They were sturdy dogs with straight tails that acted as rudders in the water. The short, thick coat helped protect them from the icy waters of the area.

Not surprisingly, as word of the breed’s abilities spread, they were exported to England and other countries where they were bred to local dogs to increase and improve their own abilities. Unfortunately, Newfoundland began heavily taxing owners of dogs that were not useful in sheep farming. This led to a serious decline in the number of St. Johns Water Dogs. England would later develop quarantine laws that would limit further importation of the breed as well.

In England, the breed would become one of the many breeds used to develop the Labrador Retriever, Flat Coated Retriever, and Curly Coated Retriever. In the United States, dogs resembling the St. Johns Water Dog would become an integral part of the development of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. The Flat Coated Retriever, a descendant of the St. Johns Water Dog, would be used as one of the breeds to develop the Golden Retriever in England and the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever in Canada.

Although their numbers continued to dwindle remnants of the St. Johns Water Dog would survive late into the 20th century. The last known picture of a pair of St. Johns Water Dogs was taken in 1981. They were both male and very old at the time. It was the end of the breed.

Surviving pictures of the St. Johns Water Dog, show a dog that looks a lot like a black Labrador cross with white markings on the chest and feet and, sometimes, muzzle. They lacked the refinement seen today in many retriever breeds and bear little resemblance to any of the other retrievers. However, retriever fans owe them a debt for they are one of the reasons that the retrievers exist today. Their instincts, swimming abilities, and devotion to retrieving on land and in the water, are the reason that the many retriever breeds we know today remain a popular choice as family pet and working retriever.

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The Different Retriever Breeds

Last Updated: February 18, 2015 | Posted In: General

There are a number of gundog breeds that were created specifically to work as retrievers in the field with a hunter. Some were bred for work on land, retrieving upland game birds. Others were created to retrieve birds from the water. Most will retrieve a bird, regardless of whether you are on land or water but they have some areas they excel at more than other.

In general, gun dogs are companionable dogs that do well in family situations. They are easy to train and live to please their owners. There are differences in temperament, coat, and exercise needs between the six basic retriever breeds.

Labrador Retrievers

America’s most popular breed for decades now, the Labrador Retriever is an all-around great choice for a family pet. They require little grooming beyond the basics of trimming nails and cleaning ears. They love children and are generally pretty happy go lucky dogs. They are known for some health issues including hip dysplasia, allergies, and skin issues. If you choose to get a Lab, you need to make sure you research your breeder carefully. Choose someone who does the recommended health testing and offers a written health guarantee. They come in chocolate (brown), yellow, and black. Silver is the result of a dilution gene and is not considered acceptable by the national breed club.

There is a general split between Labradors bred for shows versus Labradors bred for hunting trials. This is not to say that show dogs lack instincts but they don’t always look the same as hunt bred Labs. If you are interested in hunting with your Labrador and especially if you are interested in field trialing your Lab, you need to make sure you choose a breeder that either works their dogs in the field or routinely produces dogs that hunt for their owners.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers were called the “gentleman’s hunting companion”. They’re more sedate than some other retrievers. Like the Labrador, they are known for their exceptional disposition and love of children. The longer coat is quite beautiful but does take a little more care including regular brushing. Like the Lab, Goldens are prone to several health issues and it is important to research your breeder carefully. Goldens range in color from a very pale cream to a rich mahogany golden color.

This is another breed with a definite split between show and hunting lines. They don’t always look alike and hunting instinct may not be priority with some breeders. If you intend to hunt with your Golden, make sure that you look for a breeder that does working tests, field trials, hunt tests, or actively hunts their dogs to prove that the instincts are there.

Flatcoated Retrievers

Flatcoats are less well known in North America than in their native Britain. They are slighter than Labradors and Goldens but equally good natured. They were bred for upland bird retrieving. They are smart, friendly and fairly active dogs. Although they have fewer health issues than Labs and Goldens, you still need to do your research. Flatcoats come in solid black or solid liver (brown). There is no split between field and show lines and most breeders produce dogs capable of excelling in either arena.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Chessies were created to retrieve sea ducks out of the frigid waters of the Chesapeake Bay. They are hardy, active dogs with strong hunting instincts. There is no difference between field and show lines and the hunting instincts tend to be very strong in them.

Chessies come in a range of shades of brown that are often referred to by names such as dead grass, sedge, and tan. They are generally larger than Labradors and Goldens. Although they are very devoted to their families, they do not have the same “love everyone” attitude of the Labrador and Golden Retrievers. They have more guarding instincts and can be protective.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

Up until relatively recently, Nova Scotia Duck Tollers were not well known outside of their native Canada. They are smaller than the other retriever breeds, usually weighing less than fifty pounds. Their coat is longer than that of a Labrador or Chessie but shorter than a Golden’s. It is a combination of red-brown and white. They were bred to lure the duck into the shore by tolling. Like all retrievers they are happy go lucky dogs that live to please their owners. They are high energy dogs that need lots of exercise. There is no split between field and show lines and most breeders produce dual purpose dogs.

Curly-Coated Retrievers

Curlies are far less common than the other five breeds. Their coat is a mass of short, tight curls that dry quickly. They come in solid black or solid brown. They are a little more reserved than the other retriever breeds but can make fine family pets. Like the Chessie, they can be more stubborn than a Labrador or Golden. There is no split between field and show lines and most breeders produce dogs capable of excelling in any arena.

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