ORIGIN AND HISTORY
Early settlers to the United States marveled at the richness and diversity of life in and along the Chesapeake Bay. Ducks have always been especially plentiful, and sportsmen with able retrievers have enjoyed great success there. So valued was the right kind of retriever that over time, a special dog was developed—one who could withstand the icy water and rough waves of the saltwater bay.
The breed’s development happened over much of the 19th century and had multiple influences. Two shipwrecked Newfoundland-type dogs, a black female named “Canton” and a red male named “Sailor,” are credited with founding the breed, but since these dogs were never bred to each other, it is likely that other breeds were also used. It is believed that Red Winchesters from Ireland and possibly the Irish Water Spaniel contributed to the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Records show that some of these dogs could average a thousand ducks each fall, and the tougher the hunting conditions, the more they seemed to like it.
Read more about the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
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Excerpted from World Atlas of Dog Breeds, 6th Edition. © 2009 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.