One of the most popular types of dog breeds is the retriever. These dogs were bred to assist hunters in locating waterfowl as well as other types of game. Not only were they trained to locate the hunter’s prey, but to bring it back to the hunter undamaged. The dog for the job would need to have a “soft” mouth, which meant the dog would have to return the prey without mutilation. Retrievers instinctively know how to grab a bird in its mouth without fully biting down, which could make the bird inedible for human consumption.
These dogs were also developed to possess both strength and endurance as well as some agility; they would need these characteristics in order to travel over rugged territory that may or may not possess bodies of water. Retrievers would need to be highly intelligent and easily trainable as well. Finally, those who developed retrievers looked for a certain amount of loyalty to their handlers. Retrievers are highly tuned in to their handlers. They follow commands very well, and they learn quickly. In addition, retriever breeds are patient dogs, which makes them great with children.
The retriever breeds are unique in that they have webbed toes, which assist them when they retrieve prey from bodies of water. They are excellent swimmers as a result.
The endurance and strength of the retriever breeds have made them desirable dogs; however, their deep desire to please their handlers makes them one of the most popular breeds of dogs today.
The American Kennel Club recognizes six different retriever dog breeds, and the AKC has placed these dogs in the Sporting Dog breed group.
1. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The story of how the Chesapeake Bay Retriever came to be is rather interesting. The ancestry of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever can be traced back to two dogs that managed to survive the wreck of an English brig off the coast of Maryland. In 1807, this cargo ship crashed, but the crew, the two dogs, and the cargo of the ship were all rescued. The dogs that survived were a male, a red puppy named Sailor, and a female, named Canton. Both were St. John’s Newfoundland puppies.
The dogs ended up staying in the coastal community where they were rescued. They were both noted natural retrievers. Ironically, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was not a direct result of breeding these two puppies, but through the breeding of each puppy with a variety of other dogs. Experts believe the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was not only the offspring of Sailor and Canton’s puppies (remember, they were interbred with other dogs) but also the introduction of these puppies to an Otterhound, a Curly-Coated Retriever, and a Flat-Coat Retriever. The result of these multiple generations of breeding was a highly intelligent gun dog with a wavy coat. The characteristic color of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is anywhere from straw color to a brown-colored coat.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is one of the larger retriever breeds. They are muscular and stout, and they are set apart in that their eyes are often amber or yellow in color. They are nicknamed “Chessies,” and they are the third most popular retriever breed in the United States. Like the Lab and the Golden, the Chessie possesses the same intelligent and sweet disposition.
2. The Curly-Coated Retriever
This breed is one of the oldest retriever breeds. Its appearance as a singular breed can be traced back to the 1700s. The Curly-Coated Retriever can trace its roots to St. John’s Newfoundland, the English Water Spaniel, and the Poodle. Known as a very versatile dog, the Curly-Coated Retriever is one that possesses a water-resistant coat that is characteristically small and tight curls that are close to the skin. The Curly-Coated Retriever is unique not only because of its tight curls but because its head is best described as wedge-shaped. The Curly-Coated Retriever is not known for shedding, which is why many experts believe the Curly-Coated Retriever is related to Poodles.
The Curly-Coated Retriever is one that some describe as aloof, but, overall, the Curly-Coated Retriever is loyal, reliable, and able to endure long treks to retrieve prey. Like other retriever breeds, the Curly-Coated Retriever is very eager to please its handler. The Curly-Coated Retriever tends to be more friendly and playful around familiar families.
3. The Flat-Coated Retriever
Like many other retriever breeds, the Flat-Coated Retriever has genetic ties to St. John’s Newfoundland that is present in the Chesapeake Bay and the Curly-Coated Retriever.
The Newfoundland ancestor of the Flat-Coated Retriever was likely bred to both spaniel-type water dogs as well as sheepdogs. The Flat-Coated Retriever that resulted is one that appears very physically closely related to the Labrador Retriever, although the Flat-Coated Retriever is markedly leaner than the Lab. The Flat-Coated Retriever does shed, and you’ll need to brush his coat weekly in order to prevent dog hair on your furniture and clothing.
At one time, the Flat-Coated Retriever almost became extinct itself. During and after World War II, the breed dwindled in number. However, they had been one of the most popular breeds in England prior to World War I. It is likely that the ravages of war led to the sharp decline in Flat-Coated Retriever numbers in England, but, those who brought this trusty pup back to the United States likely contributed to the increased popularity in the breed.
The Flat-Coated Retriever typically has a coat that ranges in colors from the liver to black, and he has a marked feathering on his tail and legs. The Flat-Coated Retriever also sports a long head, making this breed one of a kind among the retriever breeds.
The Flat-Coated Retriever is one whose coat serves a distinct purpose. The Flat-Coated Retriever’s coat protects her from icy, wet precipitation and icy ground cover.
4. The Golden Retriever
One of the most popular of the retriever breeds is the Golden Retriever. In fact, it ranks as number three among the most popular breeds in America. Although it is one of the most popular American dog breeds, the Golden Retriever can trace its origins to the Scottish Highlands in the late 1800s.
A Scottish nobleman, Lord Tweedmouth, wanted a retriever that was not only superior in skill but one that could withstand all types of weather. Lord Tweedmouth (Dudley Marjoribanks, by given name) took a yellow male and bred the dog to a Tweed Water Spaniel. The yellow male was the product of a black Wavy-Coated Retriever that was black in color. The Tweed Water Spaniel was liver-colored, but the mating between the yellow male and the Tweed Water Spaniel resulted in yellow-colored, loyal, intelligent dogs that would be the direct ancestors of the Golden Retriever we know today.
Some will recognize the Golden Retriever for numerous roles in Hollywood television and movies. A Golden Retriever was the family pet who could sometimes be messy on ABC’s “Full House.”
There are three breed variations of the Golden Retriever. There is an American version, a British version, and a Canadian version.
Lord Tweedmouth’s litter grew up to be superb hunting dogs. They were tuned in to their handlers, and they were highly eager to please. Training these pups was rather easy due to their high intelligence. Furthermore, these dogs were affectionate, possessed stamina, and had distinct beauty.
The Golden Retriever of today may appear in a straw, yellow, red, or cream color. They have medium-length hair that is somewhat wavy. Some would describe their coat as “shaggy.” They do shed, and pet parents will have to brush them regularly to rid the coat of loose hair.
5. The Labrador Retriever
Ranking with the Golden Retriever in popularity is The Labrador Retriever. Once again, it is likely this retrieving breed is associated with the Newfoundland dog. Although the Labrador is associated with the Labrador area of Canada, most experts now believe that the Lab originated in the country of Newfoundland.
The Labrador Retriever is linked to fishermen in the 1600s in the Newfoundland area. These fishermen needed dogs that could work both in and out of the water, helping to draglines and nets alongside the fishermen. The chief characteristics of these dogs were an eager personality and stamina that could endure hours of work in icy waters. These dogs also retrieved fish that might have fallen off of the fishermen’s hooks.
The dogs that worked with the fishermen in St. John’s Newfoundland became known as “St. John’s dogs,” and many of them were brought to England with those who had spent time fishing in the area but returned home. By the 1800s, these St. John’s dogs had caught the attention of the English aristocracy, and they were favorites in the hunting field.
The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed in the United States for many reasons. It is a highly loyal dog, affectionate, and a great pet for families. Labrador Retrievers today are sometimes utilized as bird hunting dog companions, but, most Labs are service dogs or therapy dogs and emotional support dogs. They also work as drug dogs and participate in search and rescue missions.
Many will recognize the Lab for its presence in television and movies as well. A cream-colored lab played the part of Marley in the movie version of the book Marley and Me.
6. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Known as the “Toller,” this retriever breed hails from Nova Scotia. During the 19th century, this dog was developed for a particular type of retrieving called “tolling.” The dog actually draws the prey in by playing with a stick or a ball on shore, and the curious birds then come closer to land in order to see what’s going on. This would give the hunter the ability to choose prey at a closer range.
Most experts believe that the hunters who developed the breed noticed foxes playing on the shore of their favorite hunting spots, which drew the attention of their favorite waterfowl. They taught the “Toller” how to perform similar activities, which worked so that the hunters could target their prey more easily.
The Toller has a red coat which may have various white markings. They are double-coated dogs, a charateristic that helps to repel water when these dogs retrieve in lakes and ponds.
1. What are the 6 retrievers?
The six retriever breeds are the Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the Curly-Coated Retriever, and the Flat-Coated Retriever.
2. What are the 3 types of Golden Retrievers?
There is a dark golden, a light golden, and a golden retriever.
3. How many different types of retriever dogs are there?
There are six types of retrievers that are recognized by the American Kennel Club .
4. What is the calmest retriever?
The Golden Retriever is considered the calmest retriever breed.