Is the Labrador Retriever or the Chesapeake Bay Retriever for you?


brown labrador


The Labrador Retriever
Outgoing, spirited, affectionate family dog

Famously friendly, this sweet, lovable breed is ranked most popular in North America for good reason. This easygoing, amiable family dog bonds with the whole family and gets along well with other dogs. His otter-like tail, wagging in enthusiasm, is likely to clear coffee tables.

And he’s a beauty. The Lab’s hard coat comes in yellow, black, and chocolate, and is slightly oily to bestow water repellency—these dogs love the water.

Bred to be an all-around, rugged and versatile retriever, the Lab is an athlete and needs lots of exercise—don't go out and get a Lab unless you are prepared to meet the needs of a high-energy breed developed to plow through densely tangled vegetation, churn through icy water, search around diligently to find what he's looking for, and charge back and ask, "What's next?"

This is the ultimate natural, all-purpose utility dog: strong, active, agile, and enthusiastic. And hungry—these dogs love their food. The breed’s popularity is well deserved: he’s amiable, versatile, and up for anything, including a cuddle on the couch with the family after a marathon fetch session.

Is the Labrador Retriever right for you?
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The Chesapeake Bay Retriever:
Athletic, intelligent, sensitive

Famous for his wavy, waterproof coat and gorgeous amber eyes, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a tireless duck dog hailing from the Mid-Atlantic. Bred to retrieve waterfowl in an unforgiving, icy environment, this powerfully built breed (males can weigh up to 80 pounds) is strong yet sensitive. Bright, loyal, affectionate, and athletic, the Chessie is emotionally complex. “Chessies take to training, but they have a mind of their own and can tenaciously pursue their own path,” notes the AKC. And compared to many Retriever breeds, the Chessie is downright aloof, particularly where strangers are concerned.  

The Chessie is assertive and confident, but with a soft side. These dogs bond intently with their loved ones, and are smart, biddable, and eager to please. 

So, is the Chessie the right dog for you? If you love the idea of a Labrador Retriever, but can’t stop thinking about those amber eyes and that dense curly coat… then no, the Chessie is not for you.

The Chessie wants to work. For those in search of “just” a companion, this is not the breed. The Chessie’s not just a version of a Lab or a Golden. He’s his own dog—and he’s a lot of dog. The Chessie loves his people but this breed needs to be busy—runs, hunts, walks, playtime. The Chessie is an “up for anything” dog—especially if it involves physical or mental exertion.

Is the The Chesapeake Bay Retriever right for you?
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