The Chesapeake Bay retriever is the only native American sporting dog. His forebears came from England, however.
Some time in the early years of the last century an English sailing ship was wrecked off the coast of Maryland. From it two Newfoundland puppies, a dog and a bitch, were rescued. These two turned out to be wonderful retrievers when they reached maturity. They were crossed with Maryland hounds, and through a period of breeding and cross-breeding, the Chesapeake Bay retriever was finally produced.
Among this hardy type of dog there are the golden retrievers, the Labrador retrievers, the Irish water spaniel, and some others, but our own Chesapeake Bay retriever is perhaps the most popular because of his ability to break his way through ice and frozen mud to reach the precious bird. He is strongly built with a heavy coat which will withstand the coldest weather. His heavy body and muscular limbs make it possible for him to swim without tiring, and also to run for long distances on land. As a dog for duck hunting he is hard to beat.
Do not feel slighted if I have not mentioned your favorite breed, but remember that I am not attempting to give a history of all the various canine families. It is my intention only to show that most of the different
breeds have changed considerably through the years, and that the successful breeder must study the qualities which his own special dogs should possess. Even if it means going against the popularly accepted conception, the experienced breeder should always be on the lookout for any improvement which he may be able to introduce. Frequently it has been men with the courage to fly in the face of public opinion who have been responsible for some of our most noteworthy improvements.
However, I would strongly advise the beginning breeder to content himself with producing puppies as nearly like the present standard of his breed as is possible with the stock at his disposal. Later, as his knowledge increases, he will be ready to join the ranks of the breeders who are striving daily to improve their own breed.