Welcome to Breed News Weekly – the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club’s weekly roundup of what is going on in the Chesapeake world. If you have something you’d like to share, please email Chrissie Mayhew at bobmayhewQhorses@aol.com.

16 January 2022

Fantastic news that long-time Chesapeake owner and club member, Mark Poulton is engaged to his lovely new lady, Rhian. Many of us will know that Mark’s previous partner, Iris, sadly lost her battle with breast cancer some time ago. Mark and his previous dog Oscar (Penrose Keen Machine) would often run in the club tests and in 2018 won the Open test with some great work.

Now a headkeeper on a small syndicate shoot in Cheshire, Mark has Rhian as his underkeeper and general dog’s body (his words!) but they both have full-time jobs as well. It is so nice when two people have the same interests  and the couple, who both shoot, presently have four dogs – two cockers, a Lab and a new addition of a Chesapeake puppy named Otto. Otto is destined to be trained for picking up and to run in tests, and Rhian is hoping to show him too. It will be good to welcome them both to the Chesapeake shows. I am sure that everyone will join me in wishing Mark and Rhian all the happiness for their future life together. 

Mark and Rhian

I was puzzled to read recent breed notes in Our Dogs where the writer says, “I am always disappointed when there are gundog shows on days other than a Sunday throughout the shooting season – a tough decision for those who are truly dual purpose.” Is the writer implying that those dogs shown were not dual purpose, I wondered? Surely the writer does not think that a working gundog must work six days a week in order to be ‘truly dual purpose’? My definition of a dual-purpose gundog is one that works with the gun but also shows, and when I say works with the gun, it could be wildfowling, rough shooting, picking up or even being a peg dog. A Chesapeake should be capable (and many have proven this) of working hard one day and showing in the ring the next. Coat and condition in the show ring should not be affected by work if well fed enough to cover the extra energy used. In fact, the opposite will often apply as a dog will show much more muscle during the shooting season. In the same notes, a report on the LKA show was also inaccurate, by suggestion almost malicious. I can find no reason for those who have a voice in the press to use it in a way other than to report news or educate.

At the recent Taunton and District Canine Association Open Show, Jo Coppin and Darren Davies-Jones’ Freja (Dallandor Jocasta) won yet another big award from the AVNSC classes and was reserve under judge Jane Eyeington. Freja is being worked this season and perfectly proved the show/work possibilities.

For those who are going to Manchester show at Stafford showground next week, don’t forget that you humans will need to show covid vaccination status!

From our KC Health rep:
“It is strongly recommended by both the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club and the Kennel Club that all Chesapeakes are genetically screened for PRA and DM, have a current clear eye certificate, and have their hips and elbows scored, before breeding. All of these results will be recorded by the KC and shown on the KC Health Test Results Finder. Some people are also choosing to have further health tests done, such as the genetic test for EIC (Exercise Induced Collapse). Lots of people are also testing for the long coat gene as whilst having a long coat is not detrimental to a dog’s health, it is undesirable in a working breed, so it makes sense to avoid producing long-coated puppies. The KC is not currently recording results from these additional tests, but the CBRC is. 

If you have had your dog tested for EIC, ED/SDS or the long coat gene, please email copies of the test results to Breed Health Coordinator Sue Worrall at chesapeakeblue@btinternet.com and we will share all results in the yearbook from next year. 

Don’t forget that CBRC members can get the DM/PRA/EIC tests done at a 20% discount from Animal DNA Diagnostics when ordered as a bundle. New this week is that you can now get the long coat gene from the same company with a 20% discount too – for club members only. Ask us for the discount code when you are ready to order.”

From the ACC Judge and Breeder Education Committee 2021, a comprehensive piece about the outline of our breed:

Outline is the basic form of a dog in profile, and any judge, breeder or fancier should immediately be able identify the breed from outline alone. For the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, originally developed as a water retriever and bred to hunt under the harshest conditions, the outline or silhouette should convey soundness, power, stamina, and overall balance.

The CBR head is distinctive from other retriever breeds, with a broad, round skull, medium stop, and a tapered muzzle that is pointed but not sharp. The tapered muzzle, as opposed to square, lessens the amount of lower jaw submerged in water when performing water retrieves. The muzzle should be approximately the same length as the skull. Lips are thin, not pendulous, and ears are set well up on the head so water does not easily enter the ear canal when swimming. The neck is medium length but muscular to facilitate carrying birds of all sizes and weight on water and should transition smoothly into the shoulders.

Body is of medium length and slightly longer than tall. The forequarters have strong, sloping shoulders with straight, medium-length legs showing good bone and muscle. Pasterns are slightly bent. A strong, short back is well-coupled at the loin. Stifles are well-angulated, with the rear showing as much power as the forequarters with no tendency toward weakness. Powerful hindquarters are necessary for swimming, especially under the harsh conditions the Chesapeake is bred for, and working difficult terrain. The tail should be medium length with, as the Standard states, a “medium heavy base.” Standing, in outline or silhouette, the tail should appear straight or slightly curved with no tendency to curl.

The Chesapeake topline is unique when compared to the five other retriever breeds in the Sporting Group, all of which require a level topline. The CBR Standard allows the hindquarters to be as high or a trifle higher than the shoulder. Note the phrase trifle higher as the rise must not be excessive or extreme. For the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, a level topline is also acceptable, and both toplines are equally correct. The topline should not show any weakness such as a dip or swayback; topline should be straight and strong with the allowance of a slight rise toward the top of the hip. Coat can be thicker over the withers and hips which may cause an optical illusion of a dip, but physical exam and movement will determine correct structure.

In underline, the depth of chest should extend at least to the elbow or slightly below. Flank should be tucked up under the loin. Skirting or feathering at the flank may hide the tuck in profile, but that, along with a well-developed barrel ribcage, can be determined upon examination.

Outline reflects the entire dog by bringing together all parts that support a breed’s purpose. The outline should clearly convey overall balance and the hallmark characteristics required to perform the work the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was originally bred for and still excels at today.

9 January 2022

First, a bit of human news … the beautiful Maddie Mahon finally managed to marry her man this last weekend, having had the pandemic cancel previous plans. Maddie and her new husband Jodie, are co-owners of the Our Dogs Top Chesapeake for 2021. Sincere congratulations to this lovely couple.

Congratulations to Maddie and Jodie

Sadly, following her strokes, Thelma Thompson remains in hospital receiving physio to get her right hand and leg working properly again. I asked Thelma for an update this week and she says that she is improving slowly and will let us all know when she’s up and running! Typical of Thelma’s determination and positive attitude, I know that everyone will wish her well. Sadly it means that she will be unable to come to Manchester dog show which is a great disappointment.

Boston Championship Show was the first show for this year. With no CCs for our breed, we rarely get a good entry but the judge, Bill Orzel had eight dogs to go over and chose for his best of breed, Newton and Mahon’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron for Bergelle, with Playle and Thomas’s Arnac Bay Grebe for Riptide as best bitch. The best puppy went to Oakleaf Manor Bay of Oakmarsh owned by Kirsty Watts. This sedge puppy was imported from German breeder, Thora Eichblatt.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever Calendar 2022 was a great success, and a wonderful £100 has been raised for the breed club from donations.

Lisa Murch who organised the whole thing in record time says, “Thank you all who donated. The 2023 calendar is already in the creation stage, photos are very much needed for this one so please have a dig around and send them over. Photos of late dogs, puppies, and any working photos will be gratefully received and considered for the calendar.” Please send to l.murch@icloud.com throughout the year.

More history from the stud book of Ferdinand Latrobe at Carrolls Island Duck Club. It is so interesting that language and terminology has changed over the years and whereas we in the UK will call a female dog a bitch, the men of the late 1800s would call them sluts. Both words have since become a derogatory term in general use which to me seems an insult to dogs. Whilst we still use the word bitch for a female dog in the UK, it is rarely used in the USA in current times.

Anyway, in July of 1888 the records show that a slut pup was given to the breeding programme and then sent to a Mr Roebling to have ‘broken for the Island’. Of course, nowadays we would say ‘trained for wildfowling’. 

Two dogs who were celebrated on the island were Turk and Juno, and Juno was described as ‘one of the best’ but sadly she died from ‘dog shore sickness’. I have looked this up and it seems to be salt toxicity probably caused by drinking too much salt water while working in the Bay.

One of the sires, a dog named Nero, was evidently a great fighter, something that seemed to be a badge of honour in those days. Evidently Nero attacked a tramp and bit him so severely that he died. Not something we would be proud of these days!

Pride of Maxwell, 1887

Another dog, Sprigg, is described as “a fine large dog red in colour with white frill. He is good all around, works well on the bar [a bar of land in the bay] and over decoys and is the fastest swimmer ever known on the Island and the most intrepid and longest distance jumper from a blind.” (Maybe this gave rise to the sport of dock diving?) Sprigg was obviously a firm favourite as he was described later as being old and infirm but has done good service and will be well cared for. Remember this is in the days where animals were normally disposed of at the end of their working lives. Sprigg died in the winter of 1894. 

Mention of a dog named Zip, born in 1888, interestingly adds that her dam, Mary won first prize at a dog show in Baltimore in 1890. Zip was bred by Mr Mallory who lived on Back River, below Twin Oak. It would be fun to find out exactly where this is. Maybe our Maryland friends can do some detective work?

Christine Mayhew 

2 January 2022

As we enter the new year, I hope that we can all look back on 2021 and remember the good times that we have had with our dogs. I am sure that you will agree that however depressing the world around us can be at times, there is never a day when our dogs don’t make us smile.

2021 started with optimism, only to have various events fall by the wayside due to the pandemic. Four championship shows with Chesapeake classes were cancelled, including Crufts. Never before have I known a year without Crufts. Our working tests had to be cancelled and re-juggled and our AGM finally took place in July when the normal date is in February.

Restrictions and extra requirements were placed on so many of our events and yet the Chesapeake Club’s committee eventually managed to incorporate every new rule and run two working tests, two championship shows, two open shows, and two breed appreciation days.

We were lucky that the majority of the championship and open shows went ahead, which was a breath of fresh air having had virtually no events to attend during the previous 12 months.

The spring working test finally proceeded to run on 13 June. The Club ran an extra class ‘Yearling’ to accommodate those young dogs who, due to the cancellation of the previous year’s events, had not had the opportunity to run in a working test. The winner of this class was Arnac Bay Ibis, handled by Peter Clarke. The puppy class was won by Riptide Decoy Duck, handled by Richard Playle, Novice Dog/Novice Handler had Arnac Bay Hebe winning with Joy Middleton running in her first test. The Beginner class winner was Chesareb Saltmarsh with owner Debbie Crewe, and the Open class saw Vincent Acheson handle Arnac Bay Grouse of Eastering to the winners podium. Judges’ Choice went to Sue Worrall’s Arnac Bay Esk. 

Next on the Club’s calendar was the weekend of four shows, something that took a great deal of organisation by Caroline Griffin-Woods and her helpers.

The first championship show on 3 July had an entry of 49 dogs. Phil Uncles’ veteran dog Sh. Ch. Arnac Bay Exe won Best in Show and the dog CC, with Joy Middleton’s and my own Arnac Bay Hebe taking Best Opposite Sex and the bitch CC, which earned her her Championship. Best Puppy in Show was Richard Playle and Tilly Thomas’s Riptide Whistlin Duck.

The open show held in the afternoon had an entry of 37 dogs, with Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW going Best in Show for owners James Newton and Maddie Mahon. Reserve Best in Show and Best Opposite Sex was Caroline Pont’s Oakmarsh Dancing Diva and the Best Puppy again went to Riptide Whistlin Duck.

On 4 July, the second day’s championship show had an entry of 43 dogs, with Best in Show and her second CC of the weekend going to Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, with the Reserve and the Dog CC going to David Rigby’s Chesepi Waco, his first. This time the Best Puppy went to Riptide Decoy Duck, litter brother to Whistlin Duck.

The open show on the same day had an entry of 34 dogs, with top honours going again to Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, with her sister Arnac Bay Harvest owned by Dave and Thelma Thompson going Reserve Best in Show and their brother, Arnac Bay Huron taking Best Opposite Sex. Riptide Whistlin Duck reclaimed the Best Puppy in Show award. 

The 10 October was the date for the Autumn Working Test, again with a good entry. No awards were made in Puppy, Novice Dog and Handler, or Yearling, due to the fact that everyone failed one part of one of the tests and the KC rule that a zero score in one test means a dog cannot be placed.

The Beginner class was won by Arnac Bay Harvest, handled by Dave Thompson, and the Open class was yet again won by Arnac Bay Grouse of Eastering who also took the Judges’ Choice.

Vincent Acheson with Robin, winner of the Open class at the CBRC working tests. Photo: Mary Murray

Back to the show arena and the Judges’ Education Co-ordinator, James Newton ran two Breed Appreciation Days in November via Zoom. These covered the history of the breed and the breed standard followed by a multiple choice exam for those who wished to judge the breed. With 33 people passing the exam, it increased our list of judges at the early stages who will now continue to gain more experience. 

This past year the Chesapeake Club’s committee have been as busy and have structured Puppy Buyer’s Guidelines (see the Litters page) which will hopefully help those thinking of buying a puppy.

The Club also allocated from club funds generated by the online seminars, £15 each to several show societies to sponsor classes at their club’s open shows on the proviso that they use judges from the Club’s judging lists. This will give our new judges experience in the breed and is a win/win situation.

Three new show champions were made up this year, namely Arnac Bay Hebe, Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle, and Kirsty Watt’s Oakmarsh Chestnut. 

The relatively new KC award of Veteran Warrant was won for the first time in our breed by Kirsty’s Watt’s Oakmarsh Acorn.

Of the challenge certificates available to win this past year, Arnac Bay Hebe won five, with brother Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW winning four, and the following winning one each: Sh. Ch Arnac Bay Exe, Chesepi Waco, Oakmarsh Dancing Diva, Sh. Ch. Arnac Bay Flax,  Franeo Original Long Gunner at Pixiesrock, Sh. Ch. Arnac Weatherdeck Buoy, Penrose Let’s Fly, Oakmarsh Chestnut, Migwell Solomon’s Puzzle, Penrose Nosmo King, and Arnac Bay Harvest.

Two championship group placings were won by Chesapeakes, namely Huron winning Group 2 at Edinburgh and Harvest winning Group 3 at Birmingham National.

The Our Dogs Top Dog for the breed for 2021 with his group placing bringing up his points ended up as Sh. Ch. Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW, with the Top Puppy going to Deborah Herring’s Battsrock Sweet Child O Mine.

Our Dogs Top Chesapeake for 2021 was Sh. Ch. Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW. Photo: Sue Worrall

With the successes of my ‘H’ litter, I was honoured to be the Top Breeder for the year and the sire and dam of that litter, Sh, Ch. Weatherdeck Buoy and Arnac Bay Gamble ended up as Top Stud Dog and Top Brood Bitch respectively.

In open shows some Chesapeakes made great strides in group placements, with Darren Davies-Jones and Jo Coppin’s Dallandor Jocasta winning a Group 2 at Royal Cheshire, and a Group 4 at Coventry Gundog. Caroline Griffin-Woods’ Migwell Solomon’s Puzzle went BIS 4 at North Riding Gundog. Lisa Murch’s Franeo Original Long Gunner at Pixiesrock was BIS 4 at South Western Gundog. Huron went BIS 3 at Mid Herts, and sister Hebe went BIS 4 at South of England Gundog Club. Never before have there been so many group placements for the breed in the UK.

How good it is that so many of the same dogs appear in the working tests and the shows with good results, the same names reoccurring, something that, as a breed, we should be proud of as there are very few gundog breeds who can claim such a good dual purpose record.

Thank you so much to the Chesapeake Club committee for their hard work in keeping things going during the pandemic, struggling with the technology of Zoom meetings, yet getting the job done and providing opportunities for our members and their dogs to have fun, test their skills, and get out and about.

And so ended the year, with our breed certainly having gained in popularity in the show ring and once again in the hands of the shooting fraternity.

Wishing everyone a successful and happy 2022.
Christine Mayhew

25 December 2021
19 December 2021

Two lovely Chesapeakes have both celebrated their 15th birthdays this month. First, on the 6 Dec, Dave Lowther’s Mr Cree whose wildfowling escapades have been entertaining us for many years, and secondly Karen Preece’s Tilly who has a perfect life on the island of Jersey and who had her birthday just ten days later on the 16th Dec.

Tilly with her birthday cake
Mr Cree with his birthday cake

As you will see, they celebrated in style, complete with birthday cake and candles. Both very special and much loved dogs – what a great age. Whilst I have no desire to record every Chesapeake’s birthday, I feel our oldies always deserve a mention and will include any in “The Golden Oldies Club” who have attained a good age. Let me know of any candidates.

News that I missed reporting last week was the successful placing of a group 4 Best in Show at Coventry and District Gundog Club’s open show, where Freja (Dallandor Jocasta) who was ably handled by Darren Davies Jones achieved this success from the Best of Breed ring. Freja is owned by Darren and his partner, Jo Coppin, and was bred by Rachel Herbert. 

Darren and Freja in Best in Show line up at Coventry

Freja is sired by Phil Uncles’ wildfowling and picking up dog Yogi (Sh Ch Arnac Bay Exe) and I met up with Phil recently when we both took our dogs to have semen collected for freezing. Our ‘bait’ for the boys was my little Border Terrier who was in full season and approached the job with the enthusiasm of a professional! Doggy people do meet up in unusual circumstances, in this case a car park outside a veterinary practice!

Phil was busy with the shooting season and his pack of picking up dogs but made the time for this appointment that we had been planning for several years. Luckily both dogs produced excellent samples, with Yogi producing an outstanding number of sperm in each collection. I mention this purely because this dog has had several bitches who did not get into whelp and it becomes worrying as a stud dog owner when this happens.

Of course, the reasons for an unsuccessful breeding are many, but success is so very dependent on the timing of ovulation in the bitch. With blood tests to establish this being very accurate these days, I cannot understand people not taking advantage of this tool, especially if they are travelling long distances. It is very frustrating as a stud dog owner when people waste precious time and resources without checking that their bitch is ready to be bred. Not only this but also frustrating for the dog himself and can often damage an inexperienced male’s attitude to breeding if a bitch is aggressive because she is not ready to be bred. Of course there are some who are aggressive even when ready (usually because they have their own idea of who their ‘husband’ should be) but if the time is right then artificial insemination can always be resorted to in experienced hands.

Another little bit of history this week. Those who have the book Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Decoys and Long Guns will probably have read that in the early days, the breed was in the hands of wealthy landowners and of the Caroll’s Island Ducking Club where the stud book of Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe was a masterpiece in recording every litter, sire, dam and the progeny they produced, along with how those progeny performed in their job of work. Dogs that did not make the grade were given away and only the best were used for breeding – rule that should be applied by every serious breeder today in my opinion.

The first entry in the stud book is in February 1883 and reads ‘Lady had 10 puppies by Champ’, the next in April 1884 reads ‘Lady had 4 puppies by Rock – No good.’ A new stud dog ‘Dan’ arrived in an unusual way when one of the attendants at the duck club met a wagon on the road with a thin distressed looking dog tied behind it. The dog was a stray that was destined to be abandoned by the wagon owner as he didn’t have the heart to kill him. Recognising the dog to be of a Chesapeake type, the attendant asked to be given the dog who was named Daniel as he looked as though he had come from the Lion’s den, half-starved with worn-out teeth from gnawing bones. This dog was destined to become one of the best sires of the early dogs and was described as being small in size with long coarse hair of a dark liver colour and with a great endurance and intelligence who, once trained, would face up to any ice and wind to get his quarry. Dan died in 1888 of ‘old age and hard service.’ More on the stud book next week.

The lists of health-tested dogs is currently being updated for the Club’s 2021 yearbook. Results are taken from the KC Breed Records Supplement, but not all results are automatically sent to the KC, and not all are published in the BRS. If you have had your dog health tested recently, or think that your dog’s results will not be in the BRS, please email a copy of the results to Sue Worrall at chesapeakeblue@btinternet.com.

Please let me have your news if you wish for it to be included in BNW. Whilst I cannot guarantee every report will be published in full, I will try to mention everything that may be of interest to our members.

Christine Mayhew

12 December 2021

Hot off the press is news from the last Championship show to be held this year, namely LKA at NEC Birmingham yesterday, where our judge was Martyn Rees. Martyn owns working retrievers and certainly put the dogs (and handlers) through their paces to assess movement, something so important in a working dog. It was a pleasure to see Martyn concentrate and study each dog with obvious determination to do his job thoroughly. One of my pet hates is watching a ‘judge’ in the ring with our breed who is busy gazing at something happening in another ring while our dogs are being moved individually. 

The bitch CC was won by my own and Joy Middleton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe, as usual expertly handled by Joy, who went on to beat her brother, the dog CC winner, Maddie Mahon and James Newton’s Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW to best of breed. It has been a year-long friendly competition between these two as to who would come out top dog of the year and although Hebe won most of the best of breed awards, including this last one, Huron’s successes in the gundog groups made him the final winner of Our Dogs Top Chesapeake for 2021. Great work by all involved and a proud moment for all.

The Reserve Dog CC was awarded to Caroline Griffin-Woods’ homebred via imported semen, Migwell Soloman’s Puzzle to add to his one CC and numerous reserve CCs. I predict he will be knocking on the door to gain his championship in 2022. 

The Reserve Bitch CC went to a lovely junior bitch, Riptide Whistlin Duck, again homebred by Richard Playle and Tilley Thomas who ventured way north to the Orkney Isles to use the stud dog they had chosen, and this youngster and her brother certainly prove that their efforts were well worth it. 

Best Dog and Best Bitch at LKA yesterday were littermates - Sh Ch Arnac Bay Huron at Bergelle JW and Sh Ch Arnac Bay Hebe

Best Puppy went to Fleur Bament’s Pixiesrock Maestro Cadenza, bred by Lisa Murch. This was their very first championship show, and Fleur handled her own dog. A great achievement – big congratulations!

Best Veteran was my own Sh Ch Arnac Bay Flax who, once again, only came along for the ride and the fact that she just enjoys dog shows like an ancient actress enjoys the stage. Gemma McCartney, stepped up at the last minute to handle, leaving Freddie her PBGV in capable ringside hands!

And so ended the show season for 2021. Champagne, nibbles and friendly banter added to the day until we can all get together again, probably at Manchester show in January.

Fleur's Pixiesrock Maestro Cadenza was Best Puppy

Some dates for your diary: Crufts Gundog Day will be on 13 March 2022. The entries are open now if your dog is qualified and you wish to enter. Let us all hope that Covid rules do not restrict any of our regular overseas Chesapeake friends who like to come to visit. 

On 27 March there will be a CBRC Working Chesapeake Test (WCT) day in Cumbria, with a practice day on the day before (Saturday 26 March). These tests are a pass or fail test and are NOT a competition. They are a series of tests designed to demonstrate a dog’s natural ability and are great for people to ‘have a go at’ with their dogs without the pressure of a competition. 

There are three levels of the test, each with an increasing length of retrieve, the later tests involving double retrieves. Full details of each test are on the Events page. Dog and handler who pass each test get a rosette and certificate and can progress onto the next test if they so wish.

So far we have several who have passed the first stage but only one who has successfully passed the second. Many of us (me included) have failed at one level or another so it’s a fun day with everyone in the same boat, i.e. being made a fool of by our dogs!

WCT Level 1 Certificate

All details can be downloaded from the Events page. You DO need to be a member to enter (see the Membership page) OR you can join the club on the day (£10 single membership). Simple!

Last date for now is the 10 April which is the Club’s AGM. Again, see the Events page for further details.

Christine Mayhew

5 December 2021

Each year the American Kennel Club recognises breeding programmes from the Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups, with the winner of each going forward to challenge for the AKC Breeder of the Year. The AKC President and CEO says,  “It is our pleasure to honour this group of esteemed breeders. These individuals have made important contributions to the sport and to the betterment of their breeds. They are committed to ensuring the healthy future of their breed, and dogs bearing the honourees.”

The 2021 AKC Breeder of the Year award winner will be announced during the livestream of the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin on Sunday evening, 19 December 2021.

All group recipients receive a medallion in recognition of their achievements and this year the group recipient for the sporting group (the equivalent of our gundog group) is a Chesapeake breeder, namely Dyane Baldwin of Pond Hollow Chesapeakes. 

As many will know, Dyane has visited our club show twice and whilst in the UK on the first occasion, gave an informative slide presentation and talk on the breed. On her second visit in 2016 we were very honoured that she had agreed to judge the show.

What people may not know is that when I am compiling presentations for educational purposes for our judges seminars and for our KC guide to the breed, I have often had to resource photos and literature regarding the early days of the Chesapeakes. When I have needed any information or photos, I have often contacted Dyane and have always had a prompt response with information and material. I have had many occasions to be very grateful for her help. 

Dyane Baldwin

Together with her late husband, Dyane has been breeding Chesapeake Bay Retrievers since 1976. Her kennel, Pond Hollow Chesapeakes, has produced outstanding dogs for hunting, conformation, field competitions, obedience, tracking, agility and most importantly, healthy and temperamentally sound companions. 

Pond Hollow is highly regarded in the United States and abroad, with its name on many top-winning Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. Her dogs have achieved many titles, such as Best in National Specialty Show, numerous Awards of Merit, Best of Opposite Sex, and overseas Best in Show, Best of Breed and World Championship titles.

Dyane judging at the CBRC Show in 1998
Dyane judging the CBRC Championship Show in 2016

In addition to conformation, Dyane has bred hundreds of AKC-titled dogs in all types of venues, including performance and companion events. Three Pond Hollow males are in the all-time top ten sires in the breed.

Health has always been important to Dyane in her breeding programme. She is actively involved with health research. She has served the American Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club in many capacities, having held the positions of Secretary, AKC Delegate and Historian, among others.

Congratulations, Dyane, from all of your friends in the UK.

And some last minute news from Kirsty Watts who says:

“Super proud of our homebred girl, Tia, Oakmarsh Acorn (Sh Ch Devonshot Indian Goes Brave x Jamaica Beach of Oakmarsh), bred by Miss K Watts and Mr I Lawrence. At 11 yrs old she is the FIRST Chesapeake Bay Retriever to be awarded the KC Veteran Warrant. Tia has 2 CCs and 4 RCCs. 

Since we have started showing again this year (post Covid), despite her age, she has had multiple Best Veteran in Breed, Group and Show! 

A true dual-purpose dog, as well as doing lots of shows since July, we have also been out beating / picking up twice a week since September.”

Tia's Veteran Warrant Certificate

I am sure that everyone will join me in congratulating Kirsty who has put in a brilliant effort by going to virtually every show where Chesapeake classes were on offer, driving the length and breadth of the country. Goodness knows what the cost was in fuel but Kirsty never faltered and achieved her aim and made her Tia THE FIRST!

If you are interested in sponsoring a rosette for the CBRC champ and open shows on 17 July 2022, please get in touch with Joy Middleton at joy.midds@outlook.com. Your sponsorship can include free wording on one of the rosette tails with your kennel name, surname, etc. If you’re interested in donating or sponsoring anything else for the show please do let Joy know.

Christine Mayhew

28 November 2021

Great news from Katy Duncanson that her deadgrass lad, Thor (Arnac Bay Invincible), went best Any Variety Not Separately Classified Gundog at Whitehaven and District Canine Association’s show. Really an achievement for a Chessie to be placed in AVNSC (although more achieving this year than ever) and to win the top spot is something special. Well done.

Katy's Thor

Whilst preparing for a judges’ presentation this weekend, I realised that many who are not interested in judging never see our presentations which are full of great historic illustrations and photos of the dogs working. This is so that we can emphasise the reason for the Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s existence and ensure that judges keep a working dog constantly in their minds as they judge the breed.

And so I thought that I would share some of this history for you, although I am sure that most enthusiasts of the breed will already know some of these factual stories.

George Law who was on a US ship ‘Canton’ writes that in the fall of 1807 we fell in, at sea, with an English brig in a sinking condition and took off the crew. The brig was bound for Poole, England having sailed from Newfoundland. A boat from the US ship went to take off the English crew (who were in a state of intoxication!!) 

Found on board were two Newfoundland pups which were saved and purchased for a guinea a piece. Each pup was given to a local landowner. The bitch pup was named Canton after the rescue ship, and the dog pup was named Sailor.

Both pups were selected on the orders of the brig’s owners who wished for ‘two dogs from the most approved Newfoundland breed but of different families.

The male was a dingy red colour and the female black, neither dog was large but had short very thick hair. Both dogs became famous as water dogs especially useful with duck hunting.

Whilst these two dogs were not known to be bred to each other, they were bred to the local hunting dogs on the bay, water spaniels and the like, and the resultant dogs were known to be unrivalled in their job as a wildfowling retriever.

A description of Sailor was that ‘he was of fine size and figure, lofty in his carriage, built for strength and activity, muscular and broad across the hips and chest, head large, muzzle rather longer than is common, colour a dingy red with some white in the face and chest, coat short and smooth but uncommonly thick. More like a coarse fur than hair, full tail with long hair, always carried high. His eyes were very peculiar, they were so very light as to have an almost unnatural appearance, something which is termed a wall eye in a horse. I saw that many of his descendants were marked with this peculiarity.’

Christine Mayhew