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Tailor Made Minority Breed Day for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers - September 2021 by Debbie Crewe

On 19th September 2021, we were pleased to arrange a training day at Broadoak with Claudia specifically for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.

The group was limited to 8 dogs and handlers with a range of experience, some of the dogs are used purely for wildfowling, others are being trained to compete in working tests, on shoots, and one dog does it all.

Claudia's ability to manage dogs of different levels meant the day ran smoothly and she has worked with this amazing breed many times in the past so was well equipped to deal with any quirks or surprises.

We were delighted that our wildfowler's came armed with a selection of different birds to enhance the 'game cart'

The morning session began with a steadying exercise, the dogs sat in line as a ‘running rabbit’ was released. The more experienced dogs were able to sit off lead whilst some of the younger dogs needed to stay on lead for the first few runs of the ‘rabbit’. As the exercise progressed the dogs were moved closer to the line of the ‘running rabbit. ’

The second exercise of the morning was a marked retrieve to a post, followed by a memory at the same post, then the dog was sent to the post and stopped. A marked retrieve was then thrown to the right and the dog was re-directed. This was then repeated with the marked retrieve thrown to the left.

After a break for a sociable lunch, the afternoon session began at the pond, waterworks being a favourite and foe of many CBR owners. The exercise was a dummy thrown onto the opposite bank, near the narrow point of the pond. The dogs had to swim across the pond, retrieve the dummy and re-enter the water to return. The dogs were moved further back from the edge of the pond as the exercise progressed.

The final exercise of the day was retrieving cold game. First the handlers had to decide the order of easiest retrieve through to hardest retrieve. The handlers decided the easiest was the partridge, then the rabbit, pheasant, duck, goose and finally the pigeon. The dogs then had to retrieve each species of game in that order. The wild fowling dogs excelled at this exercise whilst some of the other dogs with limited or no experience of cold game only retrieved a few of the game species.

A thoroughly enjoyable and educational day was had by all and it is with grateful thanks to Amanda and Michael Tolan for the use of the ground, Claudia for the training and hosting the day and Nick Done for throwing dummies.

We are looking forward to our next Chesapeake weekend at Broadoak in February 022.

Debbie Crewe.

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