Friday, August 21, 2009


"One old-timer I hunted with by the North Dakota border advised me to never, ever get hold of one of those Chesapeake dogs, because he'd had one back in the thirties that was so stubborn and ornery that it finally refused to get out of the back of the pickup one day during a sharptail expedition. My friend finally tried to lasso the dog and drag it out by main force-and almost got his hand bitten off for his trouble. It's an image that attacks me on the verge of sleep some nights: a leather-faced cowboy whirling a rope around his head on an empty prairie ridge, preparing to toss the loop at the head of a bull-necked Chesapeake Bay retriever braced sullenly in the back of an ancient Chevrolet pickup-probably at the same time another hunter, a couple of thousand miles to the southeast, ate a leisurely sandwich from the lunch box of a mule-drawn wagon, while his well-trained pointin' dogs searched for yet another covey of quail."

John Barsness, Western Skies (again)


Chad Love said...

Ahh, those chessie traits...
My first chessie fit - literally - every stereotype the breed has: rough, tough, stubborn, viewed strangers as things to be eaten, damn near bulletproof, an alpha dog in every way.
My second, again a female, tough, a little growly to strangers, sometimes a bit stubborn but overall a fairly tractable and sweet disposition and a duck hunting machine.
My third chessie, a male out of two of the breed's top field trial dogs, is spectacularly athletic, a great marker and has a water entry that is something to see, but is as soft as jell-o, the biggest wussy I've ever seen.
My female, as short and bandy-legged as she is, is a much better overall hunter. Not a great marker but a lot of drive and good instincts.

mdmnm said...


I'm on my first Chessie, a rescue from CBRR, and we're heading into our third bird season. He loves ducks and breaks on the shot every time. So far he seems to be pretty stubborn, sweet with people and hard on other dogs. I've sure enjoyed hunting with him.